How to setup gitweb with lighttpd on Ubuntu

Gitweb is a web interface for browsing a git repository (or a set of git repositories) using your web browser. This post will explain how to set it up on Ubuntu and lighttpd.

I'm assuming:

  • you have git and lighttpd installed
  • you know how to use git
  • you have some git repositories that you want to put on gitweb

First, install gitweb from the Ubuntu repositories:

sudo apt-get install gitweb

After it installs, open the file /etc/gitweb.conf with your favorite text editor, find the line that defines the $projectroot variable, and change it to use the path of the directory with all of your git repositories in it. For example, if all of your git repositories are in /home/git/projects, edit the line to say

$projectroot = "/home/git/projects";

Now edit /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf. If you don't already have them enabled, you'll need to add mod_alias and mod_cgi to the server.modules list.

server.modules += (

Next, you'll want to make a section that looks something like this:

$HTTP["host"] =~ "^$" {
    cgi.assign = (
        ".cgi" => "/usr/bin/perl"
    alias.url += (
        "/gitweb.css"      => "/usr/share/gitweb/gitweb.css",
        "/git-logo.png"    => "/usr/share/gitweb/git-logo.png",
        "/git-favicon.png" => "/usr/share/gitweb/git-favicon.png",
        "/"                => "/usr/lib/cgi-bin/gitweb.cgi"

This assumes you want gitweb to be available at You'll obviously want to change the hostname to the domain your using. If you want to use a sub-directory like, just change the last alias to say "/gitweb/" instead of "/".

Gitweb should now be setup at the URL with which you configured it, but you'll probably notice that the "description" field and the "owner" field in your project list is not what you'd expect. To fix this, add a description to the /.git/description file in each repository, and add something like this to the /.git/config in each repository:

    owner = "Your Name"

You can also, optionally, create an indextext.html file and put it in /usr/lib/cgi-bin/ (or somewhere else if you make an alias for it in your lighttpd.conf). That file will contain the HTML content displayed on the main page above the project list.

That's it.

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