Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Private Mercurial repositories

I got tired of the ad-hoc way I share my files between my personal laptop, my work laptop, my desktop PC, my Linux server,  and the teacher workstation at the private school where I'm teaching summer classes. In addition to not always having access to the files I want, I also wasn't sure which version is latest.

I am familiar with Dropbox and other cloud solutions, but I like having more control over my data. And, my company's firewall blocks them.

This weekend I've set up private Mercurial repositories through my web server. Now the master copy of my files is on my Linux server, and all my computers can sync from it. Plus, my files are now version-controlled. I got a SSL certificate from StartSSL, a great company that's been providing free, quality certs for a long time.

(Needless to say, I comply with the letter and the spirit of my company's data security policies. I push to my server only files that are my own and have no connection to my project.)

For professional Mercurial and Git hosting, I recommend Bitbucket. They offer free repositories for open-source projects, and even free private repositories for up to 5 users.