On Thu, 5 May 2011 09:36:08 -0400
Jeremiah Dodds <jeremiah.do...@gmail.com> wrote:

> > > That is not an error message, that's the config command.
> > >
> > > Maybe you pasted the wrong line?
> > The error message is in the message's subject.
> >
> > Not that I understand why it happens anyway.
> > --global is meant to modify ~/.gitconfig and ~ is supposed to be
> > writable.
> >
> > On the other hand, googing for this error messages suggests that Git
> > should actually show *why* it failed to lock the config file,
> > decoding the errno of a relevant syscall (much like perror() works).
> >
> >
>  If you're on linux, you might be able to figure out what's going on
> with minimal pain via strace, dtruss on OSX. I don't know about
> windows. Have you checked the permissions on the file?

I've just performed a bit of source-diving and it appears that locking
is done via creating a physical file (such as ~/.gitconfig.lock)
which is written and then substituted in place of the original file.
This is also described in Documentation/technical/api-lockfile.txt.

I'm lazy to dig deeper, so I can propose two possible causes:
1) Somehow the ~/.gitconfig.lock file does exist.
2) The OP does not have a write permission on the directory which Git
   sees as being the user's home directory.

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