Despite having very simple installation instruction, I’ve been fighting with installing Gitolite every single time I’ve tried. Here I present a short summary in the steps needed to install Gitolite on Mac OS X, an amalgamation of the sources linked below.

Gitolite requires a (local) account on the server, with SSH access. Using a network account (created through is certainly possible, the easiest way is to simply create a local account (with password!) and give it ssh access. Administrator privileges not advised.

  • Make a local user called ‘git’
  • Go to Sharing > Remote login and add the git user
  • Create an SSH key on the machine that will be used to administer gitolite (workstation) and copy that key to the server
  • ssh git@server: mkdir ~/.ssh/
  • scp git@server: ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
  • Run the following commands as the git user (use login git):
  • git clone git://
  • gitolite/install -This installs gitolite into /Users/git/gitolite/src/gitolite
  • Create a symbolic link to the gitolite folder:
  • ln -s /Users/git/gitolite/src/gitolite* /usr/bin (or to /usr/local/bin)
  • Either relog or open a new terminal window
  • gitolite setup -pk

Editing the configuration can now be done from the workstation by running the following command:

  • git clone git@host:gitolite-admin

To allow for password-less login to the server, do the following:

  • cat ~/.ssh/ | ssh user@remotehost ‘cat » ~/.ssh/authorized_keys’ To confirm do:
  • ssh

Creating an ssh alias: Add the following to ~/.ssh/config on your workstation:

  • Host alias
  • User git
  • Hostname server.address
  • Port 22
  • IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_rsa


  • Gitolite readme:
  • Passwordless SSH: