Anyone still using gitweb?

2021-08-18 2-minute read

It seems like the self-hosting git world has all moved to gitlab or gitea.

For a number of reasons not worth enumerating, I’m still running gitolite and recently decided I wanted to checkout my code via https using gitweb.

I got through most of the installation and configuration without trouble (I could browse via the web and see all my repositories). But, when I tried to git clone using the https address I got a fatal “not found” error.

It seems that gitweb, out of the box, allows for easy web-browsing of git repositories but needs some extra work if you want to clone over https. Specifically, you need to use git-http-backend.

The git-http-backend man page is very useful, but assumes you are accessing your repos via https://example.org/git instead of simply https://git.exmple.org.

These lines are my variation to the suggested apache configuration lines provided by man git-http-backend.

They differ by:

  • allowing for web access without specifying a subdirectory
  • using the debian /usr/lib/git-core path instead of /usr/libexec/git-core
  • removing git-receive-pack since I only plan to clone and don’t plan to push back to this repo.
DocumentRoot /usr/share/gitweb
<Directory /usr/share/gitweb>
  Options +FollowSymLinks +ExecCGI
  AddHandler cgi-script .cgi
  Require all granted
</Directory>
<Directory /usr/lib/git-core>
  Require all granted
</Directory>
SetEnv GIT_PROJECT_ROOT /var/lib/git
AliasMatch ^/(.*/objects/[0-9a-f]{2}/[0-9a-f]{38})$          /var/lib/git/$1
AliasMatch ^/(.*/objects/pack/pack-[0-9a-f]{40}.(pack|idx))$ /var/lib/git/$1
ScriptAliasMatch \
  "(?x)^/(.*/(HEAD | \
    info/refs | \
    objects/info/[^/]+ | \
    git-upload-pack))$" \
  /usr/lib/git-core/git-http-backend/$1
ScriptAlias / /usr/share/gitweb/gitweb.cgi/

The main trick is to direct some requests to apache2, some requests to /usr/lib/git-core/git-http-backend, and everything else to gitweb.cgi.