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google / hesokuri


Distributed Git repo synchronization tool.



Distributed Git repo synchronization tool.


Hesokuri synchronizes one or more Git source code repositories between multiple machines on a network. It is useful in the following situations:

  1. You want the peace of mind of controlling the machines where your source code is stored.
  2. You control/own multiple machines and work on the same project on them.
  3. You want changes on one machine to appear on all other machines as soon as they are connected.
  4. There is enough disk capacity on the machines such that each repository can fit on two or more peers.
  5. The data to store is confidential or sensitive so it cannot be stored on a third-party’s machine or on a traditional cloud storage system.
  6. You want to use existing hardware rather than buy a dedicated backup device.

What Hesokuri does

Simply stated, as soon as you commit a change in a repository, Hesokuri attempts to push the changes to every peer that holds an instance of the repository in the configuration file.

Hesokuri pushes commits on local branches to a remote branch called X_hesokr_Y, where X is the local name of the branch and Y is the identity of the host pushing the change.

Live-edit branches

Sometimes, you will manually merge changes from X_hesokr_Y into the local branch X when you need to access them. However, if X is a live-edit branch, and it is a fast-forward of the local X branch, and the local X branch is either not checked out or it is checked out and the working area and index are clean, X will automatically be reset to the commit pointed to by X_hesokr_Y. This means if X is checked out and there are no uncommitted changes to it, your working tree will update automatically when another peer commits changes to it. This process is referred to as advancing in the source code.

You can specify which branches are live-edit in the configuration file (see the Configure section below).

Sharing changes from other peers

For every branch named X_hesokr_Y, Hesokuri will try to push it to other peers (besides Y) using the same branch name. This is useful for sharing changes between two peers that are not running at the same time, but are running at the same time as some third peer. In this case, the third peer acts as a carrier for changes that did not originate from it.

Getting started


All machines should have the following. Use earlier versions of each component at your own risk.

  1. The latest Hesokuri release jar
  2. Java Development Kit 1.7 or higher
  3. Git version or higher
  4. A Unix-like OS is recommended. Hesokuri is tested on Mac OS X and Linux, but Windows is worth a try if you are feeling adventurous.
  5. A static hostname or IP address. i.e. you should be able to do ping FOO from any machine and get a response, where FOO always refers to the same machine. This is string is called the identity.
  6. Public-key ssh login enabled for each machine. You should not be asked for credentials when logging in between peers. Super-condensed directions which will work for most cases (CENTRAL is the identity of some arbitrary "central peer"):
    • Enable ssh login on each machine if it is not already
    • For each peer, run ssh-keygen -t rsa (enter an empty string when asked for a passphrase)
    • For each peer FOO (including CENTRAL), run:
      scp ~/.ssh/ CENTRAL:/tmp/
    • After the previous command has been run on all peers, run the following on CENTRAL for each peer FOO:
      cat /tmp/* > /tmp/heso_keys
    • For each peer FOO (including CENTRAL), run
      scp CENTRAL:/tmp/heso_keys /tmp/heso_keys
      cat /tmp/heso_keys >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
  7. (alternative to 6) Be willing to use the experimental feature of authorized keys synchronization, documented in the wiki.


Decide on a directory in your home folder to put the configuration file. If you already have a Git repository for syncing configuration files and other assorted files between machines, use that. These instructions assume this directory is ~/etc and the configuration file is ~/etc/hesocfg.

On each peer, create a file at ~/[ETC]/.hesocfg which specifies all Git repos and peers to sync with. [ETC] can be anything you like, and also contains other configuration files that you want to sync between machines. You are now ready to create your configuration file.

  1. Create a repo at ~/etc (git init ~/etc)
  2. Assuming the peers to sync have addresses host-1 and host-2, create the configuration file at ~/etc/hesocfg with this text:

    ["You can put any data here as notes to maintainers of this file."]
    [{:host-to-path {"host-1" "/home/jdoe/etc"
                    "host-2" "/home/jdoe/etc"}
    :live-edit-branches {:only #{"master"}}}]}
  3. Commit the file: cd ~/etc; git add hesocfg; git commit -m 'add hesocfg'

For detailed guidance on the configuration file, see the wiki.

If a repo or any containing directory does not exist on a peer and you start Hesokuri on it, the containing directory and repo will be created automatically.


To run, execute java -jar hesokuri.jar at the command line. This starts Hesokuri in background mode, which means it is monitoring the repos for changes and pushing them or merging them automatically. Hesokuri also has sub-commands which may be handy. Run java -jar hesokuri.jar help for more information.

When you first run Hesokuri, check the output occassionally to see if it shows prompts for passwords or to confirm host keys. (It is doing this through your ssh client, of course). If you see it, then the known_hosts and/or authorized_keys files are not up-to-date. known_hosts can be updated by manually ssh-ing to the host machine, (this can be impractical for large numbers of hosts). Updating authorized_keys requires more effort, although Hesokuri can help with this - see the Requirements section above.

Web interface

When Hesokuri is running in background mode, you can go to http://localhost:8080 in a web browser to see the status of all sources and last-pushed hashes for each branch and peer. The port can be changed from the default of 8080 by setting the environment variable HESOPORT to the desired port number.

More information

  • The wiki on Github documents things that don't quite fit in the README, like the contribution process.
  • Join the Google group to get tips, discuss possible improvements to the tool, etc.


Where does the name of the project come from?

From the Japanese word meaning "secret cash hoard." It was chosen because this tool enables a kind of "hoarding" of data on a personal machine. The name also contrasts this practice with the alternative of storing your data on a third party server, while the alternative to a hesokuri is storing your money in the family bank account.

Does Hesokuri support synchronizing bare repositories?

Hesokuri is mostly tested with non-bare repositories with their own working trees. Bare repositories should also work, assuming they are initialized manually with git init --bare in the directory specified by the configuration file.

What happens when some peer is unreachable?

Before pushing a branch to a remote peer, Hesokuri makes sure it is responsive with InetAddress.isReachable (essentially a ping). If it is not responsive, Hesokuri will not push anything to that peer. Every three minutes, Hesokuri attempts a ping and push for every peer that does not have the most recent version of a branch. You can also use the web interface to force an immediate push for peers that failed their last ping.