Upgrading to Git 1.5.4Edit

These notes were made while upgrading to Git 1.5.4.

Local upgrade

These notes were made performing the upgrade on Mac OS X 10.5.1 Leopard, using a local clone of the central Git repository.

# get new stuff from upstream
git fetch

# check the signature on the tag
git tag -v v1.5.4

# switching working tree to v1.5.4
git checkout v1.5.4

# clean up any cruft that might be lying around
make clean

# build, run tests, and generate docs
make prefix=/usr/local test doc

# install
sudo make prefix=/usr/local install install-doc

In order to build the docs you need the documentation toolchain in place; see "Setting up the Git documentation build chain on Mac OS X Leopard".

Remote upgrade

On the remote server (running RHEL 3) I installed from the tarball instead.


wget http://kernel.org/pub/software/scm/git/git-1.5.4.tar.bz2 \

Before verifying the signature some set-up of GPG is necessary; see "Upgrading to Git on Red Hat Enterprise Linux" for more details.

gpg --verify git-1.5.4.tar.bz2.sign git-1.5.4.tar.bz2


# extract
tar xjvf git-1.5.4.tar.bz2
cd git-1.5.4

# build and test
nice make prefix=/usr/local test

# install
sudo make prefix=/usr/local install

# get man pages
cd ..
wget http://www.kernel.org/pub/software/scm/git/git-manpages-1.5.4.tar.bz2 \

# verify
gpg --verify git-manpages-1.5.4.tar.bz2.sign git-manpages-1.5.4.tar.bz2

# install
sudo tar xjv -C /usr/local/man -f git-manpages-1.5.4.tar.bz2

Updating gitweb

# from top-level of Git source tree
make clean
make prefix=/usr/local \
     GITWEB_PROJECTROOT=/pub/git/path_to_public_repos \
     GITWEB_LIST=/pub/git/conf/gitweb-projects \
     GITWEB_CSS="/gitweb.css" \
     GITWEB_LOGO="/git-logo.png" \
     GITWEB_FAVICON="/git-favicon.png" \
     GITWEB_CONFIG="/pub/git/conf/gitweb.conf" \
sudo -u git cp gitweb/gitweb.{cgi,css} \
               gitweb/git-*.png \

Fixing git daemon breakage

When git daemon handles incoming connections it will try to launch other Git commands such as git upload-pack, git upload-archive and git receive-pack.

A change in 1.5.4 means that Git now only looks in the PATH for such commands, not in the directory of the currently running Git executable. This in turn broke my git daemon set-up because I install Git into /usr/local, and I launch git daemon from within xinetd, but the PATH environment provided by xinetd does not include /usr/local/bin.

In other words, incoming connections work because I specified an absolute path (/usr/local/bin/git-daemon) in the xinetd configuration. But as soon as the client attempts to send or receive any data, the daemon tries to launch one of the other processes and fails because /usr/local/bin is not in the PATH. So it worked under and in previous versions, but it wouldn’t work under 1.5.4.

To fix this I had to add a line like this to my /etc/xinetd.d/git file:

        env = PATH=/bin:/usr/bin:/usr/local/bin

Another alternative would be to pass the --exec-path option to git as follows:

        server = /usr/local/bin/git
        server_args = --exec-path=/usr/local/bin daemon --inetd --base-path=/blah -- /blah

The alternative workaround would be to install Git under /usr rather than /usr/local. I am not sure if this qualifies as breakage or not — it is not unreasonable to expect people to have a correctly configured PATH; it is just a little surprising when you specify an absolute path to the git-daemon executable and it doesn’t work — so I am not sure if this will be fixed in upstream Git.

Update: later git daemon breakage

See "fatal: protocol error: bad line length character" for how I ran into trouble when another change was made in between 1.6.1 and 1.6.2 (although I only discovered the error when I updated to

At the time of writing (running Git 1.6.4), I use neither the explicit --exec-path switch nor the env setting in the /etc/xinetd.d/git file.

Hoping this kind of problem won’t crop up again. It’s been an unfortunate consequence of my decision to install under /usr/local/ (something which I thought qualified as "standard practice", but evidently is not standard enough for it to be trouble-free).