Gitblit WAR Installation & Setup

  1. Download Gitblit WAR 1.2.1 to the webapps folder of your servlet container.
  2. You may have to manually extract the WAR (zip file) to a folder within your webapps folder.
  3. By default, the Gitblit webapp is configured through WEB-INF/data/
    Open WEB-INF/data/ in your favorite text editor and make sure to review and set:
    • <context-parameter> git.packedGitLimit (set larger than the size of your largest repository)
    • <context-parameter> git.streamFileThreshold (set larger than the size of your largest committed file)
  4. You may have to restart your servlet container.
  5. Open your browser to http://localhost/gitblit or whatever the url should be.
  6. Enter the default administrator credentials: admin / admin and click the Login button
    NOTE: Make sure to change the administrator username and/or password!!

WAR Data Location

By default, Gitblit WAR stores all data (users, settings, repositories, etc) in ${contextFolder}/WEB-INF/data. This is fine for a quick setup, but there are many reasons why you don't want to keep your data within the webapps folder of your servlet container. You may specify an external location for your data by editing WEB-INF/web.xml and manipulating the baseFolder context parameter. Choose a location that is writeable by your servlet container. Your servlet container may be smart enough to recognize the change and to restart Gitblit.

On the next restart of Gitblit, Gitblit will copy the contents of the WEB-INF/data folder to your specified baseFolder IF the file ${baseFolder}/ does not already exist. This allows you to get going with minimal fuss.

Specifying an alternate baseFolder also allows for simpler upgrades in the future.

Gitblit GO Installation & Setup

  1. Download and unzip Gitblit GO 1.2.1.
    Its best to eliminate spaces in the path name.
  2. The server itself is configured through a simple text file.
    Open data/ in your favorite text editor and make sure to review and set:
    • server.httpPort and server.httpsPort
    • server.httpBindInterface and server.httpsBindInterface
    • server.storePassword https is strongly recommended because passwords are insecurely transmitted form your browser/git client using Basic authentication!
    • git.packedGitLimit (set larger than the size of your largest repository)
    • git.streamFileThreshold (set larger than the size of your largest committed file)
  3. Execute authority.cmd or java -jar authority.jar --baseFolder data from a command-line
    1. fill out the fields in the new certificate defaults dialog
    2. enter the store password used in server.storePassword when prompted. This generates an SSL certificate for localhost.
    3. you may want to generate an SSL certificate for the hostname or ip address hostnames you are serving from
      NOTE: You can only have one SSL certificate specified for a port.
    4. exit the authority app
  4. Execute gitblit.cmd or java -jar gitblit.jar --baseFolder data from a command-line
  5. Open your browser to http://localhost:8080 or https://localhost:8443 depending on your chosen configuration.
  6. Enter the default administrator credentials: admin / admin and click the Login button
    NOTE: Make sure to change the administrator username and/or password!!

GO Data Location

By default, Gitblit GO stores all data (users, settings, repositories, etc) in the data subfolder of your GO installation. You may specify an external location for your data on the command-line by setting the --baseFolder argument. If you relocate the data folder then you must supply the --baseFolder argument to both GO and the Certificate Authority.

If you are deploying Gitblit to a *nix platform, you might consider moving the data folder out of the GO installation folder and then creating a symlink named "data" that points to your moved folder.

Creating your own Self-Signed SSL Certificate

Gitblit GO (and Gitblit Certificate Authority) automatically generates a Certificate Authority (CA) certificate and an ssl certificate signed by this CA certificate that is bound to localhost.

Remote Eclipse/EGit/JGit clients (<= 2.2.0) will fail to communicate using this certificate because JGit always verifies the hostname of the certificate, regardless of the http.sslVerify=false client-side setting.

The EGit failure message is something like:

Cannot get remote repository refs.
Reason: https:/ cannot open git-upload-pack

If you want to serve your repositories to another machine over https then you will want to generate a new certificate for the hostname or ip address you are serving from.

  1. authority.cmd or java -jar authority.jar --baseFolder data
  2. Click the new ssl certificate button (red rosette in the toolbar in upper left of window)
  3. Enter the hostname or ip address
  4. Make sure the checkbox serve https with this certificate is checked
  5. In the keystore password prompt, enter the server.storePassword password

If you decide to change the value of server.storePassword (recommended) after you have already started Gitblit or Gitblit Certificate Authority, then you will have to delete the following files and then restart the Gitblit Certificate Authority app:

  1. data/serverKeyStore.jks
  2. data/serverTrustStore.jks
  3. data/certs/caKeyStore.jks
  4. data/certs/ca.crt
  5. data/certs/caRevocationList.crl (optional)

Client SSL Certificates

SINCE 1.2.0

Gitblit supports X509 certificate authentication. This authentication method relies on your servlet container to validate/verify/trust your client certificate and can be used by your browser and your git client.

All X509 certificates have a distinguished name (DN) which is a signature of several fields like:


Gitblit must be able to map the DN of the certificate to an existing account username. The default mapping is to extract the common name (CN) value from the DN and use that as the account name. If the CN is a valid account, then the user is authenticated. The servlet container which runs Gitblit validates, verifies, and trusts the certificate passed to Gitblit. If you need to specify an alternative DN mapping you may do so with the git.certificateUsernameOIDs setting, but this mapping must be matched to the user account name.

How do you make your servlet container trust a client certificate?

In the WAR variant, you will have to manually setup your servlet container to:

  1. want/need client certificates
  2. trust a CA certificate used to sign your client certificates
  3. generate client certificates signed by your CA certificate

Alternatively, Gitblit GO is designed to facilitate use of client certificate authentication. Gitblit GO ships with a tool that simplifies creation and management of client certificates, Gitblit Certificate Authority.

Creating SSL Certificates with Gitblit Certificate Authority

When you generate a new client certificate, a zip file bundle is created which includes a P12 keystore for browsers and a PEM keystore for Git. Both of these are password-protected. Additionally, a personalized README file is generated with setup instructions for popular browsers and Git. The README is generated from data\certs\instructions.tmpl and can be modified to suit your needs.

  1. authority.cmd or java -jar authority.jar --baseFolder data
  2. Select the user for which to generate the certificate
  3. Click the new certificate button and enter the expiration date of the certificate. You must also enter a password for the generated keystore. This password is not the same as the user's login password. This password is used to protect the privatekey and public certificate you will generate for the selected user. You must also enter a password hint for the user.
  4. If your mail server settings are properly configured you will have a send email checkbox which you can use to immediately send the generated certificate bundle to the user.

Certificate Inspection and Advanced Troubleshooting

X509 certificates can be confusing and tricky even with the simplified Gitblit Certificate Authority tool. If you find you need more tooling to understand your keystores, certificates, and certificate revocation lists (CRLs), I highly recommend Portecle which can be conveniently launched as a Java Web Start app.

Running as a Windows Service

Gitblit uses Apache Commons Daemon to install and configure its Windows service.

  1. Review the contents of the installService.cmd
  2. Set the ARCH value as appropriate for your installed Java Virtual Machine.
  3. Add any necessary --StartParams as enumerated below in Command-Line Parameters.
  4. Execute the script.

After service installation you can use the gitblitw.exe utility to control and modify the runtime settings of the service.
Additional service definition options and runtime capabilities of gitblitw.exe (prunmgr.exe) are documented here.

If you change the name of the service from gitblit you must also change the name of gitblitw.exe to match the new service name otherwise the connection between the service and the utility is lost, at least to double-click execution.

VM Considerations

By default, the service installation script configures your Windows service to use your default JVM. This setup usually defaults to a client VM.
If you have installed a JDK, you might consider using the gitblitw.exe utility to manually specify the server VM.

  1. Execute gitblitw.exe
  2. On the Java tab uncheck Use default.
  3. Manually navigate your filesystem and specify the server VM with the ... button
    Java Virtual Machine:
    C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\server\jvm.dll

Command-Line Parameters

Command-Line parameters override the values in at runtime.

--baseFolder           The default base folder for all relative file reference settings
--repositoriesFolder   Git Repositories Folder
--userService          Authentication and Authorization Service (filename or fully qualified classname)
--useNio               Use NIO Connector else use Socket Connector.
--httpPort             HTTP port for to serve. (port <= 0 will disable this connector)
--httpsPort            HTTPS port to serve.  (port <= 0 will disable this connector)
--ajpPort              AJP port to serve.  (port <= 0 will disable this connector)
--alias                Alias in keystore of SSL cert to use for https serving
--storePassword        Password for SSL (https) keystore.
--shutdownPort         Port for Shutdown Monitor to listen on. (port <= 0 will disable this monitor)
--tempFolder           Folder for server to extract built-in webapp


java -jar gitblit.jar --userService c:/myrealm.config --storePassword something --baseFolder c:/data

Overriding Gitblit GO's Log4j Configuration

You can override Gitblit GO's default Log4j configuration with a command-line parameter to the JVM.

java -Dlog4j.configuration=file:///home/james/ -jar gitblit.jar <optional_gitblit_args>

For reference, here is Gitblit's default Log4j configuration. It includes some file appenders that are disabled by default.

Running Gitblit behind Apache

Gitblit runs fine behind Apache. You may use either mod_proxy (GO or WAR) or mod_proxy_ajp (GO).

Each Linux distribution may vary on the exact configuration of Apache 2.2.
Here is a sample configuration that works on Debian 7.0 (Wheezy), your distribution may be different.

  1. First we need to make sure we have Apache's proxy modules available.
    sudo su
    cd /etc/apache2/mods-enabled
    ln -s ../mods-available/proxy.load proxy.load
    ln -s ../mods-available/proxy_balancer.load proxy_balancer.load
    ln -s ../mods-available/proxy_http.load proxy_http.load
    ln -s ../mods-available/proxy_ajp.load proxy_ajp.load
  2. Then we need to make sure we are configuring Apache to use the proxy modules and to setup the proxied connection from Apache to Gitblit GO or from Apache to your chosen servlet container. The following snippet is stored as /etc/apache2/conf.d/gitblit.
    # Turn off support for true Proxy behaviour as we are acting as
    # a transparent proxy
    ProxyRequests Off
    # Turn off VIA header as we know where the requests are proxied
    ProxyVia Off
    # Turn on Host header preservation so that the servlet container
    # can write links with the correct host and rewriting can be avoided.
    # This is important for all git push/pull/clone operations.
    ProxyPreserveHost On
    # Set the permissions for the proxy
    <Proxy *>
    	AddDefaultCharset off
    	Order deny,allow
    	Allow from all
    # The proxy context path must match the Gitblit context path.
    # For Gitblit GO, see server.contextPath in
    #ProxyPass /gitblit http://localhost:8080/gitblit
    #ProxyPassreverse /gitblit http://localhost:8080/gitblit
    # If your httpd frontend is https but you are proxying http Gitblit WAR or GO
    #Header edit Location ^http://([^⁄]+)/gitblit/ https://$1/gitblit/
    # Additionally you will want to tell Gitblit the original scheme and port
    #RequestHeader set X-Forwarded-Proto https
    #RequestHeader set X-Forwarded-Port 443
    # If you are using subdomain proxying then you will want to tell Gitblit the appropriate
    # context path for your repository url.
    # If you are not using subdomain proxying, then ignore this setting.
    #RequestHeader set X-Forwarded-Context /
    #ProxyPass /gitblit ajp://localhost:8009/gitblit

    Please make sure to:
    1. Review the security of these settings as appropriate for your deployment
    2. Uncomment the ProxyPass setting for whichever connection you prefer (http/ajp)
    3. Correctly set the ports and context paths both in the ProxyPass definition and your Gitblit installation
      If you are using Gitblit GO you can easily configure the AJP connector by specifying a non-zero AJP port.
      Please remember that on Linux/UNIX, ports < 1024 require root permissions to open.
    4. Set web.mountParameters=false in or web.xml this will use parameterized URLs.
      Alternatively, you can respecify web.forwardSlashCharacter.

Upgrading Gitblit

Any important changes to the setting keys or default values will always be mentioned in the release log.

Gitblit v0.8.0 introduced a new default user service implementation which serializes and deserializes user objects into users.conf. A users.conf file will be automatically created from an existing file on the first launch after an upgrade. To use the users.conf service, realm.userService=users.conf must be set. This revised user service allows for more sophisticated Gitblit user objects and will facilitate the development of more advanced features without adding the complexity of an embedded SQL database. and its user service implementation are deprecated as of v0.8.0.

Upgrading Gitblit WAR (1.2.1+)

  1. Make sure your WEB-INF/web.xml baseFolder context parameter is not ${contextFolder}/WEB-INF/data!
    If it is, move your WEB-INF/data folder to a location writeable by your servlet container.
  2. Deploy new WAR
  3. Edit the new WAR's WEB-INF/web.xml file and set the baseFolder context parameter to your external baseFolder.
  4. Review and optionally apply any new settings as indicated in the release log to ${baseFolder}/

Upgrading Gitblit GO (1.2.1+)

  1. Unzip Gitblit GO to a new folder
  2. Copy your data folder from your current Gitblit installation to the new folder and overwrite any conflicts
  3. Review and optionally apply any new settings as indicated in the release log to data/

In *nix systems, there are other tricks you can play like symlinking the data folder or symlinking the GO folder. All platforms support the --baseFolder command-line argument.

Upgrading Gitblit WAR (pre-1.2.1)

  1. Create a data as outlined in step 1 of Upgrading Gitblit GO (pre-1.2.1)
  2. Copy your existing web.xml to your data folder
  3. Deploy new WAR
  4. Copy the new WAR's WEB-INF/data/ file to your data folder
  5. Manually apply any changes you made to your original web.xml file to the file you copied to your data folder
  6. Edit the new WAR's WEB-INF/web.xml file and set the baseFolder context parameter to your external baseFolder.

Upgrading Gitblit GO (pre-1.2.1)

  1. Create a data folder and copy/move the following files and folders to it:
    • users.conf
    • projects.conf (if you have one)
    • serverKeystore.jks
    • serverTrustStore.jks
    • certs folder
    • git folder (alternatively you can specify the full path to this folder in your settings)
    • groovy folder
    • proposals folder
    • and any other custom files (robots.txt, welcome/login markdown files, etc)
    • Then edit your file and adjust the following settings:
      • git.repositoriesFolder = ${baseFolder}/git
      • groovy.scriptsFolder = ${baseFolder}/groovy
      • groovy.grapeFolder = ${baseFolder}/groovy/grape
      • web.projectsFile = ${baseFolder}/projects.conf
      • realm.userService = ${baseFolder}/users.conf
      • web.robots.txt = ${baseFolder}/robots.txt
      • federation.proposalsFolder = ${baseFolder}/proposals
      • realm.ldap.backingUserService = ${baseFolder}/users.conf
      • realm.redmine.backingUserService = ${baseFolder}/users.conf
      • server.tempFolder = ${baseFolder}/temp
    • Unzip Gitblit GO to a new folder
    • Copy your data folder and overwrite the folder of the same name in the just-unzipped version
    • Review and optionally apply any new settings as indicated in the release log to data/

NOTE: You may need to adjust your service definitions to include the --baseFolder data argument.

Upgrading Windows Service

You may need to delete your old service definition and install a new one depending on what has changed in the release.

Gitblit Configuration

Administering Repositories

Repositories can be created, edited, renamed, and deleted through the web UI. They may also be created, edited, and deleted from the command-line using real Git or your favorite file manager and text editor.

All repository settings are stored within the repository .git/config file under the gitblit section.

    description = master repository
    owner = james
    useTickets = false
    useDocs = true
    showRemoteBranches = false
    accessRestriction = clone
    isFrozen = false
    showReadme = false
    federationStrategy = FEDERATE_THIS
    isFederated = false
    skipSizeCalculation = false
    federationSets =

Repository Names

Repository names must be case-insensitive-unique but are CASE-SENSITIVE ON CASE-SENSITIVE FILESYSTEMS. The name must be composed of letters, digits, or / _ - . ~
Whitespace is illegal.

Repositories can be grouped within subfolders. e.g. libraries/mycoollib.git and libraries/myotherlib.git

All repositories created with Gitblit are bare and will automatically have .git appended to the name at creation time, if not already specified.

Repository Owner

The Repository Owner has the special permission of being able to edit a repository through the web UI. The Repository Owner is not permitted to rename the repository, delete the repository, or reassign ownership to another user.

Access Restrictions and Access Permissions

permissions matrix

Discrete Permissions (Gitblit v1.2.0+)

Since v1.2.0, Gitblit supports more discrete permissions. While Gitblit does not offer a built-in solution for branch-based permissions like Gitolite, it does allow for the following repository access permissions:

These permission codes are combined with the repository path to create a user permission:


Discrete Permissions with Regex Matching (Gitblit v1.2.0+)

Gitblit also supports case-insensitive regex matching for repository permissions. The following permission grants push privileges to all repositories in the mygroup folder.


When using regex matching it may also be useful to exclude specific repositories or to exclude regex repository matches. You may specify the X permission for exclusion. The following example grants clone permission to all repositories except the repositories in mygroup. The user/team will have no access whatsoever to these repositories.

Order is Important

The preceding example should suggest that order of permissions is important with regex matching. Here are the rules for determining the permission that is applied to a repository request:

  1. If the user is an admin or repository owner, then RW+
  2. Else if user has an explicit permission, use that
  3. Else check for the first regex match in user permissions
  4. Else check for the HIGHEST permission from team memberships
    1. If the team is an admin team, then RW+
    2. Else if a team has an explicit permission, use that
    3. Else check for the first regex match in team permissions

No-So-Discrete Permissions (Gitblit <= v1.1.0)

Prior to v1.2.0, Gitblit has two main access permission groupings:

  1. what you are permitted to do as an anonymous user
  2. RW+ for any permitted user

Committer Verification

You may optionally enable committer verification which requires that each commit be committed by the authenticated user pushing the commits. i.e. If Bob is pushing the commits, Bob must be the committer of those commits.

How is this enforced?

Bob must set his and values for the repository to match his Gitblit user account BEFORE committing to his repository.

[user "bob"]
    displayName = Bob Jones
    emailAddress =
    git config "Bob Jones"
    git config

git config bob
git config

If the Gitblit account does not specify an email address, then the committer email address is ignored. However, if the account does specify an address it must match the committer's email address. Display name or username can be used as the committer name.

All checks are case-insensitive.

What about merges?

You can not use fast-forward merges on your client when using committer verification. You must specify --no-ff to ensure that a merge commit is created with your identity as the committer. Only the first parent chain is traversed when verifying commits.

Push Log

Gitblit v1.2.1 introduces an incomplete push mechanism. All pushes are logged since 1.2.1, but the log has not yet been exposed through the web ui. This will be a feature of an upcoming release.


Since v0.8.0, Gitblit supports teams for the original user service and the current default user service users.conf. Teams have assigned users and assigned repositories. A user can be a member of multiple teams and a repository may belong to multiple teams. This allows the administrator to quickly add a user to a team without having to keep track of all the appropriate repositories.

Administering Users (users.conf, Gitblit v0.8.0+)

All users are stored in the users.conf file or in the file you specified in Your file extension must be .conf in order to use this user service.

The users.conf file uses a Git-style configuration format:

[user "admin"]
    password = admin
    role = "#admin"
    role = "#notfederated"
    repository = RW+:repo1.git
    repository = RW+:repo2.git

[user "hannibal"]
    password = bossman
    repository = RWD:topsecret.git
    repository = RW+:ateam/[A-Za-z0-9-~_\\./]+

[user "faceman"]
    password = vanity

[user "murdock"]
    password = crazy

[user "babaracus"]
    password = grrrr

[team "ateam"]
    user = hannibal
    user = faceman
    user = murdock
    user = babaracus
    repository = RW:topsecret.git
    mailingList =
    postReceiveScript = sendmail

The users.conf file allows flexibility for adding new fields to a UserModel object that the original file does not afford without imposing the complexity of relying on an embedded SQL database.

Administering Users (, Gitblit v0.5.0 - v0.7.0)

All users are stored in the file or in the file you specified in Your file extension must be .properties in order to use this user service.

The format of loosely follows Jetty's convention for HashRealms:



Usernames must be unique and are case-insensitive.
Whitespace is illegal.


User passwords are CASE-SENSITIVE and may be plain, md5, or combined-md5 formatted (see -> realm.passwordStorage).

User Roles

There are four actual roles in Gitblit:

Administrators automatically have access to all repositories. All other roles are repository permissions. If a repository is access-restricted, the user must have the repository's name within his/her roles to bypass the access restriction. This is how users are granted access to a restricted repository.

The following roles are equivalent:

This is to preserve backwards-compatibility with Gitblit <= 1.1.0 which granted rewind power to all access-permitted users.

Personal Repositories & Forks

Personal Repositories and Forks are related but are controlled individually.

Creating a Personal Repository

A user may be granted the power to create personal repositories by specifying the #create role through the web ui or through the RPC mechanism via the Gitblit Manager. Personal repositories are exactly like common/shared repositories except that the owner has a few additional administrative powers for that repository, like rename and delete.

Creating a Fork

A user may also be granted the power to fork an existing repository hosted on your Gitblit server to their own personal clone by specifying the #fork role through the web ui or via the Gitblit Manager.

Forks are mostly likely personal repositories or common/shared repositories except for two important differences:

  1. Forks inherit a view/clone access list from the origin repository.
    i.e. if Team A has clone access to the origin repository, then by default Team A also has clone access to the fork. This is to facilitate collaboration.
  2. Forks are always listed in the fork network, regardless of any access restriction set on the fork.
    In other words, if you fork RepoA.git to ~me/RepoA.git and then set the access restriction of ~me/RepoA.git to Authenticated View, Clone, & Push your fork will still be listed in the fork network for RepoA.git.

If you really must have an invisible fork, the clone it locally, create a new personal repository for your invisible fork, and push it back to that personal repository.

Alternative Authentication and Authorization

LDAP Authentication

SINCE 1.0.0

LDAP can be used to authenticate Users and optionally control Team memberships. When properly configured, Gitblit will delegate authentication to your LDAP server and will cache some user information in the usual users file (.conf or .properties).

When using the LDAP User Service, new user accounts can not be manually created from Gitblit. Gitblit user accounts are automatically created for new users on their first succesful authentication through Gitblit against the LDAP server. It is also important to note that the LDAP User Service does not retrieve or store user passwords nor does it implement any LDAP-write functionality.

To use the LdapUserService set realm.userService=com.gitblit.LdapUserService in your file or your web.xml file and then configure the realm.ldap settings appropriately for your LDAP environment.

Example LDAP Layout

block diagram

Please see ldapUserServiceSampleData.ldif to see the data in LDAP that reflects the above picture.

Gitblit Settings for Example LDAP Layout

The following are the settings required to configure Gitblit to authenticate against the example LDAP server with LDAP-controlled team memberships.

realm.ldap.serverldap://localhost:389 Tells Gitblit to connect to the LDAP server on localhost port 389. The URL Must be of form ldap(s)://<server>:<port> with port being optional (389 for ldap, 636 for ldaps).
realm.ldap.usernamecn=Directory Manager The credentials that will log into the LDAP server
realm.ldap.passwordpassword The credentials that will log into the LDAP server
realm.ldap.backingUserServiceusers.conf Where to store all information that is used by Gitblit. All information will be synced here upon user login.
realm.ldap.maintainTeamstrue Are team memberships maintained in LDAP (true) or manually in Gitblit (false).
realm.ldap.accountBaseOU=Users,OU=UserControl,OU=MyOrganization,DC=MyDomain What is the root node for all users in this LDAP system. Subtree searches will start from this node.
realm.ldap.accountPattern(&(objectClass=person)(sAMAccountName=${username}))The LDAP search filter that will match a particular user in LDAP. ${username} will be replaced with whatever the user enters as their username in the Gitblit login panel.
realm.ldap.groupBaseOU=Groups,OU=UserControl,OU=MyOrganization,DC=MyDomain What is the root node for all teams in this LDAP system. Subtree searches will start from this node.
realm.ldap.groupMemberPattern(&(objectClass=group)(member=${dn}))The LDAP search filter that will match all teams for the authenticating user. ${username} will be replaced with whatever the user enters as their username in the Gitblit login panel. Anything else in ${} will be replaced by Attributes from the User node.
realm.ldap.admins@Git_AdminsA space-delimited list of usernames and/or teams that indicate admin status in Gitblit. Teams are referenced with a leading @ character.

LDAP In-Memory Server

You can start Gitblit GO with an in-memory LDAP server by specifying the --ldapLdifFile command-line argument. The LDAP server will listen on localhost of the port specified in realm.ldap.url of Additionally, a root user record is automatically created for realm.ldap.username and realm.ldap.password. Please note that the ldaps:// protocol is not supported for the in-memory server.

Custom Authentication

This is the simplest choice where you implement custom authentication and delegate all other standard user and team operations to one of Gitblit's user service implementations. This choice insulates your customization from changes in User and Team model classes and additional API that may be added to IUserService.

Please subclass com.gitblit.GitblitUserService and override the setup() and authenticate() methods.
Make sure to set the serviceImpl field in your setup() method.

You may use your subclass by specifying its fully qualified classname in the realm.userService setting.

Your subclass must be on Gitblit's classpath and must have a public default constructor.

Custom Everything

Instead of maintaining a users.conf or file, you may want to integrate Gitblit into an existing environment.

You may use your own custom com.gitblit.IUserService implementation by specifying its fully qualified classname in the realm.userService setting.

Your user service class must be on Gitblit's classpath and must have a public default constructor.
Please see the following interface definition com.gitblit.IUserService.

Groovy Hook Scripts

SINCE 0.8.0

Gitblit uses Groovy for its push hook mechanism. This mechanism only executes when pushing to Gitblit, not when pushing to some other Git tooling in your stack.

The Groovy hook mechanism allows for dynamic extension of Gitblit to execute custom tasks on receiving and processing push events. The scripts run within the context of your Gitblit instance and therefore have access to Gitblit's internals at runtime.

Rules, Requirements, & Behaviors

  1. Your Groovy scripts must be stored in the groovy.scriptsFolder as specified in or web.xml.
  2. All script files must have the .groovy extension. Because of this you may omit the extension when specifying the script.
  3. Script filenames must not have spaces!
  4. Scripts must be explicitly specified to be executed, no scripts are automatically executed by name or extension.
  5. A script can be specified to run on all repositories by adding the script file name to groovy.preReceiveScripts or groovy.postReceiveScripts in or web.xml.
  6. Scripts can be specified for a team.
  7. Scripts may also be specified per-repository in the repository's settings.
  8. Globally-specified scripts and team-specified scripts are excluded from the list of available scripts in a repository's settings
  9. Globally-specified scripts are executed first, in their listed order; followed by team-specified scripts in their listed order by alphabetical team order; followed by per-repository scripts, in their listed order.
  10. A script may only be defined once in a pre-receive chain and once in a post-receive chain.
    You may execute the same script on pre-receive and post-receive, just not multiple times within a pre-receive or post-receive event.
  11. Gitblit does not differentiate between what can be a pre-receive script and what can be a post-receive script.
  12. If a script returns false then the hook chain is aborted and none of the subsequent scripts will execute.

Some sample scripts are included in the GO and WAR distributions to show you how you can tap into Gitblit with the provided bound variables. Additional implementation details may be specified in the header comment of these examples.

Hook contributions and improvements are welcome.


SINCE 1.0.0

Grape lets you quickly add maven repository dependencies to your Groovy hook script.

Grape (The Groovy Adaptable Packaging Engine or Groovy Advanced Packaging Engine) is the infrastructure enabling the grab() calls in Groovy, a set of classes leveraging Ivy to allow for a repository driven module system for Groovy. This allows a developer to write a script with an essentially arbitrary library requirement, and ship just the script. Grape will, at runtime, download as needed and link the named libraries and all dependencies forming a transitive closure when the script is run from existing repositories such as Ibiblio, Codehaus, and

// create and use a primitive array
import org.apache.commons.collections.primitives.ArrayIntList

@Grab(group='commons-primitives', module='commons-primitives', version='1.0')
def createEmptyInts() { new ArrayIntList() }

def ints = createEmptyInts()
ints.add(0, 42)
assert ints.size() == 1
assert ints.get(0) == 42

Custom Fields

SINCE 1.0.0

Gitblit allows custom repository string fields to be defined in or web.xml. Entry textfields are automatically created for these fields in the Edit Repository page of Gitblit and the Edit Repository dialog of the Gitblit Manager. These fields are accessible from your Groovy hook scripts as


This feature allows you to customize the behavior of your hook scripts without hard-coding values in the hook scripts themselves.


Pre-Receive scripts execute after the pushed objects have all been written to the Git repository but before the refs have been updated to point to these new objects.

This is the appropriate point to block a push and is how many Git tools implement branch-write permissions.


Post-Receive scripts execute after all refs have been updated.

This is the appropriate point to trigger continuous integration builds or send email notifications, etc.

Push Email Notifications

Gitblit implements email notifications in sendmail.groovy which uses the Groovy Hook Script mechanism. This allows for dynamic customization of the notification process at the installation site and serves as an example push script.

Enabling Push Notifications

In order to send email notifications on a push to Gitblit, this script must be specified somewhere in the post-receive script chain.
You may specify sendmail in one of three places:

  1. groovy.postReceiveScripts in or web.xml, globally applied to all repositories
  2. post-receive scripts of a Team definition
  3. post-receive scripts of a Repository definition

Destination Addresses

Gitblit does not currently support individual subscriptions to repositories; i.e. a user can not subscribe or unsubscribe from push notifications.

However, Repository Managers and Administrators can specify subscribed email addresses in one of three places:

  1. mail.mailingLists in or web.xml, globally applied to all push-notified repositories
  2. mailing lists in a Team definition, applied to all repositories that are part of the team definition
  3. mailing lists in a Repository definition

All three sources are checked and merged into a unique list of destination addresses for push notifications.

Care should be taken when devising your notification scheme as it relates to any VIEW restricted repositories you might have. Setting a global mailing list and activating push notifications for a VIEW restricted repository may send unwanted emails.

Lucene Search Integration

SINCE 0.9.0

Repositories may optionally be indexed using the Lucene search engine. The Lucene search offers several advantages over commit-traversal search:

  1. very fast commit and blob searches
  2. multi-term searches
  3. term-highlighted and syntax-highlighted fragment matches
  4. multi-repository searches

How do I use it?

First you must ensure that web.allowLuceneIndexing is set true in or web.xml. Then you must understand that Lucene indexing is an opt-in feature which means that no repositories are automatically indexed.
Like anything else, this design has pros and cons.


  1. no wasted cycles indexing repositories you will never search
  2. you specify exactly what branches are indexed; experimental/dead/personal branches can be ignored


  1. you specify exactly what branches are indexed

I have 300 repositories and you want me to specify indexed branches on each one??

Yeah, I agree that is inconvenient.

If you are using Gitblit GO there is a utility script add-indexed-branch.cmd which allows you to specify an indexed branch for many repositories in one step.

If you are using Gitblit WAR then, at present, you are out of luck unless you write your own script to traverse your repositories and use native Git to manipulate each repository config.

git config --add gitblit.indexBranch "default"
git config --add gitblit.indexBranch "refs/heads/master"

Indexing Branches

You may specify which branches should be indexed per-repository in the Edit Repository page. New/empty repositories may only specify the default branch which will resolve to whatever commit HEAD points to or the most recently updated branch if HEAD is unresolvable.

Indexes are built and incrementally updated on a 2 minute cycle so you may have to wait a few minutes before your index is built or before your latest pushes get indexed.

After specifying branches, only the content from those branches can be searched via Gitblit. Gitblit will automatically redirect any queries entered on a repository's search box to the Lucene search page. Repositories that do not specify any indexed branches will use the traditional commit-traversal search.

Adequate Heap

The initial indexing of an existing repository can potentially exhaust the memory allocated to your Java instance and may throw OutOfMemory exceptions. Be sure to provide your Gitblit server adequate heap space to index your repositories. The heap is set using the -Xmx JVM parameter in your Gitblit launch command (e.g. -Xmx1024M).

Why does Gitblit check every 2 mins for repository/branch changes?

Gitblit has to balance its design as a complete, integrated Git server and its utility as a repository viewer in an existing Git setup.

Gitblit could build indexes immediately on edit repository or on receiving pushes, but that design would not work if someone is pushing via ssh://, git://, or file:// (i.e. not pushing to Gitblit http(s)://). For this reason Gitblit has a polling mechanism to check for ref changes every 2 mins. This design works well for all use cases, aside from adding a little lag in updating the index.

Client Setup and Configuration

Https with Self-Signed Certificates

You must tell Git/JGit not to verify the self-signed certificate in order to perform any remote Git operations.

The default self-signed certificate generated by Gitlbit GO is bound to localhost.
If you are using Eclipse/EGit/JGit clients, you will have to generate your own certificate that specifies the exact hostname used in your clone/push url.
You must do this because Eclipse/EGit/JGit (<= 2.1.0) always verifies certificate hostnames, regardless of the http.sslVerify=false client-side setting.

Http Post Buffer Size

You may find the default post buffer of your git client is too small to push large deltas to Gitblit. Sometimes this can be observed on your client as hanging during a push. Other times it can be observed by git erroring out with a message like: error: RPC failed; result=52, HTTP code = 0.

This can be adjusted on your client by changing the default post buffer size:

git config --global http.postBuffer 524288000

Cloning an Access Restricted Repository