How to set up automatic Git deployments

Posted: 03 December, 2019

What are we doing?

This is a simple way to use Git to create automatic deployments. There are a lot of ways of doing this, but this was the simplest method to quickly get your code on to a production or development server.


Here is an example workspace:

Your live directory: /var/www/ Your server repository: /var/repo/website.git

What we are going to do is push to website.git and make the content available at /var/www/

Create the repo

Log in to your server from the command line and add the following:

cd /var
mkdir repo && cd repo
mkdir website.git && cd website.git
git init --bare

--bare sets our folder to have no files, just the version control files.

Using hooks

Git repos have a folder called 'hooks'. This contains sample files for actions that you can hook and perform custom actions on.

There are three possible server hooks: 'pre-receive', 'post-receive' and 'update'

Go to your repository and type


You will see some folders, including the *'hooks' folder

cd hooks

Create 'post-receive'

cat > post-receive

Then add:

git --work-tree=/var/www/ --git-dir=/var/repo/website.git checkout -f

Hit 'control-d' to save. Now set some permissions.

chmod +x post-receive