Commit 70256a3a authored by Ramkumar Ramachandra's avatar Ramkumar Ramachandra Committed by Junio C Hamano

shell: Rewrite documentation and improve error message

Update the documentation of 'git shell' to mention the interactive
mode and COMMAND_DIR. Also provide a hint when interactive mode is not
available in the shell.
Signed-off-by: default avatarRamkumar Ramachandra <>
Reviewed-by: default avatarGreg Brockman <gdb@MIT.EDU>
Signed-off-by: default avatarJunio C Hamano <>
parent 54baefda
......@@ -3,24 +3,30 @@ git-shell(1)
git-shell - Restricted login shell for GIT-only SSH access
git-shell - Restricted login shell for Git-only SSH access
'$(git --exec-path)/git-shell' -c <command> <argument>
'git shell' [-c <command> <argument>]
This is meant to be used as a login shell for SSH accounts you want
to restrict to GIT pull/push access only. It permits execution only
of server-side GIT commands implementing the pull/push functionality.
The commands can be executed only by the '-c' option; the shell is not
Currently, only four commands are permitted to be called, 'git-receive-pack'
'git-upload-pack' and 'git-upload-archive' with a single required argument, or
'cvs server' (to invoke 'git-cvsserver').
A login shell for SSH accounts to provide restricted Git access. When
'-c' is given, the program executes <command> non-interactively;
<command> can be one of 'git receive-pack', 'git upload-pack', 'git
upload-archive', 'cvs server', or a command in COMMAND_DIR. The shell
is started in interactive mode when no arguments are given; in this
case, COMMAND_DIR must exist, and any of the executables in it can be
'cvs server' is a special command which executes git-cvsserver.
COMMAND_DIR is the path "$HOME/git-shell-commands". The user must have
read and execute permissions to the directory in order to execute the
programs in it. The programs are executed with a cwd of $HOME, and
<argument> is parsed as a command-line string.
......@@ -149,8 +149,11 @@ int main(int argc, char **argv)
} else if (argc == 1) {
/* Allow the user to run an interactive shell */
if (access(COMMAND_DIR, R_OK | X_OK) == -1)
die("Sorry, the interactive git-shell is not enabled");
if (access(COMMAND_DIR, R_OK | X_OK) == -1) {
die("Interactive git shell is not enabled.\n"
"hint: ~/" COMMAND_DIR " should exist "
"and have read and execute access.");
} else if (argc != 3 || strcmp(argv[1], "-c")) {
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