Automating Git Commits and Pushes on Linux and cPanel Servers

Creating a system to automatically commit and push changes from a directory in a Linux server or a cPanel hosting environment can be a great way to maintain backups or track changes over time for specific projects.

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on setting up an automated Git commit and push process using a bash script and a cron job.

Prerequisites

  • A Linux server or a hosting account with cPanel and SSH access.
  • Git installed on the server.
  • A Git repository initialized in the directory you want to auto-commit and push.
  • SSH keys set up for passwordless authentication with your Git repository host (e.g., GitHub, GitLab), if pushing to a remote repository.

Step 1: Create the Bash Script for Auto-commit and Push

  1. SSH into your server or open the Terminal in cPanel’s Terminal interface.
  2. Navigate to a directory where you want to keep your scripts, e.g., your home directory.
cd ~

3. Create a new file named git_auto_commit.sh using a text editor, like nano or vi.

nano git_auto_commit.sh

4. Paste the script. Make sure to replace /path/to/your/repository with the actual path to your Git repository, and the git config lines with your actual Git email and name.

SCRIPT:

#!/bin/bash

echo "Starting the auto-commit process..."

cd /path/to/your/repository || exit

echo "Checking for changes..."
# Check for any changes, including untracked files.
if git diff --exit-code --quiet && git diff --staged --exit-code --quiet && [ -z "$(git status --porcelain | grep '^\?\?')" ]; then
echo "No changes to commit."
exit
else
echo "Changes detected."
fi

echo "Configuring Git user..."
git config user.email "you@example.com"
git config user.name "Your Name"

echo "Adding all changes, including untracked files..."
git add .

echo "Committing changes..."
git commit -m "Weekly auto-commit on $(date)"

echo "Pushing to remote..."
git push origin master

echo "Done."

5. Save and exit the editor. If using nano, press Ctrl + O, Enter to save, and Ctrl + X to exit.

6. Make the script executable by running:

chmod +x git_auto_commit.sh

Step 2: Set Up a Cron Job

On a Linux Server

  1. Open your user’s crontab for editing:
crontab -e

2. Add a cron job to run the script at a regular interval. For example, to run it every Sunday at 3 AM, add:

0 3 * * 0 /path/to/git_auto_commit.sh

3. Adjust the path to where your git_auto_commit.sh script is located.

4. Save and exit the crontab editor.

In cPanel

  1. Log in to cPanel and navigate to the Cron Jobs section under the Advanced tab.
  2. Set up the schedule for your cron job. Use the Common Settings dropdown for presets or manually enter the timing. For a weekly commit, you might set it to run once a week at a specific time.
  3. In the Command field, enter the full path to your script, prefixed with bash, like so:
bash /home/yourcpanelusername/path/to/git_auto_commit.sh

4. Replace /home/yourcpanelusername/path/to/git_auto_commit.sh with the actual path to your script.

5. Add the cron job by clicking the “Add New Cron Job” button.

Step 3: Verify Operation

After setting up your cron job, it’s a good idea to verify that it runs successfully at the scheduled time. You can check the commit history in your Git repository to see if the auto-commits are occurring as expected.

Notes

  • Ensure that your script and cron job are set up with the correct paths and that your Git repository is configured for SSH key-based authentication if pushing to a remote repository.
  • Be mindful of the security implications of storing scripts and using cron jobs. Ensure that your server and cPanel account have strong, secure passwords and that SSH access is secured.
  • This setup assumes you have basic familiarity with Linux commands, text editors, and cron job scheduling. Adjustments may be necessary depending on your specific server environment and requirements.

By following these steps, you’ve created an automated system that will commit and push changes from your specified directory to your Git repository on a weekly basis, helping to ensure your changes are backed up and versioned without manual intervention.

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The Modern Developer Academy - by Alex Madrazo

Guatemalan software enthusiast in Madrid, leading high-performing engineering teams. Passionate about tech, entrepreneurship, and economics.