Gogs – Self-Hosted Source Code Repository Review

Written by William Roush on June 26, 2015 at 5:14 pm

A review of Gogs – Go Git Service, a new self-hosted website for managing your Git repositories.


Gogs is a self-hosted code repository and collaboration platform for the Git distributed version control system. Gogs follows a lot of GitHub’s workflow and design decisions, all built on top of the Go language. The result is a familiar — and fast experience.


Gogs has repositories for various popular platforms including Debian and Redhat based systems. Installation is pretty easy, with a simple INI file for modifying it’s configuration (I haven’t seen one of those in new software in forever).

I’ve installed mine through the Puppet module Siteminds-gogs which leveraged the Debian 7 packages from Gogs’ own repository, though it has some bugs on it’s configuration templates and could use some love, it’s most of the way there for being version 0.0.3!

First Impression

One word: Fast.

It’s really fast, the website is extremely responsive and push/pulls are faster than anything I’ve experienced using cloud based solutions — I honestly thought Git was just slow at it.

Gogs - Chadev Files

The second thing you’ll notice is it’s pretty much GitHub, organizations work the same, repositories work the same, forking is the same, management is the same. You’ll feel right at home coming from GitHub. It is however currently missing pull request support but that is in the works.


Again — if you’re a GitHub user this will all feel familiar. You can have private repositories like normal, you can add users to these repositories. Additionally you have organizations, organizations can have repositories and teams. Teams can be granted access on all projects under an organization, or you can add users individually to projects under them. The only thing I could see that would be helpful here is the ability to create and reuse teams.

User Experience

Gogs - Activity

Activity page, some private repository information redacted.

We’re missing some key pieces to make Gogs a replacement to something like GitHub, pull requests are one of them, gists are another. Of course Gogs is young and is receiving a lot of help so I expect these to get finished soon.

Other than that, everything is clean and easy to use. There is little functionality I see missing from my day-to-day usage, and a few extra freebies such as 3rd party issue support that I need to investigate (for those of us that don’t like integrated issues in our DVCS hosting platform).


Gogs - New Repo

Handful of 500 errors aside from doing dumb things, LDAP integration went really screwy when I set a filter incorrectly. So far I’ve moved all of my development to it, and minus the LDAP issue and cloning empty repositories I haven’t seen a 500 error. Solid!

Though I’m sure there are issues here and there, for the age of the project I’m impressed.

The Future

Gogs - Chadev Settings

Gogs is looking to add pull requests relatively soon, I’m personally rooting for Mercurial support (but don’t hold your breath). Their Trello board is available online showing what they’re currently working on and their Github is thriving with pull requests, issues, and discussions. I’m excited for this to continue to mature.


My experience with Gogs has been so positive that I’ll likely be moving all of my Mercurial repos over to it. RhodeCode was nice but the pricing structure for 10+ users has really killed it (more on that in the RhodeCode review) with Kallithea being the only one I’m seriously looking at anymore (but don’t have high hopes being as the forking point for RhodeCode was when it was still pretty slow, and Gog’s speed has spoiled me).

The main worry I have about Gogs is a somewhat slow development process. Currently the project is lead by Unknwon over on GitHub, and they’re currently very busy — leading to a nearly complete halt on the project, some forks have emerged but this project has thrived under Unknwon and their dedication to this and I’d love to see it continue under them.

Introduction – Self-Hosted Source Code Repository Review

Written by William Roush on April 19, 2015 at 9:37 pm

There are many self-hosted source code repositories out there, but which one is right for you?

Looking For the Right Self-Hosted Solution

You may have many reasons to implement a self-hosted solution, and depending  on what you’re looking for you may have pretty limited options (Git + Mercurial support sure narrows it down to two for me for some solutions). We’re going to review quite a few systems that revolve around the two popular DVCS systems, Mercurial and Git (I may add other version control systems if people are interested enough and the revision control systems are non-proprietary or I can get my hands on a trial), check back or subscribe for updates!

Why Self-hosted?

Self-hosting comes with a range of benefits, including but not limited to:

  • Faster response times due to being on a local network with less resource contention.
  • Security of source code behind a firewall on a private network.
  • Tighter integration with your internal authentication systems (ex: LDAP, or the Atlassian stack).
  • Typically cheaper than a cloud solution.

What I Look for in a Self-Hosted Solution

I work on a variety of projects, from open-source to closed-source and proprietary, code for myself, code for companies, code for the community. I need a place to store all of this code in a safe manner and backup to some cloud solution (and RhodeCode has been good for this in the past), I want a place I can delegate access to companies that want access to their repositories, or a consultant they have come in and make a minor change or wants to review something I did. All while staying cost effective. Hosted solutions cannot work for me due to the high costs of onboarding 3rd parties (and what do I do when they no longer need access? I’m stuck paying a seat).

Some positives include fork management, organization control and LDAP integration.

Self-hosted Solutions

Product Source Available Cost Free Use? Language Review Available
RhodeCode Yes  $13/scm/user/mo For <= 10 users Python In progress
Kallithea Yes Free Yes Python Planned
GitLab Yes Free Yes Ruby Planned
Gogs Yes Free Yes Go Review
Stash Yes Tiered pricing No Java Planned
Github Enterprise No  $21/user/month No Ruby No

Cloud Based Solutions

Throughout reviews we’ll refer to some cloud based solutions, their features and their pricing, here is a list of some popular ones:

Product Price Free Public Repos? Free Private Repos?
Github ~$1/repo/month Yes No
BitBucket $1/user/month Yes Yes – Up to 5 users

What We’ll Be Evaluating

  • Product functionality (both the basics needed for source control management and beyond)
  • Repository systems supported
  • Integration with existing infrastructure
  • Ease of use
  • Ease of administration
  • Community resources
  • Pricing schemes

Missing a Solution?

Please leave a comment!

TeamCity vSphere (ESXi) Integration Explained

Written by William Roush on January 25, 2015 at 5:15 pm

I found the documentation of configuration and why certain things are set up a specific way a bit lacking on the new vSphere support from TeamCity, so here we do a dive into how everything works.

I’m going to assume you have a fairly good grasp on what TeamCity is and how to manage it, if you feel I’ve skipped anything and should go into better detail drop me a message either through the site’s contact page or a comment here.

TeamCity Cloud Integration

TeamCity’s cloud integration allows you to move your build agents from machines you may have online all day to a base image you clone out and spin up as required (and as many as required in whatever combination).


  • You’re not limited to 3 build agent configurations with the base TeamCity install, you’re limited to 3 active at any one time. Good for multi-platform environments.
  • Resources are only used when needed.
  • Every build can be a clean build (if you trash your build agents after a build).


  • Each virtual machine being a single build agent vs multiple build agents on a single machine with multiple cores may waste resources.
  • Build times will increase due to virtual machine build time.
  • You need to move to your build agents being stateless. (I’m dumb, Jody Shumaker corrects me in the comments)

Useful Repositories

JetBrains has published the plugins required to integrate with vSphere on Github here: https://github.com/JetBrains/teamcity-vmware-plugin/. I’m very thankful they’ve open sourced this because of the hangup mentioned later with the required resource pools.

Preparing Your Base VM

  1. Install the OS of your choice (so far Windows and *nix environments are supported out of the box, plugin needs updating if you want to support more).
  2. Install VMware tools.
    • This is used by TeamCity cloud to properly configure your build agent, and is required.
  3. Install all of your build tools
  4. Install Java for TeamCity build agent (if it isn’t part of your build tools).
  5. Install TeamCity build agent.
  6. Verify it shows up in TeamCity’s unauthorized agents list, check your agent parameters and compatible configurations.
  7. Shut down TeamCity build agent service on build agent virtual machine.
    • May want to remove the build agent from the unauthorized list at this point just to clean things up, but this is up to you.
  8. Remove name, serverURL and authorizationToken from conf/buildAgent.properties on the build agent.
    • This is to make your image generic, your cloud plugin and VMware tools will auto-populate these values for you, and in the event of you wanting to tweak the base virtual machine you don’t have to worry about it booting up as a valid build agent.
  9. Shut down the VM, and snapshot it (without a snapshot your virtual infrastructure will try to clone the entire VM, this will make spin up times for build agents extremely high.

Linux Caveats

In the most recent version of VMware on some Linux platforms when you go to install VMware tools you’ll be told to use open-vm-tools instead. At least on Debian 7 (and I haven’t tested other platforms) the vmware-rpctool binary ends up in /usr/bin instead of /usr/sbin like TeamCity expects. So we’ll just make a link for it:

$> ln /usr/bin/vmware-rpctool /usr/sbin/vmware-rpctool

I have an open issue with JetBrains on it to update their documentation.

Update: No longer an issue on the latest patch, quick turn-around from JetBrains!

Configuring Your Cloud

Go to Administration > Agent Cloud (under Server Administration) and add a new profile and give it a name.

I like to use a dedicated account for vSphere that has access only to specific folder in our environment, this includes network and datastores to prevent it from doing anything to the rest of the infrastructure.

  • Terminate instance idle time – This is the time a virtual machine that is spun up will wait without a task before being shut down, I set this fairly low (10 minutes).
  • Terminate instance (after first build completed) – This will trash a virtual machine after the build process is complete, I keep this on because I find this to be one of the major reason I’m doing this.
  • Cloud type (set to VMware vSphere)
  • vCenter SDK URL – You’ll set this to https://[vCenter FQDN]/sdk, it accepts self-signed certs provided by your vCenter box by default just fine.

Next we’ll need to configure some images, click “Add Image”, select a virtual machine from the pull-down list, pick a snapshot (you’re using snapshots, right?), select a folder that the clones will go into, select a resource pool (more on that later) and set the maximum number of virtual machines you want to be able to run at once.

If you don’t have resource pools because you’re on a version of vSphere that doesn’t support them, you’ll either have to wait till I get my fork done that removes this requirement and have JetBrains pull or, or download and remove the requirement yourself (I hear an older version of the plugin doesn’t require it but haven’t verified it).

Update: JetBrains beat me to it, issued a patch, works great now.

Verification And Validation

When you build a project with zero build agents installed, it’ll go into the queue. The TeamCity cloud plugin will spin up a virtual machine for you, and when that machine is registered it should show up with the name of the virtual machine. If this is what you got, success!

If not, feel free to post comments and I’ll see if I can help out.

Republic Wireless – A Customer’s Review

Written by William Roush on December 28, 2014 at 10:16 pm

A review from a user on Republic Wireless, a relatively new wireless carrier that uses WiFi to offload your phone calls and text messages, reducing costs and passing those savings off to you.


Background On Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless is a wireless services provider started by the VOIP provider BandWidth. They differ from your common wireless providers by understanding the concept that anything the cell network can do, the internet can do better. They save you money by offloading as much as they can, including phone calls onto your wifi connection. This reduces their costs and they pass that onto you.


As of 12/28/2014 their plans are as follows:

Cost Features
$5  Unlimited talk, text and data on WiFi only.
$10  Unlimited talk and text on cell and WiFi.
$25  Unlimited talk, text and 3G on cell.
$40  Unlimited talk, text and 4G on cell.

You can jump between plans twice a month on their website at the click of a button, allowing you to jump on 4G when you’re going to some big city for a conference and will be pulling a lot of data, but fall back on 3G when you’re at home surrounded by WiFi you use often and your own computer and internet.

Dead Zones

The biggest thing I worried about up-front was dead zones. Well it’s basically Sprint when you’re on the cell network, so nothing new for me there. Coverage was a bit spotty but I never was unable to make calls, data usually suffered poorly in these places though. All the same problems I had when I was a Sprint customer I have now when I’m on the cell network.

However at work, there is a funny dead spot that affects all of us… well, did affect all of us. Now two of us are on Republic and we tag on our guest wireless to make phone calls, so while we have Verizon and Sprint people having to move around the building to find cell signal, us Republic users are strong phone and texting over WiFi.

Call Quality

First call I make I’m on wireless, nice and clear (relatively), arguably better than when I’m on the cell network. Walked on the other side of the house where my WiFi is spotty without thinking about it, after my call Republic had a message for me “Congratulations on your first WiFi to cell transfer!”, I honestly didn’t even notice.

When I’m on cell, again I notice no difference from Sprint’s network. Of course this is all “by ear” and phone quality is garbage as-is (when compared to higher quality VOIP services such as TeamSpeak).

Account Management Tools

The account management UI on the site is simple and easy to use and offers a few fun reports on WiFi offloading. Everything is consistently clean and minimal, without the need for a ton of additional text, details, and ads for other services plastered all over the screen as is common with other carriers.

Simple straightforward statement history page.

Simple straightforward statement history page.

Order status page showing the phone I ordered.

Order status page showing the phone I ordered.

Nice phone status page.

Nice phone status page.

Easy to read bill.

Easy to read bill.

Cool little offload graph

Cool little offload graph

Their mobile app leaves a lot to be desired, I can’t access billing, orders or my overall WiFi offloading, but is receiving improvements so we may see those sometime. Recently detailed data usage has been added, showing you how much data is being used on various networks including wireless, cell and roaming, and by what apps. Very useful.

Dashboard, not much to see here.

Dashboard, not much to see here.

My Account leaves much to be desired.

My Account leaves much to be desired.

New feature on the app, data tracking.

New feature on the app, data tracking.

New feature on the app, data tracking.

New feature on the app, data tracking.


Cost Savings

Sprint Republic
Data + Minutes $69.99 $25.00
Premium Data $10.00
Surcharges $4.15
Taxes $6.01 $5.17
Total $90.15 $30.17

$59.98/month in savings, I pay for my cell phone in 3 months.

Hardware Availability

Now for the bad news, Republic Wireless currently only offers 3 phones. The Moto X (just releasing the 2nd gen), the Moto G (1st gen) and the Moto E. The reason for this is that they have to put their own calling software on the phone to handle their WiFi offloading technology.

If you’re looking for a specific phone (or anything not Android) you’re out of luck for the time being. I think the range of phones offers a decent choice in features and prices, but I can see if you have your heart set on a phone you may be locked out of Republic Wireless.

I hope they consider porting their system to Cyanogenmod, opening up for unsupported phones that you can hack onto their network.

Also, Republic Wireless doesn’t subsidize your phone cost, so you’ll be dropping anywhere from $99-$300 on a new phone when you hop on Republic Wireless (used phones are available too at discounted rates).


Unless you need a specific phone or can’t deal with Sprint’s towers, go with Republic Wireless, you’re throwing money away if you don’t. If you’re currently on Sprint you’re dealing with their spotty towers AND not taking advantage of leveraging WiFi, stop doing that to yourself and get on Republic Wireless.

Looking at my bill and my early cancellation fees (yours may be different), I should have dropped them months ago and hopped on Republic Wireless for a massive savings by now.

I’ll come back after probably 6-12 months and update this on anymore findings…