A transparent bridge between Git and Dropbox - use a Dropbox (shared) folder as a Git remote! 🎁
Python

README.rst

git-remote-dropbox

git-remote-dropbox is a transparent bidirectional bridge between Git and Dropbox. It lets you use a Dropbox folder or a shared folder as a Git remote!

This Git remote helper makes Dropbox act like a true Git remote. It maintains all guarantees that are provided by a traditional Git remote while using Dropbox as a backing store. This means that it works correctly even when there are multiple people operating on the repository at once, making it possible to use a Dropbox shared folder as a Git remote for collaboration.

Once the helper is installed, using it is as simple as adding a remote like dropbox://path/to/repo.

To clone repositories in folders or shared folders mounted in your Dropbox, you can run:

git clone "dropbox://path/to/repo"

To add a remote to an existing local repository, you can run:

git remote add origin "dropbox://path/to/repo"

The repository directory will be created automatically the first time you push.

After adding the remote, you can treat it just like a regular Git remote. The Dropbox-backed remote supports all operations that regular remotes support, and it provides identical guarantees in terms of atomicity even when there are concurrent operations, even when using a shared folder.

Setup

  1. Install the helper with pip install git-remote-dropbox.
  2. Generate an OAuth 2 token by going to the app console, creating a Dropbox API app with full access to all files and file types, and generating an access token for yourself.
  3. Save your OAuth token in ~/.config/git/git-remote-dropbox.json or ~/.git-remote-dropbox.json. The file should look something like this:
{
    "token": "xxxxxxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
}

Notes

  • Do not directly interact with Git repositories in your Dropbox folder - always use git-remote-dropbox. If you're using the Dropbox client to sync files, it's a good idea to use selective sync and disable syncing of the folder containing the repository to avoid any unexpected conflicts, just in case.
  • git-remote-dropbox does not use the Dropbox desktop client - it uses the API directly. It does not require that the desktop client is installed.
  • The remote helper does not support shallow cloning.
  • Cloning a repository or fetching a lot of objects produces lots of loose objects. To save space in the local repository, run git gc --aggressive.
  • After cloning a repository from Dropbox, Git will not automatically check out a branch. To check out a branch, run git checkout <branch>.

FAQ

Why shouldn't I keep my Git repository in Dropbox and let the client sync it?

There seem to be a lot of articles on the Internet recommending this as a good workflow. However, this is not a good idea! The desktop client is not aware of how Git manages it's on-disk format, so if there are concurrent changes or delays in syncing, it's possible to have conflicts that result in a corrupted Git repository. This may be uncommon with the way the timing works out in the single user case, but it's still not safe!

Why shouldn't I keep a bare Git repository in a Dropbox shared folder, use it as a folder-based Git remote, and sync it with the desktop client?

There seem to be some articles on the Internet suggesting that this is a good idea. It's not. Using the desktop client to sync a bare Git repository is not safe. Concurrent changes or delays in syncing can result in a corrupted Git repository.

How can I access / recover my repository from Dropbox without using the git-remote-dropbox helper?

Because git-remote-dropbox uses an on-disk format that's compatible with Git, accessing your repository without using the helper is easy:

  1. Download the repository data (a directory containing the objects and refs directories) from Dropbox.
  2. Make a new directory and initialize an empty Git repository in the directory.
  3. Overwrite .git/refs and .git/objects in your newly initialized repository with the data downloaded from Dropbox (using a command like rm -rf .git/{refs,objects} && cp -r /path/to/data/{refs,objects} .git/).
  4. Check out a branch (using a command like git checkout -f master).
  5. Optionally, run git gc --aggressive to save disk space in your local repository.

Design

To read about the design of git-remote-dropbox, see DESIGN.rst. This could be especially useful if you're thinking about contributing to the project.

Contributing

Do you have ideas on how to improve git-remote-dropbox? Have a feature request, bug report, or patch? Great! See CONTRIBUTING.md for information on what you can do about that.

Packaging

  1. Update version information.
  2. Build the package using python setup.py sdist bdist_wheel --universal.
  3. Sign and upload the package using twine upload -s dist/*.

License

Copyright (c) 2015-2017 Anish Athalye. Released under the MIT License. See LICENSE.rst for details.