Git based plugin for large-file-like support
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Git BigJobbies and Mercurial Large Files

Mercurial 2.0 released a '''large files extension''' which enables partial clones of a repository, without cloing a project's full history. This was done to allow Mercurial to store files that don't compress well (such as compiled output or media-heavy resources), but which may be stored in the repository as well and acquired on demand.

More information about the large files extension can be found at and more information on Mercurial's RevLog format can be found at

Owing to the way Mercurial files are stored on disk (with the RevLog format), this change was not trivial to implement. In addition, it requires that any existing repository be upgraded to support large files, along with a new flag --large to indiciate that the data is to be handled differently.

The LargeFiles extension is a way of putting the Centralised back into DeCentralised, since if the repository is no longer contactable you cannot resolve your data.

Git BigJobbies

Git BigJobbies is both a demonstration for how to create Git extensions (created as part of @alblue's "Git Tip of the Week" series, available from ), and a simplistic way of achieving the same support for out-of-branch files as Mercurial LargeFiles.

It is not intended as a practical or useful extension; rather, it is a demonstration that Git's object storage model can easily be adapted to new use cases if so desired.

The extension has known bugs, is not recommended for general use, and is for light entertainment purposes only. Generally the use of Git Submodules is recommended for separation of large binary assets from source code; or alternatively on separate branches (or other references) within the same repository.


Download and install git-bigjobbies somewhere in your PATH.

  • git bigjobbies add path/file - add the file as a bigjobby to the repository
  • git bigjobbies rm path/file - remove the file as a bigjobby to the repository
  • git bigjobbies resolve - resolves all bigjobbies in this checkout

Known Issues

This is generally a bad idea; the point of decentralised version control systems is that they should be decentralised, not introduce a centralised system which is needed in order for the operation to work.