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Project Description


turnip is a flexible and scalable Git server suite written in Python using Twisted.

The various servers provide customisable virtual hosting, with flexible authentication and authorisation, and individual horizontal scaling from the frontend to the storage layer.

None of the Python interfaces here should be considered stable.


turnip’s architecture is designed to maximise simplicity, scalability and robustness. Each server provides roughly one service, and an installation need only run the servers that it desires. Most servers eschew local state to ease horizontal scaling, and those that do have local state can replicate and/or shard it.

There are two separate server stacks: pack and API. The pack stack communicates with Git clients via the pack protocol (git://), smart HTTP, or smart SSH. The HTTP and SSH frontends unwrap the tunneled pack protocol, and forward it onto the midends as a normal pack protocol connection. The separate HTTP API stack provides a programmatic remote interface to high-level read and write operations on the repositories

  • Pack
  • Smart HTTP
  • Smart SSH
  • Pack virtualisation
  • API virtualisation
  • Pack
  • API

Internal protocol

turnip uses an extension of the Git pack protocol for most communication between its servers. The only change is that turnip requests can specify arbitrary named parameters, not just a hostname.

The relevant part of the Git pack protocol’s git-proto-request is represented in ABNF as follows:

git-proto-request = request-command SP pathname NUL [ host-parameter NUL ]
host-parameter = "host=" hostname [ ":" port ]

turnip-proto-request alters it to this:

turnip-proto-request = request-command SP pathname NUL \*( param NUL )
param = param-name "=" param-value
param-name = \*( %x01-3C / %x3E-FF ) ; exclude NUL and =
param-value = \*%x01-FF ; exclude NUL

The only additional parameters implemented today are ‘turnip-stateless-rpc’ and ‘turnip-advertise-refs’, which are used by the smart HTTP server to proxy to the standard pack protocol.



Create a trusty container (optional):

sudo lxc-create -t ubuntu -n turnip.trusty -- -r trusty -a amd64 -b $USER

Run the following:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:launchpad/ppa
sudo apt-get update
cat system-dependencies.txt | sudo xargs apt-get install -y --no-install-recommends


Pack smart-http/ssh services can be started with:


The HTTP API can be started with:

make run-api


Turnip is deployed with the turnip juju charm, available from:

git clone

To deploy with the local provider:

juju switch local juju bootstrap juju deploy –repository=/path/to/loca/charm/repo/root local:trusty/turnip

NEWS for turnip

0.1.1 (2015-06-11)

  • Add a merge detection API.

0.1 (2015-06-02)

  • Initial release.

Release History

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