Install Gitolite on Dreamhost

How-to guide to installing Gitolite on Dreamhost.

Part 1: Installation

  1. In the Dreamhost control panel, create new user mygitoliteuser and ensure that shell access is enabled. Write the password down, or copy it to your clipboard, and wait for the user to be installed by the Dreamhost robot.

  2. While you’re waiting for the user to be installed by the Dreamhost robot, double check that you have your own SSH keys setup on your local machine.

    After the user is created on the server, copy your public key to the new user you just created in your Dreamhost account, with the command below. Naming the file on the server. Gitolite uses these public key files as the basis for its access control lists, explained further down.

    Execute the following command:

    $ scp ~/.ssh/

    Do not put your SSH public key in the ~/.ssh/config/authorized_keys file on the server, because it will cause problems during Gitolite installation.

  3. Log into the remote machine via SSH with the following command, provide the password you created in step 1 above when prompted.

    $ ssh
  4. Ensure git is installed on your machine.

    $ which git
    $ git --version

    If git is not installed follow another tutorial on installing git.

  5. Download gitosis and install it.

    $ git clone git://
    $ gitolite/src/gl-system-install
    $ gl-setup ~/

    If you hit any problems installing check the documentation.

  6. On your local machine, download the gitolite-admin repository.

    $ git clone
  7. Once downloaded, you should see a folder structure that looks like this:

    ├── conf
    │   └── gitolite.conf
    └── keydir

Part 2: Example usage

Here are a few things you can do, once you’ve got gitolite installed on the server, and downloaded locally to your machine. Remember that you administer gitolite using the gitolite-admin clone on your local machine!

How to create a new project repository with Gitolite

  1. Edit the gitolite-admin/conf/gitolite.conf file in your favorite editor.

    # Default configuration shown...
    repo  gitolite-admin
          RW+ = yourdesiredgitusername
    repo  testing
          RW+ = @all
    # Add the following for your new repository:
    repo  foo
          RW+ = yourdesiredgitusername
  2. Save the file, commit the change, and push it to the server.

    $ git commit conf/gitolite.conf -m "Added repository for the foo project."
    [master 90b63b7] Added repository for the foo project.
     1 files changed, 21 insertions(+), 4 deletions(-)
    $ git push
    Counting objects: 7, done.
    Delta compression using up to 4 threads.
    Compressing objects: 100% (3/3), done.
    Writing objects: 100% (4/4), 508 bytes, done.
    Total 4 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0)
    remote: creating elementalidad...
    remote: Initialized empty Git repository in /home/mygitoliteuser/repositories/foo.git/
       295694a..90b63b7  master -> master
  3. Now you can clone down your new repository… and start committing.

    $ git clone
    $ cd foo
    $ touch file.txt
    $ git add file.txt
    $ git commit file.txt -m "Testing the foo project repository."

How to add a new code contributor user in Gitolite

  1. First, you must obtain from your new contributor, his SSH public key.

  2. Place the public key file into the correct format, adding it to the gitolite-admin/keydir folder.

    mv  ~/gitolite-admin/keydir/
    git add keydir/
    git commit keydir/ -m "Added public key for User Name"
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