4 things you might not have known about Git

Git is a well known distributed version control system which was designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency. Many developers (including myself) have used it for years not knowing following things.

Origin of the name

The official readme states:

The name “git” was given by Linus Torvalds when he wrote the very first version. He described the tool as “the stupid content tracker” and the name as(depending on your mood):

  • random three-letter combination that is pronounceable, and not actually used by any common UNIX command. The fact that it is a mispronunciation of “get” may or may not be relevant.
  • stupid. contemptible and despicable. simple. Take your pick from the dictionary of slang.
  • “global information tracker”: you’re in a good mood, and it actually works for you. Angels sing, and a light suddenly fills the room.
  • “goddamn idiotic truckload of sh*t”: when it breaks

Linus once stated: “I’m an egotistical bastard, and I name all my projects after myself. First ‘Linux’, now ‘git’.”

Git was initially a toolkit for a version control system

Git was initially a toolkit for a version control system rather than a full user-friendly VCS. It has plumbing (low-level commands) and porcelain (high-level commands). Low-level commands allow you to basically create your own VCS. Luckily, that is rarely the case since the porcelain is simply awesome.

SVN interoperability

Git has built-in support for SVN. It allows a developer to take advantage of Git on projects which use SVN, or it can be used to migrating to Git.

Lost data are not really lost

Have you ever accidentally deleted a branch or done a hard reset and later found out you shouldn’t have done that? There is a git reflog which will help you out! It records when the tips of branches and other references were updated in the local repository. For more details see documentation.


The Fastest and The Safest Web Pages

When it comes to the speed and the safety of web pages nothing beats static web pages. However, they are tedious to write and every change across multiple files hurts. That is where static site generator comes in handy.

What is a static site generator?

A static site generator transforms page content written in markup language (such as Markdown) into HTML pages.

Main advantages

  • Usability — Writing Markdown instead of HTML
  • Flexibility — Page layout is defined at one place
  • Speed — Nothing loads faster than a static HTML
  • Safety — No runtime, no place for malicious code
  • Free/cheap hosting

Where do I get a static site generator?

There is a list of static site generators at StaticGen.

Which do I choose?

It depends. Personally, I recommend using the one which matches your use case, and/or is written in a programming language you know in case you want to write a plugin.

I can recommend Jekyll and Hugo.

Use cases

This blog uses Jekyll

  • Blog
  • Project site
  • Business / Personal sites
  • etc.


To name a few free hosting services:

What if I need some dynamic content?

It is possible with JAMstack. JAMstack is a modern web development architecture based on client-side JavaScript, reusable APIs, and prebuilt Markup.

Applying Nette Coding Standard with PHP <7.1

A few days ago, I came across a How to Apply Nette Coding Standard in Your Project blog post and I fell in love. That was exactly what I was looking for! The only problem is that I do not have PHP 7.1 installed (I have got PHP 7.0) and I cannot update (at least not easily without breaking things).


Recently, I was fiddling with Vagrant. Therefore, I used gained knowledge to set up a simple vagrant project solving my problem.


Synchronize project folder

Add project folder, you want to check, to Vagrantfile:

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  config.vm.synced_folder "path/to/project-to-check", "/vagrant_data/project-to-check"

Note: You can add multiple project folders

Style check & fix

Now run Vagrant and connect via SSH.

$ vagrant up
$ vagrant ssh

Once you are connected via SSH move to /vagrant folder and run check&fix.

$ ./ecs check /vagrant_data/project-to-check/app/ --config vendor/nette/coding-standard/coding-standard-php70.neon --fix

For more details read tool documentation.

For whom is this?

This solution is for people who for some reason do not have PHP ≥7.1 installed and still want to check&fix their PHP coding style according to Nette Coding Standards.


A cron job using Vagrant

In A cron basics we learned how to set up a cron job in a local environment. Today I am going to show you how to set it programmatically using Vagrant.

Provisioning files

A script file

First, we write a script we want to execute. To make it as simple as possible we just write current date to a /vagrant/www/cron.html file

#!/usr/bin/env bash

# File: vagrant/cron/cron-job.sh

# Write current date to cron.html
echo $(date) > /vagrant/www/cron.html

Crontab file

Secondly, we define a crontab file.

# Run example cron job
*/1 * * * * bash /vagrant/vagrant/cron/cron-job.sh

# Comment to make sure there is new line at the end of file
# https://askubuntu.com/questions/23009/why-crontab-scripts-are-not-working/23337#23337

Do you know how often will be this script executed? No? Go check the Online Crontab Editor.


Finally, we install new crontab file.

#!/usr/bin/env bash

# File: vagrant/cron/cron.sh

echo "----- Provision: Setting up cron ..."
# Overwrite crontab configuration
crontab /vagrant/vagrant/cron/crontab

And we update master unprivileged script because we do not need a privileged user for that.

#!/usr/bin/env bash

# File: vagrant/unprivileged.sh

# ...
# Available unprivileged configurations
bash /vagrant/vagrant/cron/cron.sh
# ...

Does it work?

To see if it works visit http://project.v.martinvana.com/cron.html.


LAMP with Vagrant

In Setting up Vagrant I showed you Hello world project with Vagrant. Now I am going to show you how to set up a LAMP environment.


Provisioning is a way to install and configure software inside a virtual machine. Simplest usable way of doing so is using a shell script. That is what I am going to do.

However, that is not the only option. You can use more advanced automatic configuration and orchestration tools such as Ansible or Puppet if you are proficient with them.

Configuring Vagrant

First, we take a look at Vagrantfile. The minimum configuration contains box definition.

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  config.vm.box = "ubuntu/xenial64"

With a configuration like this, our only way of accessing VM is using SSH. Therefore, we create a private network, which allows host-only access to the machine using a specific IP.

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  config.vm.box = "ubuntu/xenial64"
  config.vm.network "private_network", ip: ""

Now we could manually edit /etc/hosts and map address to a hostname project.v.martinvana.com. But life is too short to do things manually.

Therefore we install a vagrant-hostmanager plugin.

$ vagrant plugin install vagrant-hostmanager

Now we can let DHCP select an IP address and we set up a custom IP resolver.

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  config.vm.box = "ubuntu/xenial64"
  config.vm.network "private_network", type: "dhcp"
  config.vm.hostname = "project.v.martinvana.com"

  if Vagrant.has_plugin?('vagrant-hostmanager')
		config.hostmanager.enabled = true
		config.hostmanager.manage_host = true
		config.hostmanager.ip_resolver = proc do
			`vagrant ssh -c "hostname -I"`.split()[1]

Since we are using a Virtualbox it is reasonable to limit resources it can consume. Allow using 1GB RAM and 1CPU which can use up to 50% of a single host CPU.

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  # ...
  config.vm.provider "virtualbox" do |vb|
    vb.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--cpuexecutioncap", "50"]
    vb.memory = 1024
    vb.cpus = 1
  # ...

Finally, we got to the provisioning part of a configuration. Folder vagrant in our project is going to contain all provisioning files.

We could define an arbitrary number of provisioning scripts. Therefore I set up three:

  • install.sh – Install and configure software
  • load.sh – Actions to do on vagrant up
  • unprivileged.sh – Actions to do as a unprivileged user
Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  # ...
  config.vm.provision :shell, :path => "vagrant/install.sh"
  config.vm.provision :shell, :path => "vagrant/load.sh", run: "always"
  config.vm.provision :shell, :path => "vagrant/unprivileged.sh", privileged: false
  # ...

Content of install.sh is following:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

echo "----- Provision: Setting Prague timezone ..."
ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Prague /etc/localtime

echo "----- Provision: Add repositories ..."
# ...

echo "----- Provision: Re-synchronize the package index files from their sources ..."
apt-get update

echo "----- Provision: Install the newest versions of all packages currently installed on the system ..."
apt-get upgrade -y

# Available configurations
bash /vagrant/vagrant/apache/apache.sh
bash /vagrant/vagrant/mysql/mysql.sh
bash /vagrant/vagrant/php/php.sh
bash /vagrant/vagrant/utils/utils.sh

# Cleanup
apt-get -y autoremove

As you can see, I am not creating one huge install script but rather several small ones. load.sh and unprivileged.sh files are empty for now.


To set up Apache we need to configure a virtual host.

# File: vagrant/apache/sites-available/project.conf

<VirtualHost *:80>
  ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
  DocumentRoot /var/www/www

  LogLevel warn

  ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
  CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
# File: vagrant/apache/conf-available/project.conf

<Directory /var/www/>
  Options FollowSymLinks
  AllowOverride All

First, we install Apache, then we create a symbolic link to shared folder /vagrant, and finally, we configure a virtual host.

#!/usr/bin/env bash

# File: vagrant/apache/apache.sh

echo "----- Provision: Installing apache ..."
apt-get install -y apache2

echo "----- Provision: Setup /var/www to point to /vagrant ..."
if ! [ -L "/var/www" ]; then
	rm -rf "/var/www"
	ln -fs "/vagrant" "/var/www"

# Apache / Virtual Host Setup
echo "----- Provision: Install Apache configurations ..."
rm -rf /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/*
if ! [ -L "/etc/apache2/sites-available" ]; then
	if ! [ -L "/etc/apache2/sites-available/project.conf" ]; then
		ln -s "/vagrant/vagrant/apache/sites-available/project.conf" "/etc/apache2/sites-available/project.conf"
	a2ensite -q project.conf

if ! [ -L "/etc/apache2/conf-available/project.conf" ]; then
	rm -f "/etc/apache2/conf-available/project.conf"
	ln -s "/vagrant/vagrant/apache/conf-available/project.conf" "/etc/apache2/conf-available/project.conf"
a2enconf -q project.conf

To verify that everything went as expected we create a HTML file.

$ echo "Hello world!" > www/index.html

Now we can view the page at http://project.v.martinvana.com/.

The last thing we do is to make sure we restart Apache on vagrant up in order to server configuration file to take effect.

#!/usr/bin/env bash

# File: vagrant/load.sh

echo "----- Provision: Restarting Apache ..."
service apache2 restart


To install PHP we first have to add PPA with PHP 7.1.

# File: vagrant/install.sh

# ...
echo "----- Provision: Add repositories ..."
add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

# ...

Now we can install PHP, its extensions, and Composer in a similar fashion as in the case of Apache.

#!/usr/bin/env bash

# File: vagrant/php/php.sh

echo "----- Provision: Installing php ..."
apt-get install -y \
        php7.1 \
        php7.1-xdebug \
        php7.1-zip \
        php7.1-mysql \

echo "----- Provision: Installing composer ..."
EXPECTED_SIGNATURE=$(wget -q -O - https://composer.github.io/installer.sig)
php -r "copy('https://getcomposer.org/installer', 'composer-setup.php');"
ACTUAL_SIGNATURE=$(php -r "echo hash_file('SHA384', 'composer-setup.php');")

  >&2 echo 'ERROR: Invalid installer signature'
  php composer-setup.php --quiet --install-dir=/usr/local/bin --filename=composer

rm composer-setup.php

To verify that everything went as expected we create a PHP file.

$ echo $'<?php\nphpinfo();' > www/info.php

At http://project.v.martinvana.com/info.php we can view the PHP information page.


The only thing we have to take care of during MySQL installation is setting the root password.

#!/usr/bin/env bash

# File: vagrant/mysql/mysql.sh

echo "----- Provision: Installing mysql ..."
# Username: root
# Password: root
debconf-set-selections <<< 'mysql-server mysql-server/root_password password root'
debconf-set-selections <<< 'mysql-server mysql-server/root_password_again password root'

apt-get install -y \

To verify MySQL (and also Composer) installation I created a simple project with Adminer database management tool.

    "name": "vanam/vagrant-kickstarter",
    "type": "project",
    "require": {
        "php": ">=7.1.0",
        "ext-mysql": "*",
        "ext-zip": "*",

        "dg/adminer-custom": "^1.9"

Now you should be able to log in as root user.

With composer project in place, we also want to automate dependency updating. For this, we use the unprivileged.sh file.

#!/usr/bin/env bash

echo "----- Provision: Moving to '/vagrant' directory ..."
cd "/vagrant"

echo "----- Provision: Installing composer dependencies ..."
composer install --no-interaction


  • You need a stable internet connection during provisioning.
  • Until you call vagrant up --provision or vagrant provision changes will not be applied.
  • Provisioning files should be idempotent (have the same effect if run multiple times).
  • Every configuration change must be written down in a script otherwise it will be lost.
  • Installation scripts might fail. For advanced workflows use configuration and orchestration tools such as Ansible or Puppet.


As you can see, configuring a first (LAMP) virtual machine is not hard if you have previous knowledge of GNU/Linux systems. There is minimum Vagrant configuration and the rest is just a system configuration.

Full source code is available on Github.