I have a desktop PC which I use for big jobs — it has a bigger screen and more oomph. But I also have a laptop which I use for day-to-day work that requires less power, and which is also useable in the living-room. So if I do some coding on the laptop, I’d like to have it shared onto the PC. The best way to do this is via Git, but how do you share the same Git repo between two computers? This post shows how to set up a single Git repo on the PC which can be committed to from either the PC or the laptop.
The version of Git you install on the PC needs to allow updates directly to a working copy using the
receive.denyCurrentBranch option. This is only available on Git > 2.3, so to ensure you install the latest Git version add a new repository first:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:git-core/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install git
On the PC, open a terminal in the dir to be used as the Git repo (let’s call it gitstuff), and add a file there to specify files that will not be tracked:
Add .* (dot-star) to it, and then save it.
Set the gitstuff repo to allow updates directly to a working copy:
git config --local receive.denyCurrentBranch updateInstead
Initialise the gitstuff repo on the PC:
git add . # note final dot
git commit -m 'Initial commit'
Note that a push is not necessary, because you are working directly in the git repo.
Clone the new gitstuff repo to the laptop:
git clone ssh://192.168.0.121/home/kevin/data/gitstuff
This should give a new dir on the laptop called gitstuff.
Change into the gitstuff dir:
Choose a file there, make some changes to it, and save them. Then commit the changes and push them back to the Git repo on the PC.
git commit -am "laptop1st"
Now check that those changes have been recorded on the PC. Note that a pull is not necessary, because you are working directly in the git repo, but you may have to refresh the page in your editor if it is already open in order to see the changes.
So let’s go the other way. Make changes to a file on the PC and save them, and then commit:
git commit -am "pc1st"
(Remember, you don’t need to push, because you are working directly in the git repo.)
On the laptop, pull the changes you just made on the PC:
Make more changes to a file on the laptop and save them. Then commit and push:
git commit -am "laptop2nd"
And on you go, making edits on the PC files and committing them, and pulling/editing/committing/pushing files on the laptop. Git records both sets of changes in one repo on the PC.
Some issues you might come across:
(1) If you commit some changes on the PC, then commit some changes on the laptop, and try to push a commit from laptop to PC without doing
git pull, it will be rejected (with a message like:
Updates were rejected because the remote contains work that you do not have locally). On the laptop, do
git pull to get the latest edits from the PC – git will do a merge, opening an editor to allow you to add a merge message (you can just exit it to leave an empty one). Then do
git push as normal to commit from the laptop to the PC.
(2) If you made some edits on the PC and did not commit them, and you then commit some changes on the laptop and then push, the push will fail because git will refuse to overwrite the uncommitted changes on the PC (with a message like:
Working directory has unstaged changes). On the PC, do
git commit -am "message" to commit the changes there, and then on the laptop do
git pull to get the new commit from the PC, and then
git push to send the failed commit on the laptop to the PC.
(3) If you commit some changes on the PC, but have made some changes on the laptop which have not been committed, doing
git pull on the laptop will fail (with a message like: Your local changes would be overwritten). On the laptop, do
git commit -am "message" to commit the changes on the laptop. Then do
git pull to get the latest material from the PC, and
git push to send the failed commit from the laptop to the PC.