Git --fast-version-control

Chapter 4

Git on the Server

At this point, you should be able to do most of the day-to-day tasks for which you’ll be using Git. However, in order to do any collaboration in Git, you’ll need to have a remote Git repository. Although you can technically push changes to and pull changes from individuals’ repositories, doing so is discouraged because you can fairly easily confuse what they’re working on if you’re not careful. Furthermore, you want your collaborators to be able to access the repository even if your computer is offline — having a more reliable common repository is often useful. Therefore, the preferred method for collaborating with someone is to set up an intermediate repository that you both have access to, and push to and pull from that. We’ll refer to this repository as a "Git server"; but you’ll notice that it generally takes a tiny amount of resources to host a Git repository, so you’ll rarely need to use an entire server for it.

Running a Git server is simple. First, you choose which protocols you want your server to communicate with. The first section of this chapter will cover the available protocols and the pros and cons of each. The next sections will explain some typical setups using those protocols and how to get your server running with them. Last, we’ll go over a few hosted options, if you don’t mind hosting your code on someone else’s server and don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up and maintaining your own server.

If you have no interest in running your own server, you can skip to the last section of the chapter to see some options for setting up a hosted account and then move on to the next chapter, where we discuss the various ins and outs of working in a distributed source control environment.

A remote repository is generally a bare repository — a Git repository that has no working directory. Because the repository is only used as a collaboration point, there is no reason to have a snapshot checked out on disk; it’s just the Git data. In the simplest terms, a bare repository is the contents of your project’s .git directory and nothing else.