Start-up guide: Setting up a version control system (Gitlab)

The most important thing you will need to have when thinking about doing software development, especially as a start-up company, is a version control system for the code. In this blog post, I will show you how to set-up one of your very own.

There are several version control systems available on the market, the most commonly used being Git. Some providers like Github and Gitlab provide free use of online repositories, public or private. But, if you are looking for a private, stand-alone instance, Gitlab is one of the best options out there.

The first thing you will need is a machine (physical or virtual) with at least 4 GB of RAM running the latest version of Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support). The latest version can be downloaded from here:

https://ubuntu.com/#download

The Ubuntu image can be easily written on an USB stick using Rufus:

https://rufus.ie/

I will skip the Ubuntu installation, considering that you must be familiar with it, and move on to the Gitlab installation. The installation instructions can also be found on the Gitlab website but I’ll paste them here:

sudo apt update
sudp apt upgrade
sudo apt-get install -y curl openssh-server ca-certificates
sudo apt-get install -y postfix
curl -sS https://packages.gitlab.com/install/repositories/gitlab/gitlab-ce/script.deb.sh | sudo bash
sudo EXTERNAL_URL="https://gitlab.domain.com" apt-get install gitlab-ce

In the last command, you will have to change the external url to something accessible from the internet. After the installation finishes, you can access it using the url you provided. The first thing you will be asked is to set a password for the administrator (root) and use this to access the Gitlab web page as the administrator. From here you can create users, projects, groups and so on.

Each project and it’s repository can be accessed using git, command line or user interface based application. My personal favorite is Git Extensions:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/gitextensions/

Have fun!

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