Insanely Awesome Web Interface for Your Git Repos

Almost 80-90 people visit How To: Install and Configure GitWeb everyday in search of setting up a web interface for their git repositories. Though gitweb is nice, it’s a bit painful to setup and the web interface is not that appealing. The other day I received this email from Klaus Silveira

Hello Kulbir,
I saw your article about installing Gitweb and i decided to send this shameless self-promotion. Maybe you could try my open-source project, GitList https://github.com/klaussilveira/gitlist

I’m looking for beta testers and supporters. FLOSS. :)

So, I thought I’ll just give it a try. Today, I got it working and was blown away by the amazing interface! It’s almost like a super simplified version of GitHub. I was so impressed that I immediately setup a demo website at git.gofedora.com for others to look at and fall in love :-)Another good thing about GitList is that it’s very simple to setup. Below is a step by step process to install and configure GitList to expose your public Git repositories to the internet.

What You Need?

You need the following packages before you can setup GitList.

Installing Required Packages

Most modern operating systems have the above mentioned packages installed by default. Even if you don’t have them already, you can use your OS package manager to install them quickly. To install on Fedora/RedHat/CentOS using yum, use the following command

[root@whitemagnet.com ~]$ yum install php git httpd

For Ubuntu/Debian, use the following command

[root@whitemagnet.com ~]$ apt-get install php git apache2

Assumptions

For setting up GitList, I am assuming the following directory paths and other variables.

  • Path to public Git repositories : /home/saini/code/public/
  • Path to Apache document root : /var/www/html/
  • Path to Git executable : /usr/bin/git (Use “which git” to find out for your OS)
  • Web URL for browsing git repos : mygit.example.com/gitlist/

Installing and Configuring GitList

Follow the following simple steps to install and configure GitList.

Step 1 : Clone GitList repository from GitHub to /var/www/html/gitlist/

[root@whitemagnet.com ~]$ cd /var/www/html/
[root@whitemagnet.com html]$ git clone git://github.com/klaussilveira/gitlist.git gitlist

Step 2 : Create cache directory and make it globally writable

[root@whitemagnet.com ~]$ cd gitlist
[root@whitemagnet.com gitlist]$ mkdir cache
[root@whitemagnet.com gitlist]$ chmod 777 cache

Step 3 : Configure GitList using config.ini

Open the config.ini (in gitlist directory) and set the option properly. Refer the sample shown below.

[git]
client = '/usr/bin/git' ; Your git executable path
repositories = '/home/saini/code/public/' ; Path to your repositories (with ending slash)
 
[app]
baseurl = 'http://mygit.exmaple.com/gitlist' ; Base URL of the application (without ending slash)

Step 4 : Make sure your Apache can read your .htaccess file in gitlist directory

GitList utilizes Apache’s mod_rewrite module to  provide nice URLs. Make sure your Apache is configured to read .htaccess from the gitlist directory. Open your Apache config file (generally located at /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf or /etc/apache2/ports.conf) and look for the following

<Directory "/var/www/html">

In this segment, make sure you have AllowOverride All as below.

<Directory "/var/www/html">
# Other lines omitted
AllowOverride All
# Other lines omitted
</Directory>

Step 5 : Reload or restart Apache daemon if needed

[root@whitemagnet.com ~]$ apachctl -k restart (or apache2ctl -k restart for Ubuntu/Debian)

Step 6 : Get some sample repositories in your public repo directory

Get some sample repositories in your public repo directory from GitHub.

[root@whitemagnet.com ~]$ cd /home/saini/code/public/
[root@whitemagnet.com ~]$ git clone git://github.com/kulbirsaini/intelligentmirror.git
[root@whitemagnet.com ~]$ git clone git://github.com/kulbirsaini/Railscasts-Sync.git
[root@whitemagnet.com ~]$ git clone git://github.com/zilkey/active_hash.git

That’s all! Now, go to http://mygit.example.com/gitlist to discover your public git repos via a cool web interface! Leave a comment if you face any issues.

 

Getting Started With Git

I have been using Git for years now and I am still a novice user. Actually, if you are an individual developer or work in a really small team, you don’t really need to go beyond using the basic stuff like cloning a repo, committing code, branching and pushing back to the origin repo. And that’s exactly what happened with me. Working alone most of the times and working in my own repos. I never felt the need to explore advanced usage.

Last week, we didn’t have internet at home for like four days. So, I thought I’ll read a book. I downloaded ProGit : The Free Git Book and started reading. It’s an awesomely written book. I learned a lot of new things about Git. A few more concept about using branches efficiently. If you are a Git beginner or looking forward to getting started with Git and you don’t like reading too much, I’ll suggest that you read at least first three chapters thoroughly. That along with a free GitHub account should be enough to get you going if you are not going to be a heavy Git user soon.

 

Javascript To Remove All Facebook Apps From Your Account

This is a guest post by Gaganpreet Arora AKA bitgeek.

My Facebook app list was cluttered with useless apps accumulated over the time I had joined Facebook. The worst thing is that Facebook does not allow you to remove multiple apps in one go. You have to select one, confirm on “Are you sure?” first and then click on “Okay” when it is deleted. Very cumbersome. So I wrote a Javascript hack to remove all of the apps in one go.

Warning: This will actually delete all the apps

Step 1

Go to: http://www.facebook.com/editapps.php?v=allowed.

Step 2

Select and copy the complete code below and paste it into the address bar.

javascript:
function postwith (to,p)
{
  var myForm = document.createElement("form");
  myForm.method="post" ; myForm.action = to ;
  for (var k in p)
  {
    var myInput = document.createElement("input") ;
    myInput.setAttribute("name", k) ;
    myInput.setAttribute("value", p[k]);
    myForm.appendChild(myInput) ;
  }
  document.body.appendChild(myForm) ;
  myForm.submit() ;
  document.body.removeChild(myForm) ;
}
 
function getElementsByClassName(classname, node)
{
  if (!node)
  {
    node = document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0];
  }
  var a = [], re = new RegExp('\\b' + classname + '\\b');
  els = node.getElementsByTagName('*');
  for (var i = 0, j = els.length; i &lt; j; i++)
  {
    if ( re.test(els[i].className) )
    { a.push(els[i]); }
  }
  return a;
}
 
var arr = [];
els=document.getElementsByClassName('app_row');
arr['fb_dtsg']=document.getElementsByName('fb_dtsg')[0].value;
arr['remove'] = 1;
arr['post_form_id_source']='AsyncRequest';
arr['post_form_id'] = document.getElementById('post_form_id').value;
arr['app_id']=els[0].id.replace("editapps_allowed_","");
arr['__a'] = 1;
for (i=0; i
<h3><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Step 3</strong></span></h3>
Press Enter.
 
The browser may get stuck for a few moments if the list is large, so if it does, just wait a bit and it will respond back.
<h3><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>References</strong></span></h3>
Function postwith was taken from <a href="http://mentaljetsam.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/using-javascript-to-post-data-between-pages/">here</a>, and getElementsByClassName was taken from <a href="http://snipplr.com/view/1696/get-elements-by-class-name/">here</a>.
 

Tip: Multiproxy Switch : Easily use multiple proxies in Firefox

A lot of people (especially working people with mobile devices like notebook/netbooks) need to use different proxy servers at home and office. There are several Firefox extensions available to achieve the required functionality but IMHO Multiproxy Switch(Mozilla Addon Page) is the best because

  1. Its simple and easy to use. It does what it should. No fancy/extra terrestrial stuff. Just switch proxies :)
  2. Easy and Firefox like interface to specify different proxies. Many extensions add their own fancy interfaces for specifying proxies which eventually suck big time.
  3. I am a fan of this one. The No-Proxy list. I could never understand those regular expression based no-proxy lists in FoxyProxy. Multiproxy Switch has Firefox like No-Proxy list which rocks and understandable :)

If you happen to come across a better proxy switcher for Firefox, do let us know :)

 

How To: Save yourself from stupid Tech Support Questions

Almost every other geek is pwned by his friends or people he/she knows by their stupid tech support questions. And sometime they drag you to the limits that you get frustrated enough to shoot yourself and bang your head onto your computer screen 😛 How on earth can someone be so stupid 😛 But luckily I found a Pidgin Plugin called STFW(Search The F**king Web). This is one really awesome plugin I have seen recently and I (and most other geeks) needed something like this for ages :)

What it does?

When somebody asks you a question, you can reply back with relevant keywords from the message you received prefixed with the command /stfw. The plugin will automatically convert the keywords to a URL understood by the site Let Me Google That For You (lmgtfy.com) and asker will get a URL like this http://lmgtfy.com/?q=what+is+http.

How to use?

The Download, installation and usage instruction can be seen on plugin page. So, when someone ask you “Wireless not working on my laptop”, just reply back with the following message

/stfw Wireless not working on my laptop

C’mon guys, ask me tech support questions 😛

 

How To: Install PHP 5.3 on CentOS 5.1 or RHEL 5.1

PHP 5.2 and PHP 5.3 has tons of functionalities which are not provided by PHP 5.1 and PHP 5.1 is the most recent version of PHP available in CentOS 5.1 and RHEL 5.1 via updates. Also, its difficult for people to upgrade OS(s) on production servers frequently and especially if the servers are running absolutely fine, it doesn’t really make sense to upgrade just for the heck of it. One more reason for no upgrades is the OS choices provided by many hosting companies. But a lot of CMS(s) and softwares are now recommending at least PHP 5.2 for an extended feature set.

I tried a lot of repos for CentOS including RPM Fusion, RPM Forge, EPEL etc., but none of them could provide even PHP 5.2. In some corner of my mind, I had a faint idea of Remi Collet publishing updates about Remi repository. Did a quick google search and found out that PHP 5.3 is actually available in the repository 😀

So, if you are really in need of PHP5.3 on your CentOS/RHEL 5.1 or lesser, head over to Repository Configuration Page and follow the instructions.

Note: The repository is not enabled on install (enabled=0). You need to enable it in /etc/yum.repos.d/remi.repo.

Once installed and enabled, you can update PHP, MySQL from remi repository using the following command

[root@fedora ~]$ yum update php php-* mysql-*

Warning: Drupal is still not totally compatible with PHP5.3 and if you run Drupal sites, be sure to investigate things before upgrading.

 

How To: New Mail Notification

mbooth commented on one of my last post (How To: GNOME GMail Notifier) informing that he/she uses mail-notification. I was curious to check it out for mail via IMAP and I found it way more useful as compared to Gnome Gmail Notifier. I especially like the option to configure it to check the mails every ten seconds. Thats way cool for anxious people like me :) Keeping in mind the huge advantages of mail-notification, I thought of writing an howto for configuring it :)

Install Mail Notification

Installing something can’t be simpler. Just use the following command as root

[root@fedora ~]$ yum install mail-notification

Configuring mail-notification is very simple. Its as easy as it can get but there are tricks for special cases like Gmail for  Google Apps hosted websites.

Launch Mail Notification

Mail notification loses a point here. It doesn’t show up in any of the menus. You have to launch it from command line. You can launch mail-notification from System -> Preferences -> Mail Notification (Thanks mbooth for correcting). Or use the following command as normal user to launch mail notification

[saini@fedora ~]$ mail-notification -p

Configure Status Icon Behaviour

On mail notification properties windows, select Status Icon tab and choose the appropriate behaviour.

Mail Notification Status Icon Action

New Message Popup Settings

Now go to Message Popups tab, and select appropriate options. If you don’t enable popups, using mail notification doesn’t really make sense (though none can prevent you from doing so :) ). Keeping popus stacked is good because it shows you all messages in case you get more than one new mails in an interval. Also, you can configure the expiration time for the popups.

Mail Notification Message Popups Settings

Add New Mailbox

Now select General tab and click of Add button. Mail-notification supports checking new mails from Evolution, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Windows Live Mail, any IMAP and POP3 Server and moreover your system mailbox :) Select Gmail for mailbox type. Enter username and password for Gmail account.

Mail Notification Supported Mailboxes

Mail Notification Add Gmail Account

Now move over to Details tab and set delay between checking mails. I keep it 10 seconds :)

Mail Notification Gmail Account Settings

Add a Google Apps Hosted Email Account

This is totally optional :) Now we’ll add a Google Apps hosted account. This is a bit tricky. For mailbox type, you’ll have to select Gmail. For username, you’ll have to provide your email address.

Mail Notification Add Google Apps Hosted Account

Also, the mailbox name has to be modified in this case to make things work. Move over to Details tab and change mailbox name to your email address.

Mail Notification Google Apps Hosted Account Settings

Add a new IMAP mailbox (Gmail)

This is totally optional :) Keep mailbox type as IMAP. IMAP Server has to be imap.gmail.com . Username and password are same as Gmail Account.

Note: For this mailbox to work, you’ll have to enable IMAP in settings tab in Gmail.

Mail Notification Gmail IMAP Account

Now move over to Connection tab. Connection for Gmail IMAP has to be SSL enabled. So, select “SSL/TLS on separate port” and make sure the port number is 993.

Mail Notification Gmail IMAP Account Connection Settings

Well thats all you need to do for configuring things for getting new mail notifications lightning fast :) Now sit back and relax until someone sends you a mail :)

The only major disadvantage that I found with mail-notification is that it doesn’t stay in notification area all the time. It appears only when there is a new mail.

 

How To: Configure Dual Display with ATI Radeon (fglrx)

As promised in my last post (News: ATI Catalyst Display Drivers 9.9 Released), I am back with a post on configuring dual display with ATI Radeon HD Graphics Card and proprietary catalyst (fglrx) drivers from ATI.

Hardware Used

Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 3200 (256MB, onboard)
Monitor 0: ViewSonic VG1930WM 1440×900 (19″ LCD, Connected via DVI port)
Monitor 1: Samsung SyncMaster 793S 1280×1024 (17″ CRT, Connected via VGA port)

Types of Dual Display

  • Mirror: Both screens have same content, identical refresh rate and resolution.
  • Clone: Both screens have same content but refresh rates and resolutions can be different.
  • Horizontal: Both screens can have different content, refresh rates and resolution. Screen 1 is left or right of Screen2.
  • Vertical: Same as horizontal. The only difference is that Screen1 is above or below Screen2.

In this post, we are interested in Horizontal setup with xinerama on. This way we can have two desktops allowing full screen modes on both of them and allowing us to drag and drop windows from one screen to the other.

Install ATI Drivers

If you don’t have ATI drivers installed already, follow this How To: Install ATI Catalyst (fglrx) Drivers on Fedora 11 (works for any version of ATI Catalyst drivers).

Generate xorg.conf file

If you don’t see the xorg.conf file at /etc/X11/xorg.conf, then you need to generate it to proceed to next step. Use the following command as root to generate one

[root@fedora ~]$ Xorg -configure

This command will generate the default xorg.conf file at /root/xorg.conf.new. Copy it to /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

[root@fedora ~]$ cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Backup xorg.conf file

Backup your original xorg.conf file so that you can restore it in case the configuration doesn’t work the way you expected.

[root@fedora ~]$ cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup

Generate Configuration for Dual Display

Now we are ready to generate the configuration for dual display. Use the following command with appropriate arguments (in accordance with your hardware configuration)

# --screen-layout will place second screen on left of your first screen. Other possible values are right,above,below.
# --xinerama=on option enables you to have two different desktops and one of them being passive.
# You can drag and drop windows from one desktop to the other. Task bars appear only on one of the desktops.
[root@fedora ~]$ aticonfig --initial=dual-head --screen-layout=left --xinerama=on
# --resolution=_screen_number_,widthxheight
[root@fedora ~]$ aticonfig --resolution=0,1440x900 --resolution=1,1280x1024
# Set horizontal sync and vertical refresh rates for both monitors.
[root@fedora ~]$ aticonfig --hsync=0,30-60 --hsync=1,30-60 --vrefresh=0,30-60 --vrefresh=1,30-60

You can download my xorg.conf file via this link.

Reboot or Logout and Login Again

If you just setup your ATI drivers and configured the dual display, you need to reboot so that fglrx module can be loaded properly. If you rebooted after setting up the drivers, just logout and login again to checkout your dual display :) If everything works fine, say thanks to me and if not blame ATI 😛

Adjust DPI for Normal Font Size

I faced a problem with my font sizes being too big while using xinerama. It was easy to fix by adjusting DPI. Go to System -> Preferences -> Appearance. Go to Fonts tab. Click Details located near the bottom right corner. On that window, try descreasing the “Dots Per Inch” value. Mine worked fine with 85 DPI.

Below is an image of my dual display setup. Click to enlarge.

Dual Display Configuration ViewSonic Samsung Using ATI Radeon Catalyst (fglrx)

 

How To: GNOME GMail Notifier

GNOME GMail (Google GMail) Notifier is an awesome tool for GNOME/Linux users if you are addicted to checking mails every few minutes. GMail Notifier solves a bit of your problems by notifying about multiple gmail accounts. One more plus point is that it can display GMail Notifications for new mails in accounts for which you are using Google Apps. Below is a step by step howto on installing and configuring GMail Notifier in Fedora (may apply to other distros as well).

Install GNOME GMail Notifier

You can download and install it from GNOME GMail notifier home page or just use yum

[root@fedora ~]$ yum install gnome-gmail-notifier

Launch Gmail Notifier

If installation was successful, go to Applications -> Internet -> Gmail Notifier.

GNOME Gmail Notifier

Open Preferences

Right click on Email icon in taskbar and click Preferences.

GNOME Gmail Notifier Select Prefreneces

Select Preferences

Set inbox update time to 1 minute. Check display notifications for new messages and errors. Also select a sound to play for new mails.

GNOME Gmail Notifier Prefreneces

Add GMail Account

Click Add on preferences window and add your GMail account.

GNOME Gmail Notifier Add GMail Account

Add Mail Account (Google Apps) (Optional)

If you don’t know what Google Apps is, leave this step. If you do know, then add your mail account.

GNOME Gmail Notifier Add Google Apps Account

Check Mail

If you can’t wait for 1 minutes to see GMail Notifier in action, just right click on email icon in taskbar and click Check Mail.

GNOME Gmail Notifier Check New Mails

Mail Notifications

Whenever you get a new mail, you’ll have bubble like the one in image below and a sound will also be played.

GNOME Gmail Notifier New Mail Notification

Enjoy the notifications :)

 

How To: Install and Use Twython (Python Wrapper for Twitter API)

As promised in my previous post, here is a brief howto on getting started with twython. The main advantage of Twython over several other python (or any other language) wrappers for Twitter API is that it works even when you are behind your organizations proxy.

Download Twython

You can download latest version of twython from twython page on github. You can either clone using git (if you have git installed) or can click the download button.

Install Twython

Once you are done with extracting the downloaded tar file. Change directory to twython and run these command as root.

1
2
3
4
5
6
[root@fedora ~]$ git clone git://github.com/ryanmcgrath/twython.git
[root@fedora ~]$ cd twython/dist
[root@fedora dist]$ tar -xvzf twython-0.8.tar.gz
[root@fedora dist]$ cd twython-0.8/
[root@fedora dist]$ python setup.py build
[root@fedora dist]$ python setup.py install

Use Twython from Python Interpreter

Below is a direct copy paste lines from my interpreter. See how things are working (learning by doing).

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
[saini@bordeaux ~]$ python
Python 2.6 (r26:66714, Mar 17 2009, 11:44:21) 
[GCC 4.4.0 20090313 (Red Hat 4.4.0-0.26)] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> # first of all, import twython module
>>> import twython
>>> # Authenticate your twitter account with your twitter username
... # and password with twitter.setup method.
>>> client = twython.setup('Basic','myusername','mypassword')
>>> client.authenticated
True
>>> #Lets update our current status on twitter with some cool message.
>>> client.updateStatus('Testing #twython. The coolest #TwitterAPI :)')
>>> # Now go and check your current status on twitter. Surprised!!!
>>> # Get your or anyone's followers
>>> client.getFollowersIDs(screen_name='gofedora')
>>> # Output truncated.
>>> # Get help for any function.
>>> print client.createFriendship.__doc__
createFriendship(id = None, user_id = None, screen_name = None, follow = "false")
 
	Allows the authenticating users to follow the user specified in the ID parameter.
	Returns the befriended user in the requested format when successful. Returns a
	string describing the failure condition when unsuccessful. If you are already
	friends with the user an HTTP 403 will be returned.
 
	Parameters:
		** Note: One of the following is required. (id, user_id, screen_name)
		id - Required. The ID or screen name of the user to befriend.
		user_id - Required. Specfies the ID of the user to befriend. Helpful for disambiguating when a valid user ID is also a valid screen name. 
		screen_name - Required. Specfies the screen name of the user to befriend. Helpful for disambiguating when a valid screen name is also a user ID. 
		follow - Optional. Enable notifications for the target user in addition to becoming friends. 
>>>

So now you are ready to do wonders with twython. Write your own code and blog/brag about it :)