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I'd like to create a couple user accounts on my server such that the users can check out a specific git repository. Ideally, the user would not be able to gain access to a shell or copy any files other than the git repo.

And ideally this doesn't take more than about 3 minutes, either :)

I'm running an old-ish Gentoo install.

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closed as not constructive by Zoredache, Sirex, Tom O'Connor, mdpc, John Gardeniers Jan 10 '13 at 2:24

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Almost every common ftp daemon supports a chroot, all you have to do is spend a few minutes reading the docs. There is also lots of good coverage on how to secure git. IMO, your question seems to show a lack of research effort on your part. Of course you could also have included details like what ftp daemon you are using so someone could have pointed you at the correct manual. – Zoredache Jan 9 '13 at 23:18
Forget ftp. I figured the approach would be the same, hence the "etc." I really just care about git. I've done enough research to know that this question hasn't been adequately answered on stack exchange and the first couple pages of google results don't turn up anything as simple as I expect. – stephelton Jan 9 '13 at 23:22
so you read this: then ? – Sirex Jan 9 '13 at 23:24
Nope, that's perfect. That didn't turn up in my search results, maybe some extra tags would help. – stephelton Jan 9 '13 at 23:26

It could done in multiple ways.

  1. If this is only specific to git, you can install gitolite and you could do all ACL stuff from the gitolite-admin repo.

  2. Setup a SFTP jailed root setup using SSH. You can control each and every binary that you could like users to use.

    groupadd sftpusers useradd -g sftpusers -d /jailed netusers Modify SSHD file

    Subsystem sftp internal-sftp tail /etc/ssh/sshd_config Match Group sftpusers ChrootDirectory /sftp/%u ForceCommand internal-sftp

    mkdir /jailed/netusers chown netusers.sftpusers /jailed/netusers service sshd restart

  3. Create a Virtual machine dedicated for such users and mount the git repo as RO to ensure nobody could change anything.

Last but not the least, non of them could be possibly done in 3 minutes. I guess it would take you 2-3 minutes to read :-)

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+1 because you took more time to post a proper answer than the OP took to search and ask the question – Alex Jan 9 '13 at 23:32
According to my browser history, I spent a whole 15 minutes searching! – stephelton Jan 9 '13 at 23:40
Jail root will be a quick fix solution. Gitolite will be a better solution as it will allow you to control the permission on per repo and you could integrate it with gitlabhq to have a nice GUI interface for code merge and other stuff – chandank Jan 9 '13 at 23:49

I'm going to suggest an alternate thing since you're focused on authentication and pull: git served over HTTPS with basic authentication. By restricting to HTTPS, you're preventing plaintext disclosure of passwords.

See for more, and just add basic SSL setup from any other tutorial.

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