An introduction to RepoManager, batch management of multiple Git repositories

Presenting RepoManager, a command line interface (CLI) for batch management of multiple Git repositories. RepoManager is available under the MIT license. The Ruby source is located at


RepoManager is a wrapper for Git , the distributed version control system. RepoManager's wrapper functions allow a single Git command to be executed across multiple git repositories.

For example, you have two git repositories named repo1 and repo2 and you want to check the status of both working folders.

without repoman

cd ~/workspace/delphi/repo1
git status

cd ~/workspace/delphi/repo2
git status

with repoman

repo status

suitable for

  • Maintenance and documentation of loosely connected source code repositories.
  • Synchronization or light weight mirroring of data across a network. That is a job for rsync. Or is it? If you develop for multiple platforms across multiple (virtual) machines rsync'ing may not be the best option. If you already have everything tucked into git repositories, you can use a single 'repo pull' command to mirror all of your repositories to one location for backup or reference.

not suitable for

  • Maintaining related source code repositories. There are suitable tools for that including git's own 'git submodules', git-subtree, and GitSlave.

Getting started with RepoManager


The RepoManager gem is available on

gem install repo_manager


RepoManager's binary is named repo

repo --help
repo --tasks
repo help generate:init

Example Usage: Using RepoManager to Backup and Synchronize PC Game Saves

The remainder of this article will examine a single use case.

Use case: Backup and synchronization of PC save games folders to a central repository (ie Drop Box folder) using Git. Game saves are typically scattered across multiple folders and drives.

This example demonstrates the following features:

  • Adding RepoManager user tasks, see repo_manager/tasks/
  • Adding destructive git commands to the default whitelisted non-destructive git commands
  • Testing user tasks with Cucumber, see repo_manager/features/
  • Relative paths (not absolute) in repo_manager/repo.conf making the folder portable
  • Bash completion for repo names, works on Win32 using Cygwin or MSYS Bash

The full source of this example is available at

create configuration

The following commands were used to create this example from scratch

mkdir -p examples/pc_saved_game_backup && cd examples/pc_saved_game_backup

Create configuration structure with the built-in 'generate:init' task

We are creating a local configuration. For a global configuration, you would execute the init command in your home folder

repo generate:init repo_manager

Session screenshot

Create the initial configuration via generate:init

Create the initial configuration via generate:init

add sample data

Add a few example save game folders. These folders would normally be scattered over the file system.


mkdir -p saved_games/mines/saves

# profile data will not be stored in the Git repo since it may differ from PC to PC
echo "# dummy profile data" > mines/my_profile.ini

echo "# dummy save" > saved_games/mines/saves/save1
echo "# dummy save" > saved_games/mines/saves/save2


mkdir -p saved_games/hearts

echo "# dummy save" > saved_games/hearts/save1
echo "# dummy save" > saved_games/hearts/save2

create remote folder

This folder will act as a remote to hold bare Git repositories. These repos will store backups of our game saves, normally, this folder would be on a remote server, NAS, or Drop Box like service.

mkdir remote

create the specialized 'git init' task

User tasks can be added directly to the repo_manager/tasks folder. This task doesn't use any RepoManager specific features, instead, it calls git directly via Thor's run command. Adding the script this way will keep this related functionality with this specific RepoManager configuration. Run repo -T to see a full list of built-in tasks as well as user defined tasks.


    require 'fileutils'

    module RepoManager

      class Generate < Thor

        # full path to the remote folder
        REMOTE = File.expand_path('remote')

        # Create, add, and commit the contents of the current working directory and
        # then push it to a predefined remote folder
        # @example From the repo working
        #   cd ~/my_repo_name
        #   repo generate:remote my_repo_name
        # @example Specify the path to the working folder
        #   repo generate:remote my_repo_name --path=/path/to/my_repo_name

        method_option :remote, :type => :string, :desc => "remote folder or git host, defaults to '#{REMOTE}'"
        method_option :path, :type => :string, :desc => "path to working folder, defaults to CWD"

        desc "remote REPO_NAME", "init a git repo in CWD and push to remote '#{REMOTE}'"
        def remote(name)
          path = options[:path] || FileUtils.pwd
          remote = options[:remote] || "#{File.join(REMOTE, name + '.git')}"

          Dir.chdir path do
            run("git init")

            # core config with windows in mind but works fine on POSIX
            run("git config core.autocrlf false")
            run("git config core.filemode false")
            exit $?.exitstatus if ($?.exitstatus > 1)

            # add everthing and commit
            run("git add .")
            run("git commit --message #{shell_quote('initial commit')}")
            exit $?.exitstatus if ($?.exitstatus > 1)

            # remove old origin first, if it exists
            run("git remote add origin #{remote}")
            run("git config branch.master.remote origin")
            run("git config branch.master.merge refs/heads/master")
            exit $?.exitstatus if ($?.exitstatus > 1)

          run("git clone --bare #{shell_quote(path)} #{remote}")
          exit $?.exitstatus if ($?.exitstatus > 1)

          say "init done on '#{name}'", :green

add remotes

In one step, we will initialize a new git repository with the working folder's content and push to a new bare repository for backup.

Normally, you don't need to specify the --path if you are already in the working folder and the repo_manager can find its global config file. For this example, we are using relative paths and will specify the working folder on the command line via the '--path' option.

repo generate:remote mines --path=saved_games/mines/saves
repo generate:remote hearts --path=saved_games/hearts
create the repo_manager asset configuration files
repo add:asset saved_games/mines/saves --name=mines --force
repo add:asset saved_games/hearts --force

Get information on configured saved game repositories

repo list --short
repo status --unmodified DOTS

Session screenshot

Running repo list status unmodified repos

Running repo list status unmodified repos

Create the specialized Update task

The following user task will run repo add -A, repo commit, and repo push on all modified repos.


    module RepoManager
      class Action < Thor
        namespace :action
        include Thor::Actions
        include RepoManager::ThorHelper

        class_option :force, :type => :boolean, :desc => "Force overwrite and answer 'yes' to any prompts"

        method_option :repos, :type => :string, :desc => "Restrict update to comma delimited list of repo names", :banner => "repo1,repo2"
        method_option :message, :type => :string, :desc => "Override 'automatic commit' message"
        method_option 'no-push', :type => :boolean, :default => false, :desc => "Force overwrite of existing config file"

        desc "update", "run repo add -A, repo commit, and repo push on all modified repos"
        def update

          initial_filter = options[:repos] ? "--repos=#{options[:repos]}" : ""
          output = run("repo status --short --unmodified=HIDE --no-verbose --no-color #{initial_filter}", :capture => true)

          case $?.exitstatus
            when 0
              say 'no changed repos', :green

              unless output
                say "failed to successfully run 'repo status'", :red
                exit $?.exitstatus

              repos = []
              output = output.split("\n")
              while line = output.shift
                st,repo = line.split("\t")
                repos << repo
              filter = repos.join(',')

              unless options[:force]
                say "Repo(s) '#{filter}' have changed."
                unless ask("Add, commit and push them? (y/n)") == 'y'
                  say "aborting"
                  exit 0

              say "updating #{filter}"

              run "repo add -A --no-verbose --repos #{filter}"
              exit $?.exitstatus if ($?.exitstatus > 1)

              commit_message = options[:message] || "automatic commit @ #{}"
              run "repo commit --message=#{shell_quote(commit_message)} --no-verbose --repos #{filter}"
              exit $?.exitstatus if ($?.exitstatus > 1)

              unless options['no-push']
                run "repo push --no-verbose --repos #{filter}"
                exit $?.exitstatus if ($?.exitstatus > 1)

              say "update finished", :green


whitelist non-default Git commands

Only a small subset of non-destructive git commands are enabled by default. We will add the commands needed by our user task to the commands whitelist.

Edit repo.conf and add 'push, add, and commit' to the commands whitelist

    diff --git a/repo_manager/repo.conf b/repo_manager/repo.conf
    index 3cc6dbe..226b8c0 100644
    --- a/repo_manager/repo.conf
    +++ b/repo_manager/repo.conf
    @@ -36,6 +36,9 @@ commands:
     - ls-files
     - show
     - status
    +- push
    +- add
    +- commit

using the new tasks

To view all the available tasks

repo --tasks

or just

repo -T

Session screenshot

Listing RepoManager tasks includes user and built-in tasks

Listing RepoManager tasks includes user and built-in tasks

Using the action:update task to backup saved games.
repo action:update

Session screenshot

Example action:update usage with one new save game

Example action:update usage with one new save game

Synchronizing saved games to another PC can be accomplished using Git's 'pull' command.

verify working folders are clean, if they are not, either revert them or commit and push

repo status

pull from remote to all configured repos

repo pull

Testing user tasks with Cucumber

Add a Gemfile for use by Bundler


source ""

gem "repo_manager"

gem "bundler", ">= 1.0.14"
gem "rspec", ">= 2.6.0"
gem "cucumber", "~> 1.0"
gem "aruba", "= 0.4.5"

gem "win32console", :platforms => [:mingw, :mswin]

Install the dependencies

gem install bundler

cd repo_manager

Add Cucumber features and support files

NOTE: This is an excerpt, see the file for the full listing of functional tests


Feature: Automatically commit and update multiple repos

  Background: Test repositories and a valid config file
    Given a repo in folder "test_path_1" with the following:
      | filename         | status | content  |
      | .gitignore       | C      |          |
    And a repo in folder "test_path_2" with the following:
      | filename         | status | content  |
      | .gitignore       | C      |          |
    And a file named "repo.conf" with:
        assets : repo/asset/configuration/files
    And the folder "repo/asset/configuration/files" with the following asset configurations:
      | name    | path         |
      | test1   | test_path_1  |
      | test2   | test_path_2  |

  Scenario: No uncommitted changes
    When I run `repo action:update`
    Then the output should contain:
      no changed repos



    require 'repo_manager/test/base_steps'
    require 'repo_manager/test/asset_steps'
    require 'repo_manager/test/repo_steps'


    require 'repo_manager'
    require 'aruba/cucumber'
    require 'rspec/expectations'

    Before do
      @aruba_timeout_seconds = 10

    Before('@slow_process') do
      @aruba_io_wait_seconds = 2


    require 'aruba/api'
    require 'fileutils'

    module Aruba
      module Api

        # override aruba avoid 'current_ruby' call and make sure
        # that binary run on Win32 without the binstubs
        def detect_ruby(cmd)
          wrapper = which('repo')
          cmd = cmd.gsub(/^repo/, "ruby -S #{wrapper}") if wrapper

Run the functional user tests

bundle exec cucumber

Session screenshots

Testing users tasks with Cucumber

Testing users tasks with Cucumber

RepoManager file structure including user tasks

RepoManager file structure including user tasks

Bash completion

Handy functions for use under Bash. These work fine on Win32 using Git-Bash.

CD command for working folders

rpushd: repo pushd (push directory). Wrapper for 'pushd'.

Completion for repo names

rcd: repo cd (change directory). Wrapper for 'cd', allows for simple cd repo name to the working folder on the filesystem referenced by the 'path' configuration variable.

Source these functions in your .bashrc

function rcd(){ cd "$(repo --match=ONE --no-color path $@)"; }
function rpushd(){ pushd "$(repo path --match=ONE --no-color $@)"; }
alias rpopd="popd"

# provide completion for repo names
function _repo_names()
  local cur opts prev
  opts=`repo list --list=name --no-color`

  COMPREPLY=( $(compgen -W "${opts}" -- ${cur}) )
  return 0
complete -F _repo_names rcd rpushd repo

For more information, please consult the source:


Dynabix: An ActiveRecord Ruby gem for attribute serialization

Dy-na-bix, tasty serialization attribute accessors for ActiveRecord

Presenting Dynabix. Dynabix is an ActiveRecord 3.x RubyGem that facilitates attribute serialization via dynamically created read/write accessors.


Data serialization is a technique that can be used to persist data to the database without changing the schema when adding or removing attributes. A single text field can contain multiple attributes. Serialization is useful for one-off situations like voting polls or frequently changing on-line questionnaires. Dynabix uses ActiveRecord's serialize method under the hood.

UPDATE 6/26/12

ActiveRecord as of 3.2.1, as pointed out in the comments, has a very similar native method store. Dynabix differs from store by providing a declarative DSL for defining multiple stores (Ruby 1.9+), has separate read/write accessors, and stores to the database as HashWithIndifferentAccess. Unless you need one of these specific features, using the native 'store' method is recommended.


Dynabix's source is available under the MIT license here The documentation is located on at


Add a text column "metadata" to your model migration. This column will store all the attribute values defined by Dynabix.

    class AddMetadataToThings < ActiveRecord::Migration

      def change
        add_column :things, :metadata, :text


Add accessors to your model using the default column name ":metadata", specify the attributes in a separate step.

    class Thing < ActiveRecord::Base

      # full accessors
      metadata_accessor :breakfast_food, :wheat_products, :needs_milk

      # read-only accessor
      metadata_reader :friends_with_spoons

Specifying attributes for full attribute accessors in one step

    class Thing < ActiveRecord::Base
      has_metadata :metadata, :breakfast_food, :wheat_products, :needs_milk

Using the new accessors

    thing =

    thing.breakfast_food = 'a wheat like cereal"

    # same thing, but using the metadata hash directly
    thing.metadata[:breakfast_food] = 'a wheat like cereal"

Ruby 1.9+

Dynabix under Ruby 1.9+ enables specifying multiple metadata columns on a model. You are not limited to using the static "metadata" column.

Add text columns "cows" and "chickens" to your "thing" model migration

    class AddMetadataToThings < ActiveRecord::Migration

      def change
        add_column :things, :cows, :text
        add_column :things, :chickens, :text


Specifying multiple metadata serializers to segregate like data into separate database columns (Ruby 1.9 only)

    class Thing < ActiveRecord::Base
      has_metadata :cows
      has_metadata :chickens, :tasty, :feather_count

      # read-only
      cows_reader :likes_milk, :hates_eggs

      # write-only
      cows_writer :no_wheat_products

      # extra full accessors for chickens
      chickens_accessor :color, :likes_eggs, :egg_count

Using the new accessors

    thing =

    # cow stuff
    thing.no_wheat_products = true

    # chicken stuff
    thing.likes_eggs = true
    thing.egg_count = 12

    # using the metadata hash directly to read the data since
    # we only created a write accessor
    thing.cows[:no_wheat_products].should be_true

Runtime dependencies

  • Activerecord 3.x


Add Dynabix to your Gemfile

gem "dynabix"

Install the gem with Bundler

bundle install


Get the source

cd workspace

git clone

cd dynabix

Install the dependencies

bundle install

Run the specs

bundle exec rake spec

Autotest with Guard

bundle exec guard

Using Ruby to Automate Windows GUI Applications for Testing

Presenting Win32-autogui. A Ruby Win32 GUI testing framework packaged as a RubyGem.


Win32-autogui provides a framework to enable GUI application testing with Ruby. This facilitates integration testing of Windows binaries using Ruby based tools like RSpec and Cucumber regardless of the language used to create the binaries.

The source code repository is available here: The repository contains specs and an example Win32 program with source and specs written in Delphi (Object Pascal).

Driving the Window's Calculator Application with IRB

Here is a quick demo using the Ruby Interactive Shell (IRB) under Cygwin on Windows XP to drive "calc.exe."

Install the Gem

Win32-autogui is available on

gem install win32-autogui

IRB Session

Start up IRB


Paste the following lines into your shell's IRB session.

Note: Window's "calc.exe" is used as the target binary by Win32-autogui's internal specs. The complete source to the wrapper is available here: spec/applications/calculator.rb.

    require 'win32/autogui'
    include Autogui::Input

    class Calculator < Autogui::Application
      def initialize
        super :name => "calc", :title => "Calculator"
      def edit_window
        main_window.children.find {|w| w.window_class == 'Edit'}

Now we can start up the calculator

calc =

Session screenshot

Driving the calculator in IRB (1)

Driving the calculator in IRB (1)

Get some information

Perform a calculation

calc.set_focus; type_in('2+2=')

Get the result


Shut it down


Session screenshot

Driving the calculator in IRB (2)

Driving the calculator in IRB (2)

RSpec + Win32-autogui for Testable GUI Specifications

The Win32-autogui repository contains an example Win32 program with source, testable binary, and specs written in Delphi (Object Pascal) located here:

Quicknote is a bare bones notepad clone. Here is the spec file spec/form_splash_spec.rb for the splash screen functionality.

    require File.expand_path(File.dirname(__FILE__) + '/../spec_helper')

    include Autogui::Input

    describe "FormSplash" do
      after(:all) do
        if @application.running?
          @application.splash.wait_for_close if @application.splash
          # still running? force it to close
          @application.close(:wait_for_close => true)
          @application.should_not be_running

      describe "startup with no command line parameters" do
        before(:all) do
          # --nosplash is the default, turn it back on
          @application = :parameters => ''
          @application.should be_running

        it "should show" do
          @application.splash.should_not be_nil
        it "should close within 5 seconds" do
          @application.splash.should_not be_nil
          seconds = 5
          timeout(seconds) do
          @application.splash.should be_nil

      describe "startup with '--nosplash' command line parameter" do
        it "should not show" do
          @application = :parameters => '--nosplash'
          @application.should be_running
          @application.splash.should be_nil


The Quicknote.exe application wrapper. Each of the testable application windows must be defined in a subclass of Autogui::Application. Partial code from lib/quicknote.rb.

    class Quicknote < Autogui::Application

      def initialize(options = {})
        # relative path to app using Windows style path
        @name ="exe\\quicknote.exe"  
        defaults = {
                     :title=> "QuickNote -", 
                     :parameters => '--nosplash', 
                     :main_window_timeout => 20
        super defaults.merge(options)

      def edit_window
        main_window.children.find {|w| w.window_class == 'TMemo'}

      def status_bar
        main_window.children.find {|w| w.window_class == 'TStatusBar'}

      def dialog_about do |w| 
          w.title.match(/About QuickNote/) && ( == pid)

      def splash do |w| 
          w.title.match(/FormSplash/) && ( == pid)

      def message_dialog_confirm do |w| 
          w.title.match(/Confirm/) && ( == pid)

      # Title and class are the same as dialog_overwrite_confirm
      # Use child windows to differentiate
      def dialog_overwrite_confirm do |w| 
          w.title.match(/^Text File Save$/) && 
            ( == pid) && 
            (w.window_class == "#32770") &&
            (w.combined_text.match(/already exists/))

      # Title and class are the same as dialog_overwrite_confirm
      def file_save_as_dialog do |w| 
          w.title.match(/Text File Save/) && 
            ( == pid) &&
            (w.window_class == "#32770") &&
            (w.combined_text.match(/Save \&in:/))


Autotesting Quicknote with Watchr

Watchr provides a flexible alternative to Autotest.

NOTE: The following assumes a global setting of 'git config core.autocrlf input' and that you want to modify the Delphi 7 source to Quicknote which requires CRLF line endings.

Grab the source for Quicknote

cd ~/workspace
git clone -n
cd win32-autogui
git config core.autocrlf true
git checkout

Install watchr

gem install watchr

Run watchr

watchr spec/watchr.rb

Watchr will now watch the files defined in 'spec/watchr.rb' and run RSpec or Cucumber, as appropriate.

Session screenshot

Watchr session running form_splash_spec.rb

Watchr session running form_splash_spec.rb

For more information, please consult the source:


Using Git to Maintain Common RubyGem Functionality with BasicGem

Do you maintain several different RubyGems? Maybe you maintain dozens? Wouldn't it be nice to not have to repeat yourself when making changes that should be common to all the gems in your stable? For example, you decide that going forward, you will use Bundler for all your gem dependency needs. You could tweak your gemspecs and Rakefiles for each of your gems individually or you could use your customized fork of BasicGem as a common ancestor for all your gems. Now you can modify your BasicGem fork and merge these tweaks using Git into all your gems. As simple as...

cd ~/workspace/my_gem_cloned_from_my_basic_gem_fork
git pull my_basic_gem_fork HEAD
git mergetool

Introducing BasicGem, Gem Maintenance with Git

BasicGem is an opinionated RubyGem structure. BasicGem provides no stand-alone functionality. Its purpose is to provide a repository for jump-starting a new RubyGem and to provide a repository for cloned applications to pull future enhancements and fixes.


Example Usage, Jump-starting a New Gem with BasicGem

The following steps illustrate creating a new gem called "mutagem" that handles file based mutexes. See for full source.

NOTE: We are cloning from BasicGem directly. Normally, you will want to clone from your own fork of BasicGem so that you can control and fine-tune which future BasicGem modifications you will support.

cd ~/workspace
git clone git:// mutagem
cd mutagem

Setup the repository for the cloned project

We are going to change the origin URL to our own server and setup a remote for pulling in future BasicGem changes. If our own repo for your new gem is setup at git@red:mutagem.git, change the URL with sed:

sed -i 's/url =.*\.git$/url = git@red:mutagem.git/' .git/config

Push up the unchanged BasicGem repo

git push origin master:refs/heads/master

Allow Gemlock.lock to be stored in the repo

sed -i '/Gemfile\.lock$/d' .gitignore

Add BasicGem (or your fork of BasicGem) as remote for future merges

git remote add basic_gem git://

Rename your gem

Change the name of the gem from basic_gem to mutagem. Note that renames will be tracked in future merges since Git is tracking content and the content is non-trivial.

git mv lib/basic_gem.rb lib/mutagem.rb
git mv basic_gem.gemspec mutagem.gemspec

# commit renames now 
git commit -m "rename basic_gem files"

# BasicGem => Mutagem
find . -name *.rb -exec sed -i 's/BasicGem/Mutagem/' '{}' +
find . -name *.feature -exec sed -i 's/BasicGem/Mutagem/' '{}' +
sed -i 's/BasicGem/Mutagem/' Rakefile
sed -i 's/BasicGem/Mutagem/' mutagem.gemspec

# basic_gem => mutagem
find ./spec -type f -exec sed -i 's/basic_gem/mutagem/' '{}' +
find . -name *.rb -exec sed -i 's/basic_gem/mutagem/' '{}' +
find . -name *.feature -exec sed -i 's/basic_gem/mutagem/' '{}' +
sed -i 's/basic_gem/mutagem/' Rakefile
sed -i 's/basic_gem/mutagem/' mutagem.gemspec

Replace TODO's and update documentation

  • Replace README.markdown
  • Replace HISTORY.markdown
  • Replace TODO.markdown
  • Replace LICENSE
  • Replace VERSION
  • Modify .gemspec, add author information and replace the TODO's

Your gem should now be functional

rake spec
rake features

Setup git copy-merge

When we merge future BasicGem changes to our new gem, we want to always ignore some upstream documentation file changes.

Set the merge type for the files we want to ignore in .git/info/attributes. You could specify .gitattributes instead of .git/info/attributes but then if your new gem is forked, your forked repos will miss out on document merges.

echo "README.markdown merge=keep_local_copy" >> .git/info/attributes
echo "HISTORY.markdown merge=keep_local_copy" >> .git/info/attributes
echo "TODO.markdown merge=keep_local_copy" >> .git/info/attributes
echo "LICENSE merge=keep_local_copy" >> .git/info/attributes
echo "VERSION merge=keep_local_copy" >> .git/info/attributes

Setup the copy-merge driver. The "trick" is that the driver, keep_local_copy, is using the shell command "true" to return exit code 0. Basically, the files marked with the keep_local_copy merge type will always ignore upstream changes if a merge conflict occurs.

git config "always keep the local copy during merge"
git config merge.keep_local_copy.driver "true"


git add Gemfile.lock
git commit -a -m "renamed basic_gem to mutagem"

Add code to project's namespace

mkdir lib/mutagem
vim lib/mutagem/mutex.rb

Merging Future BasicGem Changes

Cherry picking method

git fetch basic_gem
git cherry-pick a0f9745

Merge 2-step method

git fetch basic_gem
git merge basic_gem/master

Trusting pull of HEAD

git pull basic_gem HEAD

Conflict resolution

NOTE: Most conflicts can be resolved with 'git mergetool' but 'CONFLICT (delete/modify)' will need to be resolved by hand.

git mergetool
git commit

BasicGem Provided Rake Tasks

rake -T

rake build         # Build mutagem-0.0.1.gem into the pkg directory
rake doc:clean     # Remove generated documenation
rake doc:generate  # Generate YARD Documentation
rake features      # Run Cucumber features
rake install       # Build and install mutagem-0.0.1.gem into system gems
rake release       # Create tag v0.0.1 and build and push mutagem-0.0.1.gem to Rubygems
rake spec          # Run specs
rake test          # Run specs and features

Autotesting with Watchr

Watchr provides a flexible alternative to Autotest. A jump start script is provided in spec/watchr.rb.

Install watchr

gem install watchr

Run watchr

watchr spec/watchr.rb

outputs a menu

Ctrl-\ for menu, Ctrl-C to quit

Watchr will now watch the files defined in 'spec/watchr.rb' and run Rspec or Cucumber, as appropriate. The watchr script provides a simple menu.


MENU: a = all , f = features  s = specs, l = last feature (none), q = quit

Compiling EncFS for Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron)

The Task

You are doing user-space filesystem encryption. You want to use a more recent version of EncFS than the one provided in the Ubuntu 8.04 repositories. No problem, just compile one yourself.

The Problem

The most recent version in the EncFS will not compile on Ubuntu 8.04. Version r53 12/7/09 breaks with:

checking whether xattr interface takes additional options... no
./configure: line 24466: syntax error near unexpected token 'newline'

This issue has been reported to the EncFS maintainer, in the interim, you can compile a fairly recent version by following the steps below.

Reference Links


Get the build tools

sudo apt-get install build-essential autoconf automake1.9 libtool gettext \
                     cvs pkg-config

Verify the kernel has FUSE support

cat /proc/filesystems | grep fuse

you should see something like this:

nodev   fuse
nodev   fusectl

Install EncFS dependencies

sudo apt-get install libboost-dev libboost-filesystem-dev \
                     libboost-serialization-dev libfuse-dev \
                     fuse-utils librlog-dev libssl-dev


Build version SVN r50 (f97ae2780) by pulling down with git and checking out the most recent version that will compile on Ubuntu 8.04

    cd ~/src

    git-svn clone --no-metadata encfs
    cd encfs
    git checkout -b work_around_build f97ae2780

    autoreconf -if
    sudo make prefix=/usr install



Copyright 1999-2013, GearheadForHire, LLC iconGearheadForHire, LLC
Site design by GearheadForHire, LLC | v2.3.0