Setting Up Jenkins Using A Git Server Part1

This article contains information on how to set up Jenkins continuous integration which checks out code from a Git server. This first part of the series focuses on getting the Git server up and running and being able to check in code into a test project.


These instructions are for setting up a Git server on a Linux environment only. The process of doing this in windows is distinctly different and I’ve not had much experience with this.

You will need:

– a Linux machine (preferably running Ubuntu)

– an Internet connection

Step 1) remove your ssh keys folder. This folder can be found in /home/[username]/.ssh. The problem with installing Git on a machine which already has ssh keys setup correctly is that your can enter a state where you cannot checkout git projects due to a mismatch of keys. I’ll explain more on how SSH is related to Git further down in this article.

Step 2) open a terminal and type the following: (can be skipped if you know you have openssh-server installed on your machine)

sudo apt-get install openssh-server

This application is responsible for generating public and private keys so you can talk to the Git server

if this command fails try updating your software repositories

Step 3) In the same terminal type the following command

ssh-keygen -t rsa

you will get the following message:

Identity added: /home/[username]/.ssh/id_rsa (/home/[username]/.ssh/id_rsa)

this command translates as generate me a public and private key of type RSA

It will ask you a series of questions, just press enter for each of them. This will now have generated a public and private key in your home/[username]/.ssh folder. check to confirm. you should have  a file

Step 4) Next in the terminal type ssh-add. This will add your key to the system so it can be recognized by other applications

Step 5) now we’re going to install the Git server. Type in the terminal

sudo apt-get install  git-core gitosis

Git core is the fundamental packages needed for Git and gitosis is the git server

Step 6) Now we’re going to configure the Git server. The first thing we need to do is set up a default username which can access the git server. In order to do this we need to tell the Git server where are ssh public key is that we generated in step 3

Type the following command

sudo -H -u gitosis gitosis-init < /home/[username]/.ssh/

this translates as initialize the git server with the username gitosis and it’s ssh public key can be found in the folder  /home/[username]/.ssh/

you will get the following message:

Initialized empty Git repository in /srv/gitosis/repositories/gitosis-admin.git/
Reinitialized existing Git repository in /srv/gitosis/repositories/gitosis-admin.git/

Step 7) Next we’re going to make changes to the git server admin repository so we can create a new project on the git server. The git server admin repository is a git repository which controls access to all other projects you create on the git server

Step 8) navigate to your home folder

Step 9) type the following command in the terminal: git clone gitosis@[your ip address]:gitosis-admin.git

The git clone command makes a copy of the gitosis-admin repo. gitosis is the username you created when you initialized the git server. gitosis-admin.git is the name of the git repo you’re cloning

you will get the following messages if successful.

Cloning into gitosis-admin…
The authenticity of host ‘ (’ can’t be established.
ECDSA key fingerprint is d5:35:6c:ed:73:67:cd:a4:32:42:8d:d4:6c:e5:b8:09.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added ‘’ (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.
remote: Counting objects: 5, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (4/4), done.
Receiving objects: 100% (5/5), 778 bytes, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (1/1), done.
remote: Total 5 (delta 1), reused 5 (delta 1)

If you get a message asking for a password then the ssh stage part of this article has not worked. At this point i would recommend removing your keys and generating them again. don’t forget to type ssh-add once you have created the keys

Step 10) type ls and you should have the following folder structure in the gitosis-admin folder:



The gitosis.conf file is used for setting up new git users and projects. The key dir is where all of the users ssh public keys are stored. In order for a user to be able to access a project they need the name of their public key added to the gitosis.conf file and they need their public ssh key put into the keydir folder and checked in. I will show both of these processes next

Step 11) type the following command in the terminal: sudo gedit gitosis.conf. This will open up the gitosis.conf file in a text editor. you can use an alternative to gedit if you choose. The structure of the file will look like this:


[group gitosis-admin]
members = james@james-machine
writable = gitosis-admin

This translates as follows:

[group gitosis-admin] //username group
members = james@james-machine  //name of the user currently logged on whose public  key we added when we initialized the git server
writable = gitosis-admin //name of the git repo we make changes to

so lets create a new git project and see if we can make changes to it. Enter the following into the gitosis.conf file

[group testGroup]
members = james@james-machine
writable = testproject

save the file and type the following at the terminal git status. You should the following message:

# On branch master
# Changes not staged for commit:
#   (use “git add <file>…” to update what will be committed)
#   (use “git checkout — <file>…” to discard changes in working directory)
#    modified:   gitosis.conf
# Untracked files:
#   (use “git add <file>…” to include in what will be committed)
#    gitosis.conf~
no changes added to commit (use “git add” and/or “git commit -a”)

This translates as you’ve made changes to the gitosis.conf file but they have not been committed to the gitosis-admin repo. This is what we will do next.

Step 12) Type the following: git commit -am “i made my first git project”

you will get the following message

1 files changed, 4 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)

-a means add the file to the git commit changes list

-m means message, adding a message with each commit you make is essential

Then type git push. This takes the local changes you made to the git admin repo and pushes them to the git server

Step 13) Next we’re going to check out the new empty git project, make changes and commit them to the test project.  Navigate to your home folder and type the following:

git clone gitosis@[ip address of machine]:testproject.git

Cloning into testproject…
Initialized empty Git repository in /srv/gitosis/repositories/testproject.git/
warning: You appear to have cloned an empty repository.

read error of repo means you haven’t pushed the changes

Step 14) Now we’re going to make changes to our test git repository. create a new text file in the folder testproject then type git status. You should see the following message

# On branch master
# Initial commit
# Untracked files:
#   (use “git add <file>…” to include in what will be committed)
#    a.txt
nothing added to commit but untracked files present (use “git add” to track)
This means you have a file in the folder which is not currently tracked by the git repo.

Step 15) Type git add .   (include full stop) This adds the file to the change list of the git repo so it will be tracked

Step 16) Next type git commit -am “Creating first file in test project”. This command makes a local commit to the git repository with a message. you should see the following message

0 files changed, 0 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)
create mode 100644 a.txt

This has made a local change to your git repository but will still need to push it to the git server. Type git push gitosis@[ip address]:testproject.git master

and you will get the following message

Counting objects: 3, done.
Writing objects: 100% (3/3), 245 bytes, done.
Total 3 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0)
To gitosis@
* [new branch]      master -> master

This has created a new branch on in the test project called master and checked in your code

The next article will focus on adding multiple users from different machines to your test project to allow other people to check into your test project


One response to “Setting Up Jenkins Using A Git Server Part1

  1. Pingback: Setting Up Jenkins Using A Git Server Part2 | A.T.T.A.C.I – All Things Testing, Agile and Continuous Integration

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