A walk through of how to setup Msysgit Server with copSSH on Windows.
Lets examine how to setup Msysgit Server with copSSH on Windows. Having almost no experience in Linux before — copSSH emulates the Linux environment through cygwin — let me tell you that this process was not easy. This post really takes the perspective that you don't have a lot of knowledge (as I didn't).
Firstly, full credit goes to the fantastic team at msysgit — these guys rock for porting GIT to Windows — GIT is an unreal DVCS and so I cant thank them enough for making this all possible. Secondly, full credit goes out to the guys at StackOverflow — unreal website and lots of fantastic users that have helped answer questions which have allowed the making of this guide possible. Please feel free to ask me questions, but I strongly recommend StackOverflow as your first port-of-call as I may take longer in getting back to you than they will. Also, this instruction guide is how I have set it up — if you start changing things — may the force be with you!
Finally, if this process worked for you — please leave a comment telling me (and everyone else) that it works and share this article around. It took me quite a bit of time to figure all this out on Windows — not to mention the time to type up this guide — so I would appreciate a link back ;)
Update 1: A free solution is called, GitStack.com, which is good but uses Apache and doesn’t use SSH keys — instead only providing password support (which might be fine for some people).
Update 2: You can still use copSSH 3.0.3 as it’s free.
- Download copSSH [SourceForge Link]
- Download msysgit
- Download TortiseGIT
- Download PuTTY Installer
- *Optional Download Git Install Guide (this guide as a Printable PDF)
Step 1 — Installing copSSH
- You’ve got copSSH — now go on and install it.
- Install copSSH into the c:SSH directory
- Write down the SvcCOPSSH password — you will probably never need it — but just in case.
- It will install and create a bunch of directories — (Aside: I have found that you don’t need to create a password on your Windows User account — it’s not necessary if you use the settings I have later)
- Goto Start → Programs → copSSH → Activate a User
- You can only activate existing users on Windows — so you can choose Your Own Account or Administrator (or indeed another account but I’ve used the primary)
- Uncheck the option — Create keys for public key authentication — we will do this ourselves.
- Finish the Installation Process.
Step 2 — Setup copSSH
- Open Windows Explorer — go into C:SSHetc and open BOTH your ssh_config and sshd_config in WordPad (Aside: Note — one has a “d” and one doesn’t — it’s an important difference)
- ssh_config — Delete the # (pound) key next to “Port” and change this to something like 4837 (or whatever Port you want to use)
- sshd_config — Delete the # (pound) key next to “Port” and change this the same as that in ssh_config — i.e. in this case 4837
- sshd_config — Delete the # (pound) key next to MaxAuthTries and make this 2
- sshd_config — Delete the # (pound) key next to RSAAuthentication & also next to the PubkeyAuthentication
- sshd_config — Delete the # (pound) key next to PasswordAuthentication and make this no.
- Save all the changes to ssh_config and sshd_config.
- Open your Router IP Address (or however you access your router) and open the Port you are using — i.e. in this case 4837 (Aside: If you don’t know it — c:cmd → ipconfig /all — will tell you)
- Save these Port changes in your router (& restart your router if needed)
- Open Windows Firewall with Advanced Security Settings and create a rule which allows the Port you set in both ssh_config and sshd_config — in this case 4837 (also do this in your Firewall if your firewall requires it — maybe/maybe not)
- Restart Your PC.
Step 3 — Installing PuTTY
- Welcome back after the Restart — now Open the PuTTY Installer you downloaded.
- Install Everything
- Navigate to the Putty Installed Directory (usually c:Program FilesPuTTY)
- Open PuttyGen.exe
- Enter in Number of bits in a generated key: 4096
- Move your mouse around randomly as instructed until finished — don’t close PuttyGen!
- Open Windows Explorer and Navigate to c:SSHHome<user>.ssh — i.e in our case c:SSHHomeAdministrator.ssh (Aside: If .ssh doesn’t exist — you can only create it via a cmd.exe prompt — open cmd.exe and enter cd C:SSHHome<user> then enter mkdir .ssh)
- Create a new file called authorized_keys (Aside: if it’s not there — Right Click — New Text Document — Delete everything (including the *.txt) — name the file authorized_keys)
- Open PuttyGen and Copy/Paste the Public Key for pasting into OpenSSH authorized_keys files code.
- Still in PuttyGen — save the Private Key as private_key.ppk in the same c:SSHHome<user>.ssh — i.e. i.e in our case c:SSHHomeAdministrator.sshprivate_key.ppk
- You should now have 2 files in this directory — authorized_keys and private_key.ppk
- To test our connection — load up putty.exe from the same c:Program FilesPuTTY
- Enter your IP Address and Port in the Session window (Aside: If you don’t know your IP — c:cmd → ipconfig /all — will tell you)
- Click on SSH in the left hand menu and select — Auth — then navigate to your private key c:SSHHome<user>.sshprivate_key.ppk
- Hit Open and a terminal will open asking you to Enter Login Name: — enter your <user> — i.e. in our case Administrator
- You may get a message about Accept Public Key — type yes & if you get logged in great!
Step 4 — Installing msysgit
- Open the msysgit installer package.
- Ensure its C:Program FilesGit (x32 bit) or C:Program Files (x86)Git (x64 bit)
- Set Use Git Bash Only (Aside: I wanted to only Use Git Bash console but if you want to Run Git from the Windows Command Prompt then you have to select this option — I would recommend only options 1 & 2 unless you really know what you are doing)
- Select Use (Tortoise)Plink available via C:Program FilesTortoiseSVNbinTortoisePlink.exe. If it’s not available in the installer then set the variable in the windows environment to GIT_SSH=/path/to/TortoisePlink.exe. (Aside: I set this as using just PuTTY Plink.exe as opposed to TortoisePlink.exe — would recommend settings this instead to c:Program FilesPuTTYplink.exe but it’s up to you)
- Let it install and have a laugh in the meantime.
- Once it’s installed — you now have 2 windows which I will name 1. Git Bash (Right Click Mouse on a file/folder in Explorer) and 2. Start → Programs → copSSH → Start a Unix Bash Shell — Unix Bash.
- Finally, goto your Git-Core folder in the GIT installed directory — C:Program FilesGitlibexecgit-core (x32 bit) or C:Program Files (x86)Gitlibexecgit-core (x64 bit) — and copy the files git.exe, git-receive-pack.exe, git-upload-archive.exe and git-upload-pack.exe and paste these into your C:SSHBin.
Step 5 — Modify the User Environment
- The problem with copSSH is that it sets its $HOME environment to the c:users<name> or c:Documents and Settings<user> variable — and GIT looks for authorized_keys in this folder. Of course, we don’t want this — we setup our Server Environment in the C:SSHHome<user>.ssh and so we want GIT to look for keys in there.
- Open Windows Explorer — go into C:SSHHome<user> and open the .bashrc file using a text editor (Aside: Be sure not to attempt to format this file as it has Unix Encodings NOT Dos encodings — i.e. just open it in a text editor and don’t use another viewer unless you want encoding errors — you don’t need to read the text in this file if you are following these instructions to a tee.)
- Put the Cursor at the beginning of the .bashrc file and use CTRL+F to find the following text — bashrc file.
- # User dependent .bashrc file
- After the text .bashrc file# (after the pound with a space) — paste in — export HOME=/c/SSH/home/<user> — i.e. in our case export HOME=/c/SSH/home/Administrator
- Ensure there is a “space” before and after this paste in — i.e. .bashrc file#<space>export HOME=/c/SSH/home/Administrator<space>Shell Options#
- Save this file and close it.
- Copy this file and navigate to your windows assigned home directory (Aside: GIT will still be looking for your path in this directory so we need to set to refer to our C:SSHHome<user> directory instead)
- Paste this in your c:users<name> or c:Documents and Settings<user> — so it now has c:users<name>.bashrc for example.
- Open both a Git Bash (Right Click mouse in Explorer) and a Start → Programs → copSSH → Start a Unix Bash Shell — Unix Bash shell
- Type echo $HOME — into both — they should both spit out — /c/SSH/Home/<user>
- If one does not — you need to set it via — export HOME=/c/SSH/home/<user>
Step 6 — Install TortiseGIT
- Install TortiseGIT per the standard installer using plink.exe (Aside: This should be the same as that setting at Step 4.4)
- Once the install has completed, open Windows Explorer.
- Right Click on anything and goto TortiseGIT → Settings
- Select General and ensure the MSysGit path is seting to C:Program FilesGitbin (x32) or C:Program Files (x86)Gitbin (x64)
- Select Network and ensure that this is set to the same plink.exe path that we set in Step 6.1.
- Select Save then OK.
Step 7 — Using GIT and Plink
- Navigate to c:SSHHome<user> and create a new directory called <myapp>.git — i.e. c:SSHHomeAdministratormyapp.git
- Right click on this new directory and select Git Bash
- When the window loads enter git — bare init
- You’ll now see a (BARE: master) appear and can close the window.
- Navigate to c:Program FilesPuTTY and open pageant.exe — a small icon will appear in your system tray at the bottom right hand corner of your screen (a PC with a Hat on it) — open this and add your key from c:SSHHomeAdministrator.sshprivate_key.ppk (Aside: I recommend adding pageant.exe to your Start → Startup folder so this will load each time you start your PC. To do this, goto Start → PuTTY and right click on pageant.exe. Then change the target path to c:<path-to-dir>pageant.exe dir:<path_to_private_key>private_key.ppk. Then drag pageant.exe to your StartUp folder — this will then load both pageant.exe and your private key each time the system loads. Refer here if confused.)
- Now it’s time to clone this repository to our local development environment and finally start using GIT
- Navigate to where you want to have your local repository — in my case D:Git
- Right click inside this Directory and hit Git Clone
- Enter your URL as ssh://<user>@<ip_address>:<port number>/SSH/Home/<user>/<git directory> — i.e. in our case ssh://email@example.com:4837/SSH/Home/administrator/myapp.git
- The Directory should have the correct path — i.e. in my case D:Gitmyapp
- There is no need to Load Putty Key as we have already done this using pageant in Step 7.5.
- Hit OK and with a bit of luck (a lot of luck) you will get a successful clone.
Step 8 — The Real Test
- Cloning is one thing — the real test is pushing a new commit.
- Go to your newly cloned directory — D:Gitmyapp
- Add a New Text Document.txt
- Go back to just D:Git → Right Click on the Folder → Git Commit → “master” …
- Enter a new Commit message “Test” & tick the checkbox for Not Versioned commit on the file New Text Document.txt.
- Hit OK & then hit Push.
- Ensure Local: master to Remote: master (for this test) & Remote: origin
- Hit OK and you should get below
Counting objects: 1, done.
Compressing objects: 100% (1/1)
Writing objects: 100% (1/1)
Writing objects: 100% (1/1), 244 bytes, done.
Total 1 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0)
0526eba..a1bf4a4 master -> master
If yes (get a beer), if no (see Problem Guide and get ready for tears, profane language and keyboard bashing)
- I don’t understand how to install copSSH — can’t you add some pictures? No, but this guy can.
- I want to add another directory instead of installing my GIT repo in the home account ? OK, see here which must be done via Unix Bash.
- When I check services.msc — I can see that the service has stopped :( — what can I do ? You can setup a dependent copSSH service if you are brave. (tip: if you don’t know what you are doing, don’t stop the service ever — when you make changes to c:SSHetc directory restart your PC instead)
- Can I create keys with less encryption than 4096 from Step 3.5? You can never have enough encryption so no (well at least it’s my opinion!)
- I cant connect via PuTTY? You may have to regenerate your keys via puttygen.exe and put them back into your /.ssh/authorized_keys file per the Step 3 Instructions above.
- I keep getting “fatal: the remote end hung up unexpectedly”? Open a Git Bash window and type echo $HOME — ensure it is set to /c/SSH/Home/<user>/. If it is not — enter export HOME=/c/SSH/home/<user>
- I get “fatal: connection refused”? Check that you have correctly opened the port you have set on the service per Step 1.
- I get “fatal: no authorized methods accepted”? You will have to regenerate your keys with puttygen.exe and follow steps per 3.
- I get “git-upload-pack:command not found”? You must ensure that you have completed Step 4.7 and copied the relevant files into your c:SSHBin directory.
- Sorry cannot read your mind? But these guys can help instantly.