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Posted 7 Dec 2011

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Step by Step Setup Git Server on Windows with CopSSH + msysGit and Integrate Git with Visual Studio

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7 Dec 2011CPOL4 min read
A step by step instruction for setting up the git environment on Windows for .NET development


First of all, let me clarify that Git doesn’t need to specify the side for client and server. Your workstation can be both the client and server. That means you can get code from other computer, you’re the client; while others can also get code from your computer, you’re the server. That’s why Git is great.

In this post, the “Git server” means to make your computer available for others to pull/push code from/to.

The post is long because it’s step by step and with lots of screenshots. In fact, it just takes about 10 minutes to setup all.

Note: CopSSH is not open source any more, please buy it if you want to use it.

Software Requirement

Software required to setup a Git server:

  • CopSSH (install on the server side)
  • msysgit (install both on the server side and client side)
  • PuTTY (install both on the server side and client side)

Software required to integrate with Visual Studio:

  • GitExtensions (install both on the server side and client side)

Setup Steps

1. Install msysgit

  1. When you installing the msysgit, please choose c:\Git as the installation directory, because the space in the directory name may cause an issue in bash commands.

    Image 1

  2. In the “Adjusting your PATH environment”, I recommend to select “Use Git Bash only”.

    Image 2

  3. Other settings are default. After installation, you get the git bash icons on your desktop. You can try it with git command, if you get the following screen, you’ve installed the msysgit successfully.

    Image 3

  4. Add C:\Git\bin and C:\Git\libexec\git-core to Path. This step is very important.

    Image 4

2. Install CopSSH

  1. Just like the msysgit, we don’t install the CopSSH in program files folder to avoid some space issues. We install it to c:\ICW.

    Image 5

  2. Just use the default account as CopSSH provides:

    Image 6

  3. After installation, open COPSSH Control Panel.

    Image 7

  4. Click Add button in Users tab.

    Image 8

  5. Choose an existing user on your computer (you can create one in computer management). Here in my sample, the user is jinweijie.

    Image 9

  6. Allow all access:

    Image 10

  7. After the user is activated, click the Keys… button in the Activated Users section:

    Image 11

  8. Click Add:

    Image 12

  9. Use default key settings:

    Image 13

  10. Enter the Passphrase and File name:

    Image 14

  11. The private key will be saved to c:\ICW\home\jinweijie\ryan-vm-01_2048.ppk.

    Image 15

[Test step] Now we try to use the activated user to log on through SSH, open Git Bash, enter commands:

ssh jinweijie@ryan-vm-01 

Enter “yes” to continue.

Image 16

[Test step] After entering your passwords (the windows account’s password), then you try to run git as the ssh user, but it isn’t performed as you expected:

Image 17

That’s because CopSSH cannot find the git.exe on the server, so we need to tell CopSSH the git path.

3. Config CopSSH with Git path.

  1. Open C:\ICW\etc\profile with your favorite editor, add :/cygdrive/c/git/bin:/cygdrive/c/git/libexec/git-core (don’t forget the starting colon) to PATH , the whole line will be:
    export PATH="/bin:$syspath:$winpath:/cygdrive/c/git/bin:/cygdrive/c/

    Then Save.

    Image 18

  2. Restart the CopSSH by clicking twice the big button in CopSSH Control Panel:

    Image 19

  3. If we run Git Bash again, ssh jinweijie@ryan-vm-01, enter your password and run the git command, git should be found this time:

    Image 20

4. Configure Private Key on Client

  1. Copy the private key (we generated in step 1-k) from server to client.

    Image 21

  2. On the client side, use puttygen.exe to load the key (if you set the password in 1-j, you need to enter the password while loading the key):

    Image 22

  3. Click “Save private key” to save a copy of private key for plink.exe to recognize.

    Image 23

5. Create Repository, Integrate with Visual Studio

  1. Install gitextensions on both server and client.

    Image 24

  2. Since we have already installed the msysgit in step 1-a, we skip the “Install MsysGit”. But if you haven’t install msysgit on the client machine, you can check the checkbox and install it.

    Image 25

  3. Install to C:\GitExtensions\, other settings are default.

    Image 26

  4. On the server side, open Git Extensions, click “Create new repository”.

    Image 27

  5. On the server side, set the path to the project name under you CopSSH user’s home directory, select “Central repository, no working dir” (because we are the server), then “Initialize”:

    Image 28

  6. On the client side, open Git Extensions, click “Clone repository”:

    Image 29

  7. On the client side, the repository address should be ssh://jinweijie@ryan-vm-01/ICW/home/jinweijie/mydotnetproject. Please be aware that, the repository should begin with c:\ on the server.

    Image 30

  8. On the client side, click “Load SSH Key” and load the key which was saved in step 4-b:

    Image 31

  9. On the client side, enter the password if you set password to the key, then click Clone:

    Image 32

  10. On the client side, add ignore files:

    Image 33

  11. On the client side, open Visual Studio, create a project to mydotnetproject folder (which is the cloned repository), you may find the files are already under git source control:

    Image 34

  12. Click the “Commit” button on the menu bar, then click “Commit & Push”:

    Image 35

  13. Push succeeded:

    Image 36

  14. On the server side, you can find the new pushed files:

    Image 37

That’s all, happy GITTING! :)


  • 7th December, 2011: Initial version


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Written By
Software Developer (Senior) Honeywell
China China
ASTreeView, the best FREE treeview control for ASP.NET.

Comments and Discussions

QuestionWhat if my git path includes space character? Pin
walkingp29-Apr-19 16:53
walkingp29-Apr-19 16:53 
Questionstuck at ssh password Pin
Member 1186031323-Jul-15 23:52
Member 1186031323-Jul-15 23:52 
QuestionRunning copssh on windows 2008 r2 server Pin
aliasgar rajpiplawala15-Apr-13 19:27
aliasgar rajpiplawala15-Apr-13 19:27 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Jalal Khordadi22-Jun-12 21:07
Jalal Khordadi22-Jun-12 21:07 
QuestionGit clone not working Pin
Member 40248005-Jun-12 23:38
Member 40248005-Jun-12 23:38 
AnswerRe: Git clone not working Pin
JIN Weijie5-Jun-12 23:48
JIN Weijie5-Jun-12 23:48 
GeneralRe: Git clone not working Pin
Member 40248006-Jun-12 0:19
Member 40248006-Jun-12 0:19 
QuestionFor eclipse Pin
Spidiudi24-May-12 20:19
Spidiudi24-May-12 20:19 
AnswerRe: For eclipse Pin
JIN Weijie25-May-12 5:29
JIN Weijie25-May-12 5:29 
QuestionCopssh 3.3.3. (Free Version) Pin
Sérgio Sousa13-May-12 8:01
Sérgio Sousa13-May-12 8:01 
AnswerRe: Copssh 3.3.3. (Free Version) Pin
JIN Weijie13-May-12 9:48
JIN Weijie13-May-12 9:48 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
WillianBR18-Apr-12 3:02
WillianBR18-Apr-12 3:02 
QuestionMissing: Git Source Control Provider Pin
Z A Tiemoon7-Feb-12 8:02
Z A Tiemoon7-Feb-12 8:02 
Questionto use other partition than c: Pin
Some day13-Jan-12 3:24
Some day13-Jan-12 3:24 
Questionif push to server fails with git <your_path_to_repos> error Pin
Some day13-Jan-12 3:15
Some day13-Jan-12 3:15 

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