Friday, July 29, 2011

How To Use Your DropBox.COM Folder As a Git Repository with Tortoise Git

Update: If you have lost your Tortoise Git overlay icons, you need to do some registry work. See the bottom of this article.

You probably came to this article because you are new to the Git Revision Control System and want to know where to store the "source control database" somewhere other than your own computer.

In my specific situation, I develop software under the Windows OS and I may have some side-project such as some research I am doing outside of my work.

GitHub.com is great, and I use it for my business but in order to get your own private GiT repository, you have to pay. They only allows you to let you have a repository if it is open to the public. But in my case, I use Git not just for software source code but many other types of files, for example, my next epic surf novel.

The main problem for me is that I would like to maintain my small repositories without a need to have an elaborate GiT server. Fortunately a GiT repository server can be nothing more than a file system that's accessible from your computer, and even better there are many "cloud disk" services around, many of them are free. The Dropbox.com based cloud disk is very convenient because it maintains the local cache, so the interaction with GiT is very fast. You just need to remember to allow it the time to synchronize the data.

Before moving forward with my example, I assume that you have installed the Windows Git and Tortoise Git on your Windows machine. I also assume that you have used Git for other stuff, for example at your work, so you are generally familiar with synchronizing your own Git repository against the server.

So here are some very straight forward steps to do.

  1. On your DropBox, create a folder which has the name of your repository. For now I will call it MyRepo
  2. From your explorer go inside MyRepo
  3. Right click and select "Git create repository here..."
  4. A dialog box will appear with a box that says "Make it bare." You need to click that check box and OK.
  5. On  any other local disk, I assume you already have your project Git that you want to synchronize.
  6. Go your local project Git folder.
  7. Right click on the folder from the Explorer and select Tortoise Git, and select Settings submenu
  8. On the dialog box navigate down to the Git node and select the Remote sub node.
  9. You are likely to have the "origin" as the remote repository, but you may have others. Select whichever one you would like to connect it to the one on the Dropbox.
  10. On the URL box, type in the path on the dropbox containing the bare bone repo you have just created. For example, C:\Users\Manabu\Dropbox\MyRepo
Now you can synchronize between your repo and the one on the Dropbox.

Fixing the Lost Overlay Icons

Go to http://www.sitepoint.com/missing-tortoisesvn-file-status-overlay-icons/ for more information. But the key for this is to go to


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers


and then remove anything you don't need above and beyond 11 total that's allowed.






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