Private repositories

After December’s request for donations, I’m happy to announce that the first version of Gitorious private repositories is now available for testing.

What is it?

With the new private repositories feature, you can allow users of your Gitorious installation to control who gets access to their projects and repositories. Create private projects where you invite only the members of your team to collaborate, protect only certain repositories until they are mature enough, or what have you. See the wiki for a full description.

Note that private repositories is an opt-in feature, and will not be available on

How does it work?

When creating new projects and repositories, you will be given the option to make them private:

Projects can retroactively be made private by clicking the “manage access” button in the right column on the project page:

Repositories can retroactively be made private by clicking the “manage read access” button in the right column on the repository page:

When managing access to a project or repository, you can make it private simply by clicking the “make private” link:

When a project or repository has been made private, you can add and remove collaborators (users and teams) using the same kind of UI that is used to add committers to a repository:


Private repositories will ship with Gitorious 2.2.0. Currently, it’s available on the private-repos branch. To take it for a spin, please follow the instructions in the wiki. We would love feedback on this feature – bugs, UI things, whatever, so we can hone it before merging it back onto master.


If you discover any issues with the solution, please report bugs. We will merge the feature onto master within a week or two, depending on feedback from the community. If you intend to use this feature, please try it out now.

Integration with LDAP ++

The current implementation of private repositories only authorizes users using the database. However, as other authorization mechanisms in general, and LDAP in particular, was clearly desired by the community, the implementation is designed to take pluggable authorization strategies. The API for this may need a few more tweaks, but will be documented in the wiki as well shortly. If you intend to try integrating authorization with a third-party system, get in touch (mailing list, irc, here, whatever).

Thank you

Private repositories is a community funded feature. I want to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who reached out to us and helped us deliver this feature.


  1. Maetusz Pusz
    Posted February 29, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Great news!!!

    I have one question though. I assume that private repositories are not visible in projects index or via search engine. That is great in some cases but in some it is not.

    Sometimes it may be really hard to find and join such a private project. Is there a way to have a project name and its details to be visible in public but the code itself to be private (not accessible). The use case for that is that people can find that such a project exists and request the access to the sources.

  2. ?
    Posted February 29, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad that won’t have private repos. Someone who creates secret projects (closed source) has no right to free hosting.

  3. H
    Posted February 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    It’s nice indeed, and working just fine over here.

    One remark/question though.

    Shouldn’t site admins be able to see private projects/repositories despite not being granted access explicitly?

  4. Christian Johansen
    Posted March 1, 2012 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    @Maetusz: The assumption is that if you want your project/repository private, then findability is not an issue. It’s invite-only by definition.

    @H: Good call, just fixed the site admin thing and pushed.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  5. 16aR
    Posted March 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Great job guys, I’ll try to test it if I have time :)

  6. Jay Perry
    Posted March 1, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Hey guys,

    This is great. Can you post here when its available on mainline?

  7. Christian Johansen
    Posted March 1, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Jay: Yes, I’ll post an update when we release 2.2.0

    • bosoxjay
      Posted April 5, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Any ETA on the release of 2.2.0? Looking for the private repo changes badly. Thanks!

  8. Jay Perry
    Posted March 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    great thanks!

  9. Chris
    Posted March 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Does Gitorious have something like Git’s Organizations? If so, can it use the private repositories?

  10. Chad
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    Is there any way to make projects (and repositories) private by default?



  11. Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your article! Can any help me on this project?

  12. Posted April 17, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Firstly, I want to thank the community for having something like this up. The app is a boon. I installed it on my local server, so far it has been working great, after I got the private-repos working, there seems to be some issue with the accounts module, users’ suspension and else, they did not work so I am without private-repos for now. Hope it will work great on the upcoming release. Any news on version 2.2.0 release ?


  13. Posted April 26, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    The release will be available soon. We’ve merged the feature onto master and are now battle hardening it in production on That did cause us some problems, though, so we’d like to be sure it’s solid before recommending other people using it.

  14. Posted July 20, 2012 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    This is simply fantastic, does it support syntax highlighting for java projects as well ?

4 Trackbacks

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  3. […] written about private repositories before. We have been running the new code base live on for a few weeks, and after […]

  4. […] help from the community in implementing support for private repositories in Gitorious, a feature which landed in Gitorious mainline last […]

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