Gitolite – How to create users?

I tried to install git + gitolite following this manual – using root instalation from server.
I just do not understand if new gitolite users have to have their user accounts?. When I add key into keydir folder and configure access to some repository, git always ask for a password and do not allow me to clone anything

git clone
Initialized empty Git repository in /home/testuser/git/testrepo/.git/'s password:
Permission denied (publickey,password).
fatal: The remote end hung up unexpectedly

I don’t believe that create system account (adduser testuser) is neccessarry because gitolite should be installable and configurable even without root access onto server.

So could anybody please show me what I have misunderstood?

Thank you very much.


Well… I reinstall gitolite using client instalation transcript. Now adding and pushing new pub keys successfully changes ~/.ssh/authorized_keys for my git user on server. So it seems better than my first try.
But I still can not clone any repozitory from another place.
When I try to add pub key + edit config for my windows PC with msysgit, then try

$ git clone
cloning into project...
Fatal ERROR: unable to authenticate
Fatal: the remote end hung up unexpectedly

On other hand when try another linux, it still request for password.

# git clone
Cloning into project...'s password: 

Even when I provide password for git user:

fatal: 'project.git' does not appear to be a git repository
fatal: The remote end hung up unexpectedly

This was probably caused by broaken system account.

Now I really dont know what to do – should I create somehow .ssh/config on each client to make it work?

Now I am starting to be little bit annoyed and upset and I will probably remove all and try mercurial:-D
Except someone could help me:) Thank you.

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  • 3 Solutions collect form web for “Gitolite – How to create users?”

    Yes thats the problem… me too faced the same.. i created the public key using puttygen ssh2-rsa format gitolite does not accept this. You need to convert to openssh

    ssh-keygen -i -f >

    Now use this converted public key

    There is no ‘keydata‘ folder, only ‘keydir‘ and ‘conf‘ (as mentioned in the documentation).

    If you have cloned locally the gitolite-admin repo (git clone gitolite@server:gitolite-admin), you need to:

    • add your new public key named after the user in the keydir repo:
    • add that same username in one of the user groups in conf/gitolite.conf
    • push back the new modifications to the gitolite server (there is a special hook on the gitolite-admin repo which will add the new public key to the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file).

    I solved msysgit problem.

    1. I reinsall msysgit and use OPENSSH instead of PUTTY (it is recommended in install manual of gitolite – but I had msysgit installed before)
    2. when generating ssh-key, it must have default name id_rsa otherwise it did not work for me

    Because I always had custom name for key, I can not say if step 1 is neccessary and I won’t try it again:) Now I can clone/commit/push – finally.

    Special thanx to VonC for his patience

    Git Baby is a git and github fan, let's start git clone.