Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hosting a Maven Repository on Github for Gradle Builds

Gradle is a great tool for organizing the build logic of software projects. Gradle is able to handle all the dependency management necessary even for very small projects. Under the hood, it relies on Ivy and can deal with Maven repositories.
The question is where to upload my own artifacts which should be accessible as dependencies for other projects. As always, there are several alternatives to choose from. A small excerpt:
  1. Use one of the free Maven repository hosting services as provided by Sonatype for example
  2. Set up an own server with Artifactory or Nexus or something similar (although http, ftp, ssh, ... would suffice, as well)
  3. Create a new Git project and publish it to Github
One benefit of the Sonatype solution is the automated repository synchronization with the Maven Central Repository. However, since the projects have to fulfill a certain set of requirements and I do not need to find my pet projects at Maven Central, this is not my preferred solution.
The company I work for uses Artifactory set up on a dedicated server which is running 24/7 and plays nicely with the continuous integration system. Again, this seems a bit overkill for my private projects.
Since I'm using Git already and have a Github account featuring a very small number of projects, the third alternative seems very appealing to me. This solution requires three basic steps:
  1. Set up and synchronize Git repositories
  2. Upload project artifacts to local Git repository and synchronize it with Github
  3. Configure the Github project as mavenRepo within Gradle build files for depending projects

Step 1: Create a Git Project and Synchronize with Github

For Github project creation I follow the Github Repository Creation Guide. At first I create a repository on Github using the web interface.

Afterwards, I set up a local repository und synchronize it with Github using the following steps:
$ mkdir maven-repository
$ cd maven-repository
$ git init
Initialized empty Git repository in /home/thevis/GIT/maven-repository/.git/
$ touch
$ git add
$ git commit -m 'first commit'
[master (root-commit) eeee5a8] first commit
 0 files changed, 0 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)
 create mode 100644
$ git remote add origin
$ git push -u origin master
Counting objects: 3, done.
Writing objects: 100% (3/3), 209 bytes, done.
Total 3 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0)
 * [new branch]      master -> master
Branch master set up to track remote branch master from origin.
A quick check at Github shows that has actually been pushed to Github and that repository snchronization works fine.

Step 2: Upload Project Artifacts to Local Git Repository

My intention is to establish the following release workflow for my projects: Make and upload a release build using gradle clean build uploadArchives, manually check results in the local Git directory, add it to the Git repository, and finally push it to Github. Well, I know that software releases should not involve manual steps and should be performed on dedicated machines runing build server software and so on and so on...
However, since I'm the only contributor for my projects and the release cycles are somewhat unsettled, this procedure is fairly sufficient for my needs.
Therefore, I change to a project to be released and add following lines to the build.gradle file:
apply plugin: 'maven'

uploadArchives {
	repositories.mavenDeployer {
		repository(url: "file:///home/thevis/GIT/maven-repository/")
Executing the release procedure described above yields the following result:
$ gradle clean build uploadArchives
[...suppressed a few output lines here...]
Uploading: net/thevis/hadoop/groovy-hadoop/0.2.0/groovy-hadoop-0.2.0.jar to repository remote at file:///home/thevis/GIT/maven-repository/
Transferring 5239K from remote
Uploaded 5239K


Total time: 24.443 secs
Just to be sure, I check the result by hand:
$ find /home/thevis/GIT/maven-repository/ -name "*groovy-hadoop*"
Looks good, so I add the files to Git and push them to Github:
$ cd /home/thevis/GIT/maven-repository/
$ git add .
$ git commit -m "released groovy-hadoop-0.2.0"
[master 5026f70] released groovy-hadoop-0.2.0
 9 files changed, 40 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)
 create mode 100644 net/thevis/hadoop/groovy-hadoop/0.2.0/groovy-hadoop-0.2.0.jar
 create mode 100644 net/thevis/hadoop/groovy-hadoop/0.2.0/groovy-hadoop-0.2.0.jar.md5
 create mode 100644 net/thevis/hadoop/groovy-hadoop/0.2.0/groovy-hadoop-0.2.0.jar.sha1
 create mode 100644 net/thevis/hadoop/groovy-hadoop/0.2.0/groovy-hadoop-0.2.0.pom
 create mode 100644 net/thevis/hadoop/groovy-hadoop/0.2.0/groovy-hadoop-0.2.0.pom.md5
 create mode 100644 net/thevis/hadoop/groovy-hadoop/0.2.0/groovy-hadoop-0.2.0.pom.sha1
 create mode 100644 net/thevis/hadoop/groovy-hadoop/maven-metadata.xml
 create mode 100644 net/thevis/hadoop/groovy-hadoop/maven-metadata.xml.md5
 create mode 100644 net/thevis/hadoop/groovy-hadoop/maven-metadata.xml.sha1
$ git push origin master
Counting objects: 17, done.
Delta compression using up to 2 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (7/7), done.
Writing objects: 100% (16/16), 5.12 MiB | 98 KiB/s, done.
Total 16 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0)
   eeee5a8..5026f70  master -> master

Step 3: Use Custom Repository for Depending Projects

There is only one potential pitfall here. The most difficult part is to determine the URL scheme for downloading files from Github. The file groovy-hadoop-0.2.0.jar page reveales the real artifact URL if one hovers the mous pointer over the raw link: Thus, the maven repository URL to configure is not but rather
With this finding in mind, all the rest is pretty straightforward. For testing purposes I set up the follwing build.gradle:
apply plugin: 'java'
apply plugin: 'eclipse'

version = '0.1.0'
group = 'net.thevis.hadoop'
sourceCompatibility = '1.6'

repositories { 
	mavenRepo urls: ''

dependencies {
	compile 'net.thevis.hadoop:groovy-hadoop:0.2.0'
And guess what? It works like a charm.


  1. My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

    Maven company Set Up

  2. Can't manage to get it working. Could you please upload your full build.gradle? I've got little experience with this tool.

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  4. I cant make it work but I´m trying with bitbucket, whats `raw/master`?

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