Multisig trust for git using any combination of signed git tags, notes, or commits.
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Anton Livaja 911dff8fa7
fix: spelling errors
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.sig overhaul git handling to have same threshold meaning as detached using hybrid tag/commit sigs 2020-12-03 20:56:38 -08:00
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Makefile overhaul git handling to have same threshold meaning as detached using hybrid tag/commit sigs 2020-12-03 20:56:38 -08:00 fix: spelling errors 2024-04-07 11:31:28 -04:00
git-sig force signature fetch 2023-09-26 18:54:21 -07:00


The simple multisig toolchain for git repos.


  • Attach any number of signatures to any given git ref
  • Verify git history contains a minimum threshold of unique commit signatures
  • Verify signatures belong to a defined GPG alias group
  • Verify code changes made since last time minimum valid signatures were present
  • Allow user to manually verify new keys and add to alias groups on the fly
  • Prompt user to install or upgrade any required tools as needed
  • Signs notes against git "tree hash" so signatures survive a rebase
    • So long as the directory contents at a given ref do not change


  1. Clone

    git clone
  2. Review source code and signatures manually

    Using git-sig to verify the signatures of git-sig itself is not recommended as it could simply lie to you.

    Consider using the following one liner which is much faster to review:

    git fetch origin refs/notes/signatures:refs/notes/signatures
    while read -r line; do \
      gpg --verify \
        <(printf "$line" | sed 's/.*pgp://g'| openssl base64 -d -A) \
        <(printf "$line" | sed 's/pgp:.*/pgp/g'); \
    done < <(git notes --ref=signatures show)
  3. Copy to $PATH

    cp git-sig ~/.local/bin/


git sig add [-m,--method=<note|tag>] [-p,--push]
    Add signature for this repository
git sig remove
    Remove all signatures on current ref
git sig verify [-g,--group=<group>] [-t,--threshold=<N>] [d,--diff=<branch>]
    Verify m-of-n signatures by given group are present for directory.
git sig push [-r,--remote=<remote>]
    Push all signatures on current ref
git sig fetch [-g,--group=<group>]
    Fetch key by fingerprint. Optionally add to group.
git sig help
    Show this text.
git sig version
	Show version information.


  • Note
    • Store/Verify signatures via Git Notes (default)
    • Can be exported and verified by external tools even without git history
  • Tag
    • Any git signed tags count towards total signatures
    • Can optionally store new signatures as "sig-*" signed tag
  • Commit
    • Signed commits count as one valid signature


  • Single sig mode: Repo contents controlled by signer
  • Multi-sig mode: Repo contents verified by multiple signers
  • Multi-sig group mode: Repo contents approved by specified individuals
  • Hashing scheme is not broken: (SHA1, blame Torvalds)


Verify at least one signature is present with a known key

git sig verify

Verify 2 unique signatures from known keys

git sig verify --threshold 2

Verify 3 unique signatures from specified signing group

git sig verify --threshold 3 --group myteam

Show diff between HEAD and last ref with 2 verified unique signatures

git sig verify --threshold 2 --diff

Add signature

git sig add

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Bash?

Because it is easy to quickly verify at any time, has wide OS compatibility and the majority of the needed operations are calling other programs already on most systems like gpg and openssl.

If this were in another language it would be harder to audit on the fly, would require the user to have a specific language toolchain installed, and it would still mostly just be a bunch of shell executions to call system binaries anyway.

Why PGP?

In spite of many popular claims to the contrary, PGP is still the most well supported protocol for distribution, verification, and signing for keys held by individual humans. It is also the only protocol with wide HSM support allowing you to keep keys out of system memory and require physical approval for each operation. E.G a trezor, ledger, YubiKey, etc.

Admittedly the GnuPG codebase itself is a buggy dated mess, but PGP as a spec is still Pretty Good for many use cases. A recent modern rewrite by a number of former GnuPG team members is near complete and set to give PGP a long and stable future.


Why not "notary" ?

Notary is very well designed and well supports many HSMs.

It may be worth supporting as an alternate method in the future if m-of-n multisig is ever implemented as a part of the TUF specification which has been on their TODO list for a few years now.

It has the very desirable feature of conditionally expiring signatures which no other solution has at the time of this writing, which comes from it being purpose built for software signing concerns.

See: The Update Framework

Why not straight "openssl" ?

Openssl has HSM support via OpenSC that is fairly well supported via PKSC#11.

Contributions suggesting this an alternative backend to OpenPGP are welcome, however they would have to also come with methods for key discovery and pinned key groups via configuration files of some kind.

PGP gives us these features almost for free.

Why not "signify", "age", or "crev" ?

These alternatives have poor if any support for HSM workflows and thus put private keys at too much risk of theft or loss to recommend for general use at this time.

That said, verifying folders/repos that use these methods is certainly of value and contributions to support doing this on systems where those tools are available are welcome.