Configuring a test instance of Phabricator and Gitolite




  1. Spin up in the tooling cluster if it does not yet exist.

Create the gitolite pods by navigating to the infrastructure repository and applying the Gitolite config.

cd sourcegraph/infrastructure/kubernetes/tooling
kubectl apply -f ./gitolite
  1. Follow readme docs


Alternatively, you can run gitolite via docker locally. I suggest just using because it can messy getting your gitolite docker container to talk to your Phabricator docker container.

docker run -p 22:22 -e SSH_KEY="$(cat ~/.ssh/" elsdoerfer/gitolite

# Print info from gitolite
ssh -p22 git@localhost info

Managing repositories

Managing your gitolite instance is done via the gitolite-admin repository. You simply clone it, commit configuration changes and push back to the remote and gitolite will apply any changes you made.

git clone git@<your-gitolite-host>:gitolite-admin

If you'd like to create a new private/public key pair for Phabricator, add the public key to gitolite-admin/keydir and modify gitolite-admin/conf/gitolite.conf to look the following

repo gitolite-admin
  RW+ = @all

repo testing
  RW+ = @all

To create a new repository, add a new entry in this file and gitolite will provision a new repository once you push the update to the remote.

Once your changes in gitolite-admin are done, commit and push to the remote.


Phabricator is primarily used as a code review tool. Phabricator's code reviews are of patches from a changeset rather than a diff between a target (e.g. master) and a source branch (e.g. my-new-feature) as is the case with pull requests. This means that it doesn't have to upload changes to the git remote of a repository. Because of this, Sourcegraph must get the changes a user is viewing from somewhere else.

Ideally, staging areas (cmd+f for "staging area") are enabled for each repository and accessible by Sourcegraph. If this is the case, Sourcegraph simply takes changes from the staging area, which is itself a git repository.

If staging areas aren't enabled, Sourcegraph takes the patchset from the diff and attempts to apply them to the repository.



Create the phabricator pods by navigating to the infrastructure repository and applying the Phabricator config.

cd sourcegraph/infrastructure/kubernetes/tooling
kubectl apply -f ./phabricator

Docker (local)

You can run locally via docker. We have for this using Bitnami.

dev/phabricator/ <tag>
# where <tag> is a release version from


Add repositories

  1. Click the link to Diffusion

  2. Create a repository and select git as the vcs

    Give the repository a name and a callsign with only alphanumeric characters (just the name in all caps works).

  3. Click URIs in the side bar

  4. Click on each URI that's already there, click edit, and set it to no I/O and hidden.

  5. Go to the URIs list again and click Add New URI on the right side of the page, click edit, then set it to Observe and Visible.

  6. Once created, click "Set Credential" on the right

    Click "Add New Credential". Fill out the form. Give it a private key from a public/private key pair that has access to your gitolite. To add it to Gitolite, checkout the gitolite-admin repo and add the public key to keydir/ under the name $ Then open conf/gitolite.conf and give $USER read and write permissions to the repository.

  7. Now go back to the "manage repository" page and click activate repository on the right.

    If configured correctly, Phabricator will start mirroring the repository.

Install the Sourcegraph Phabricator extension.

You can use dev/phabricator/ To install it manually:

SSH into your Phabricator instance and follow the installation steps in the README. If you used the helper scripts, the root Phabricator directory will be /opt/bitnami/phabricator.

Workflow for creating diffs

  1. Install Phabricator's cli, Arcanist

  2. In your terminal, navigate to a repository that has been added to your Phabricator instance

  3. Ensure .arcconfig has been added

        "phabricator.uri" : "https://<your phabricator host>/"
  4. Make some changes and push the diff to Phabricator's

    Use arc to create a new branch

    arc branch my-branch

    Make some changes, commit them, and upload the diff to Phabricator. DO NOT PUSH them to the git remote. If you push the changes to the git remote, we no longer are testing a critical feature of the Sourcegraph Phabricator integration, which is that it uses staging areas if configured or attempts to apply patchsets.

    git add . git commit -m "some changes" arc diff

    arc uploaded the patch that git generated from your changes and creates an associated "diff". Diffs are code reviews for patchsets. Phabricator's philosophy is to keep diffs as small as possible so they can be reviewed quickly and thoroughly, but don't assume that users follow this. Create large diffs in your test cases.

    At this point, changes live on Phabricator that aren't in the git remote. Sourcegraph either gets these changes from staging areas (cmd+f for "staging area") or it attempts to apply the patchset on a temporary clone of the repo.

    You are now at a point where you can test the Sourcegraph extensions in Phabricator code review. Navigate to the diff that arc created in your browser and the extension should be working just as the browser extension does on GitHub.