Proposal: Gitolite for repository management

Geoffrey Mainland mainland at
Tue Jul 30 12:15:18 CEST 2013

On 07/30/2013 10:41 AM, Austin Seipp wrote:
> Hello all,
> Recently with the new server move, a few of us have taken
> roles of administrating the new server infrastructure including
>, containing the GHC repositories. (Previously, the GHC
> repos were on, which was maintained by Galois. The
> new servers are community managed.) I'm one of these people, so first
> off if you have any problems, let me know!
> I should also say Herbert Valerio Riedel has also stepped up to help
> administrate the GHC Trac instance. He's quite experienced in these
> sorts of matters, and his help is greatly appreciated. If there's
> anything wrong in this area, he can also be of help. :)
> Anyway, the real topic: Recently, we have been discussing the way
> GHC's repositories are managed, and it's slightly suboptimal for
> several reasons. We would instead like to deploy Gitolite, a smart
> git-access wrapper. This will not only solve some annoying issues
> (like Simon's recent permissions error when pushing to testsuite,) but
> also make more secure and easier to maintain.
> We have a proposal with preliminary details up here:
> Please refer to it for the exact details. But the visible overview for
> all the active developers will be:
>  * Shell accounts will go away. You'll only have access to the repositories.
>  * Your SSH push URL will change very slightly.
>  * sync-all will probably need to change a bit for the new remotes.
> This will all need to happen within a small window of downtime. As
> outlined above, we believe we can pull off a switch with minimal
> interruption. So on that end, we need to know a few things too. What
> we'd like to know is:
>  * Does any developer who has shell access to actually
> *need it*? Outside of administrative tasks, I'm not sure who should
> and should not have access. At the least, your privileges will be
> slightly reduced after we're done (since the darcs group won't be
> needed.)
>  * Who is an active committer? I'm not really sure what to do here,
> but we can easily transplant all the current users in the 'darcs'
> group. Alternatively we can establish it for most of the core
> committers, and add people who commit less frequently on a rolling
> basis (they can just contact me.)
>  * When should this be done? The downtime window will be small
> hopefully, and I don't think this would really inconvenience anyone
> too much if we did it soon, but I feel we should ask.

Sounds like a great plan!

Is it possible to have the old server spit back a message when people
try to use it? If so, your suggestion to re-establish less frequent
committers on a rolling basis sounds reasonable---when they use the old
server, it would tell them who to contact to get access to the repository.

Both Simons are on holiday at the moment, so perhaps now is a good time
for the switch? Amazingly, the most recent commit to ghc is my own from
over a week ago!


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