ktyl ~ blog

A minimal Git server

This is a quick, no-nonsense guide on setting up a Git server on a VPS. I am using Debian, but other operating systems should be easy to figure out.

Create a user

Make a git user:

sudo adduser git

Switch to the git user:

sudo su -l git

Configure secure access

Create a .ssh dir in the git user's home directory and make it only accessible by the git user:

mkdir ~/.ssh
chmod 700 ~/.ssh

Create an authorized_keys file in the .ssh folder, and make it accessible only by the git user:

touch .ssh/authorized_keys
chmod 600 `.ssh/authorized_keys`

Create a public/private key pair locally to authenticate a user on a machine to connect to the remote server:

ssh-keygen -t ed25519

And finally copy it into the (remote) git user's .ssh/authorized_keys, using ssh-copy-id or by giving the public key to the server administrator.

Creating bare Git repositories

Create directories within git's home dir (nested paths are allowed) with the .git extension, for example my-projects/my-repo.git or just my-repo.git.

git init --bare repo.git

There now exists an empty Git repository on the remote server.

The remote can now be added to a local repository:

git remote add origin git@server:my-repo.git
git push -u origin main

Connecting securely

Add an entry to your local .ssh/config:

Host myhost
HostName        example.com
User            git
IdentityFile    ~/.ssh/id_ed25519

And connect once without Git to verify the host:

ssh myhost

Done!