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Simple automated GIT Deployment using Hooks

Simple automated GIT Deployment using GIT Hooks

Here are the simple steps needed to create a deployment from your local GIT repository to a server based on this in-depth tutorial.

How it works

You are developing in a working-copy on your local machine, lets say on the master branch. Most of the time, people would push code to a remote server like or and pull or export it to a production server. Or you use a service like to act upon a Web-Hook that's triggered that service.

But here, we add a "bare" git repository that we create on the production server and pusblish our branch (f.e. master) directly to that server. This repository acts upon the push event using a 'git-hook' to move the files into a deployment directory on your server. No need for a midle man.

This creates a scenario where there is no middle man, high security with encrypted communication (using ssh keys, only authorized people get access to the server) and high flexibility tue to the use of .sh scripts for the deployment.


  1. Know how to use GIT, Terminal etc.
  2. Have a local working-working copy ready
  3. Have SSH access to your server using private/public key


  1. Create a folder to deploy to on production server (i.e. your httpds folder)
  2. Add a bare repository on the productions server
  3. Add the post-receive hook script to the bare repository (and make it executable)
  4. Add the remote-repository resided on the production server to your local repository
  5. Push to the production server, relax.

1. Have a local working-working copy ready

Nuf said. I asume we are working on master – but you could work on any branch.

2. Create a folder to deploy to

ssh into your prodctionserver:

$ ssh
$ mkdir ~/deploy-folder

3. Add a bare repository on the productions server

Now we create a "bare" repository – one that does not contain the working copy files. It basicaly is the content of the .git repository folder in a normal working copy. Name it whatever you like, you can also ommit the .git part from project.git or leave it to create the repository in an exisiting empty folder:

$ git init --bare ~/project.git

4. Add the post-receive hook script

This scrtipt is executed when the push from the local machine has been completed and moves the files into place. It recides in project.git/hooks/ and is named 'post-receive'. You can use vim to edit and create it. The script does check if the correct branch is pushed (not deploying a develop branch for example). You can download a sample post-receive script below. Also, don't forget to add execute permissions to said script;

chmod +x post-receive

5. Add remote-repository localy

Now we add the this bare repository to your local system as a remote. Where "production" is the name you want to give the remote. This also be called "staging" or "live" or "test" etc if you want to deploy to a different system or multiple systems.

$ cd ~/path/to/working-copy/
$ git remote add production

Make sure "project.git" coresponds to the name you gave in step 3. If you are using Tower or a similar App, you will see the newly added remote in your sidebar under "Remotes" (make sure it's not collapsed).

6. Push to the production server

Now you can push the master branch to the production server:

$ git push production master

If you are using tower, you can drag&drop the master branch onto the new production remote. That's it. Have questions, improvements?

(c) Noevu Schweizer KMU Webseiten

while read oldrev newrev ref
# only checking out the master (or whatever branch you would like to deploy)
if [ "$ref" = "refs/heads/$BRANCH" ];
echo "Ref $ref received. Deploying ${BRANCH} branch to production..."
git --work-tree=$TARGET --git-dir=$GIT_DIR checkout -f $BRANCH
echo "Ref $ref received. Doing nothing: only the ${BRANCH} branch may be deployed on this server."
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I like the implementation.
What command can I add files from the working directory, for example, the working folder was not empty.
Any advice, I Might be able to move on.

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Hawzen commented May 10, 2021

Life saver

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so if the server disappears or you delete it, you lose your git repository...

what about staging or test environment? different git repository? this makes no sense

But you'd just lose the remote right? You still have your local on your develepment machine won't u?

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Thanks very much, very helpful!

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here is my new approach with these steps

  • setting up a git server
  • create a bare repo on git server - git init --bare
  • setting up post-update on bare repo
  • setting up a working tree which pulls form bare repo (git init)
  • pushing from working tree to another server after some tests with port-merge

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