Serving local repositories

Sourcegraph is designed to abstract away all repository management operations from the user. However, we still often get the question: "how do I load local repositories?"

The instructions below (using the Sourcegraph CLI to act as a pseudo-code host for Sourcegraph to interact with) do enable this, but they can be quite complex. The root of the challenge is that Sourcegraph assumes that code will change over time. It has been intentionally designed to save the user from the manual effort of keeping repositories up to date (i.e., re-cloning or fetching the latest changes every time you want to search) by automatically keeping repositories updated, keeping the updated content indexed, and making the change history visible and explorable to users.

And, practically, Sourcegraph was built with the assumption that certain tasks, such as getting a list of repositories and running git operations like clones, would be accessible over a network rather than on the same disk (i.e., that there would be HTTP API and git endpoints).

In both the short-term and the long-term, it is far easier for users to connect Sourcegraph to a code host than to try to load code from a local disk, and we strongly encourage users, where possible, to connect to their code host of choice instead of trying to follow the instructions below.

When Sourcegraph is connected to a code host, none of that code is ever sent off of your local Sourcegraph deployment, and nobody that you haven't given access to (whether at Sourcegraph or anywhere else) has access to your code. Sourcegraph only maintains a local clone, and does all code analysis and indexing operations locally. Read more specifics about our policies and what we do collect in our security overview.

Using the Sourcegraph CLI to serve local repositories

The Sourcegraph CLI (src) provides the command src serve-git which will recursively serve up the git repositories it finds in the current directory. It exposes the repositories over HTTP as well as an API for Sourcegraph to query.

The most common use-case for src serve-git is to create git repos that do not exist on a code host for Sourcegraph. For example:

  • Splitting up a monorepo into a repository per project.
  • Post-processing repositories for search. eg: extracting JAR files or committing files generated in the build process.
  • Using git p4 to serve up Perforce repositories.
  • Serve up local repositories to Sourcegraph while trialling it.


  1. Install Sourcegraph CLI (src).
  2. Run src serve-git in a directory with git repositories. Ensure the address is reachable by Sourcegraph.
  3. Go to Site admin > Manage code hosts > Add repositories
  4. Select Sourcegraph CLI Serve-Git.
  5. Configure the URL field to the address for src serve-git.
  6. Press Add repositories.

IMPORTANT: If you are running Sourcegraph in docker and are using a Linux host machine, replace host.docker.internal in the above with the IP address of your actual host machine because host.docker.internal does not work on Linux. You should use the network-accessible IP shown by ifconfig (rather than or localhost).


src-cli publishes Docker images which can be used instead of the binary. For example to publish your current directory run:

docker run \
  --rm=true \
  --publish 3434:3434 \
  --volume $PWD:/data/repos:ro \
  sourcegraph/src-cli:latest serve-git /data/repos

To confirm this is working visit http://localhost:3434


Before Sourcegraph 3.19 we recommend users to still use src-expose.