Troubleshooting Git

Sometimes things don’t work the way they should or as you might expect when you’re using Git. Here are some tips on troubleshooting and resolving issues with Git.

Broken pipe errors on git push

‘Broken pipe’ errors can occur when attempting to push to a remote repository. When pushing you will usually see:

Write failed: Broken pipe
fatal: The remote end hung up unexpectedly

To fix this issue, here are some possible solutions.

Increase the POST buffer size in Git

If pushing over HTTP, you can try increasing the POST buffer size in Git’s configuration. Open a terminal and enter:

git config http.postBuffer 52428800

The value is specified in bytes, so in the above case the buffer size has been set to 50MB. The default is 1MB.

Check your SSH configuration

If pushing over SSH, first check your SSH configuration as ‘Broken pipe’ errors can sometimes be caused by underlying issues with SSH (such as authentication). Make sure that SSH is correctly configured by following the instructions in the SSH troubleshooting docs.

There’s another option where you can prevent session timeouts by configuring SSH ‘keep alive’ either on the client or on the server (if you are a GitLab admin and have access to the server).

Note: configuring both the client and the server is unnecessary.

To configure SSH on the client side:

  • On UNIX, edit ~/.ssh/config (create the file if it doesn’t exist) and add or edit:

       ServerAliveInterval 60
       ServerAliveCountMax 5
  • On Windows, if you are using PuTTY, go to your session properties, then navigate to “Connection” and under “Sending of null packets to keep session active”, set “Seconds between keepalives (0 to turn off)” to 60.

To configure SSH on the server side, edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config and add:

ClientAliveInterval 60
ClientAliveCountMax 5

Running a git repack

If ‘pack-objects’ type errors are also being displayed, you can try to run a git repack before attempting to push to the remote repository again:

git repack
git push

Upgrade your Git client

In case you’re running an older version of Git (< 2.9), consider upgrading to >= 2.9 (see Broken pipe when pushing to Git repository).

ssh_exchange_identification error

Users may experience the following error when attempting to push or pull using Git over SSH:

Please make sure you have the correct access rights 
and the repository exists. 
ssh_exchange_identification: read: Connection reset by peer 
fatal: Could not read from remote repository. 

This error usually indicates that SSH daemon’s MaxStartups value is throttling SSH connections. This setting specifies the maximum number of unauthenticated connections to the SSH daemon. This affects users with proper authentication credentials (SSH keys) because every connection is ‘unauthenticated’ in the beginning. The default value is 10.

Increase MaxStartups by adding or modifying the value in /etc/ssh/sshd_config:

MaxStartups 100

Restart SSHD for the change to take effect.

Timeout during git push/pull

If pulling/pushing from/to your repository ends up taking more than 50 seconds, a timeout will be issued with a log of the number of operations performed and their respective timings, like the example below:

remote: Running checks for branch: master
remote: Scanning for LFS objects... (153ms)
remote: Calculating new repository size... (cancelled after 729ms)

This could be used to further investigate what operation is performing poorly and provide GitLab with more information on how to improve the service.