[announce] colgit: manage git repository collections

martin f krafft madduck at madduck.net
Thu Sep 6 12:11:15 CEST 2007

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git mailing list from Cc when the reply isn't enough about git]

Dear colleagues,

Last night, while Andy Roddick was giving his best against bored
world champion Roger Federer (and still lost after a game of many
crazy shots), I reached what I think is a milestone in my attempt to
let git manage my home directory across several machines. I called
it colgit, which attempts to hint at "collection of gits", and this
is the birth announcement of this shell script.


The problem I am trying to solve is that I maintain different
projects in different repos, including scripts in ~/.bin and
configuration files, and that I use multiple computers on a daily
basis. Moreover, I might happen upon a new computer which I have to
use for a few days and would like to be able to set up my account

With SVN, I'd have a repository for each machine, which existed only
of svn:externals references pulling in other repos and thus
assembling my home directory. git-submodule isn't quite designed for
this sort of stuff, and thus I came up with colgit.

The idea is simple: ~ is a git repository with a .colgit/ directory,
which hosts a hierarchy of directories holding a selection of files
from .git directories. For instance, ~/.colgit/.etc/mutt/config is
the git-config file for the repository that I want to have in
~/.etc/mutt. Since all of ~/.colgit is checked in to the repo in ~,
I can easily clone that for another machine, or branch from it and
add yet other repositories, or remove some.

Each directory in ~/.colgit can also hold hooks, description, and
info/exclude, which are used to seed the repository in the plain
~ hierarchy. Right now, the design requires a central repository and
appropriate remote.origin.*/branch.master.merge entries in the
config file so that it can initialise repositories on new machines.

colgit currently is still very much a hack, but it already sports
the following commands:

  update/init: for each leaf directory in ~/.colgit, create the
  corresponding repository in ~, seed it, and run git-pull. If the
  respository already exists, just pull.

  register: given an existing repository somewhere under ~, obtain
  the relevant config files from its $GIT_DIR and populate the
  corresponding directory under ~/.colgit.

  status: for each leaf directory in ~/.colgit, query the
  corresponding repository in ~ and note to stdout if it has local

I also envision the following commands:

  add: given a repository URL and a local path, clone the repository
  and run register

  do: run the given git commands over each known repository

The process of initialising an account on a remote machine thus

  git clone -n ssh://.../machines/base temp && mv temp/.git ~
  cd ~ && git checkout HEAD
  colgit init

This is release early release often, so it's far from perfect and
and probably buggy. But suggestions and patches are welcome!

martin;              (greetings from the heart of the sun.)
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