Digital Geography

12. April 2017

Off Topic: self hosted GIT-server with Bonobo

This might be a bit off-topic for some of you but it was on my desk recently. Furthermore I think this might be interesting for GEO/GIS folks as well: host your own GIT. With GIT your efforts on working together on documents or solutions might be a bit easier. Normally we use GitHub:
GitHub is a web-based Git or version control repository and Internet hosting service
If you don’t know what GIT/GitHub is about:

But what if you have just limited access to the outer world in terms of policies, compliance or just a “bad feeling” in storing/sharing your data, ideas and work items on an external server using an external service provider like GitHub. One solution is to host your own version control system. This is fairly easy if your are part of the Linux world. One candidate here is GitLab:

GitLab install options

But what about you as a Windows “fanboy”?

Meet the Bonobo

For one of my projects I needed to restrict myself to virtual windows server only as the IT guys only supported those. So I searched for a GitHub-like application to host on my own machine so I can use the power of git, with a plattform like GitHub inside my very closed environment. There were two candidates on first sight: GitStack and Bonobo Git Server. As GitStack only offered 2 users for free, my choice was clear: Let’s try out Bonobo…

The Installation

As my virtual machine was already running Windows Server R2012 there was no need to install IIS but of course I needed some other components as described in the installation guide. But the installation itself should also work on Windows 7 or Windows 10 once you’ve taken care of the prerequisities. And it went surprisingly fine without any issues!

Have fun with the Bonobo

Once installed I was ready to go. You can create repos using the frontend, create users and user groups. Once done I faced an issue with authentification which I not understood completely but I solved it by adding all needed users as a server user as well. There are other ways but for a rapid prototyping this was my fastest way to enable other users to clone the repositories as well as to contribute. Generally spoke Bonobo offers you some feature you might know from Github (organization control, file explorer, overview of the commits, branch explorer):

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Unfortunately you don’t get the whole issue tracking. This is a pitty but as Bonobo is still maintained and enhanced (version #6.0 was released recently) I am looking forward a bright future regarding this open source alternative for Windows users when it comes to GIT.
  • Dana Diotte

    Did you by any change take a look at Gogs (https://gogs.io)? Gogs is much more lightweight than GitLab. I haven’t heard of Bonobo until now. I’ll take a look at Bonobo and compare the three. Nice to see other GIS folk using Git for projects.

    • Hi Dana,

      yes, my colleague Daniel just mentioned the name 2hours after I wrote the article. #gogs looks very promising and has far more features compared to bonobo. I’ll give it a try.