Installing Git From Source

Installing Git and Creating a Repo on Ubuntu

I’m very sad I was so late to hop aboard the Git train, because it’s really awesome and a great piece to my work flow. GitHub is pretty cool too, but those private repositories can get expensive real quick. Today I’ll show you how to set up a private git server on your Ubuntu server.


This tutorial assumes you have a super user account / access to root, as well as a basic configuration of your sever done. If haven’t done so already there is an awesome tutorial on Linode.

Here’s an overview of what we’ll be doing today.

  1. We’ll install Git version control
  2. We’ll create a Git user on our Ubuntu system
  3. We’ll create a folder specifically for git repositories
  4. We’ll create an empty repository
  5. We’ll push our local code to this new repository

Installing Git

Let’s jump right into it, we can install git from source by running the following commands.

sudo -i
apt-get update
apt-get install build-essential libssl-dev libcurl4-gnutls-dev libexpat1-dev gettext unzip
cd /tmp
cd git-2.7.2
make prefix=/usr/local all
make prefix=/usr/local install

If everything is installed properly the git command we ran will return a list of common git commands.

Creating a Git user

It’s best practice to create a separate user with limited permissions to commit with, so let’s do that now. We’ll also set up a directory to host all our repositories.

adduser git

Ubuntu will ask you for a password, enter a secure one. It will also ask you for a bunch of contact information, you can just leave that part blank. Now let’s upload our public ssh key so we can connect.

If you don’t have a set of SSH keys on your system, you can follow my guide on generating them here.

cd /home/git
mkdir .ssh
nano .ssh/authorized_keys

Paste your public key in this file, save and exit. Now run the following commands to change ownership of the directory and set permissions.

chown -R git:git .ssh
chmod 700 .ssh
chmod 600 .ssh/authorized_keys

Now we’ll create a directory to host our repositories.

cd /var
mkdir git
chown -R git:git git
logout # Of Root
logout # From Server

Creating a repository and pushing our code

Now that we have Git installed on our Ubuntu server, let’s create a repository for us to push our code to. We’ll want to do this from the git account we created, so make sure you log into it.

cd /var/git
git init --bare yourproject.git # Creates an empty repository

That was painless right? Now let’s connect our local repository to it. Navigate to the root of your local code and run the following command:

git remote set-url origin

Note: If your project does not already have a git repository, Install git locally and run the commands below instead.

git init
git add .
git commit -m "Initial commit"
git remote add origin

Finally let’s push our code to our newly created remote git repository.

git push origin master

If all was successful your code should be uploaded and you’ll see something like this.

Counting objects: 63, done.
Delta compression using up to 4 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (52/52), done.
Writing objects: 100% (63/63), 15.99 KiB | 0 bytes/s, done.
Total 63 (delta 2), reused 0 (delta 0)
 * [new branch]      master -> master


  • 12-18-14 - Tutorial has been updated for Git version 2.2.0.
  • 03-15-15 - Tutorial has been updated for Git version 2.3.3.
  • 02-13-16 - Tutorial has been updated for Git version 2.7.2.