A tool for managing large binary files in git repositories.
Git-fat is a tool written by jedbrown. This repository / pypi package is a fork which we are actively trying to resolve. With that said, the repository placeholder format is compatible with both, so they should be interchangeable for now. Please take care to check which one you are using before opening issues on either repository, and include as much information as possible so that we are able to help you as best we can.
Now an explanation about what (either)
Checking large binary files into a distributed version control system is
a bad idea because repository size quickly becomes unmanageable. Numerous
operations take longer to complete and fresh clones become something
that you start and wait for a bit before coming back to them.
git-fat allows you to separate the storage of large-files from
the source while still having them in the working directory for your project.
- Cloning the source code remains fast because binaries are not included
- Binary files really exist in your working directory and are not soft-links
- Only depends on Python 2.7 and a backend
- Supports anonymous downloads of files over http
OS support: Linux, Mac, Windows.
Python support: only 2.x
You can install
git-fat using pip.
pip install git-fat
Or you can install it simply by placing it on your path.
curl https://raw.github.com/cyaninc/git-fat/master/git_fat/git_fat.py \ | sudo tee /usr/local/bin/git-fat && sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/git-fat
Installation on Windows
To install from PyPI type:
pip install --upgrade git-fat
It is required for the Python27/Scripts directory to be in PATH.
See also other scripts in the win32/ directory:
- install_win.py - this script ensures that a binary wheel package (.whl) is installed from PyPI. If for example there is a Linux source package (.tar.gz) available and its version number is higher than any of the available .whl packages, then the pip tool would install the Linux source package and for obvious reasons it wouldn't work.
- run_tests_xxx.bat - run unit tests
- setup.bat - install package from sources
- setup_wheel.bat - create a binary Python Wheel package in the dist/ directory and install that package
First, create a
file in the root of your repository. This file determines which files
get converted to
cat >> .gitattributes <<EOF *.deb filter=fat -crlf *.gz filter=fat -crlf *.zip filter=fat -crlf EOF
Next, create a
.gitfat configuration file in the root of your repo
that contains the location of the remote store for the binary files.
Optionally include the ssh user and port if non-standard. Also,
optionally include an http remote for anonymous clones.
[rsync] remote = storage.example.com:/path/to/store user = git port = 2222 [http] remote = http://storage.example.com/store
Commit those files so that others will be able to use them.
Initialize the repository. This adds a line to
git what command to run for the
fat filter is in the
git fat init
Now when you add a file that matches a pattern in the
file, it will be converted to a fat placeholder file before getting
committed to the repository. After you've added a file remember to push
it to the fat store, otherwise people won't get the binary file when
they try to pull fat-files.
git fat push
After we've done a new clone of a repository using
git-fat, to get
the additional files we do a fat pull. This will pull the default backend
as determined by the first entry in the
.gitfat file for the repo.
git fat pull
To specify which backend to use when pulling or pushing files, then simply list the backend type after the pull or push command.
git fat pull http
To list the files managed by
git fat list
To get a summary of the orphan and stale files in the repository
git fat status
Orphans are files that exist as placeholders in the working copy. Stale
files are files that are in the
.git/fat/objects directory, but have
no working copy associated with them (e.g. old versions of files).
To find files over a certain size, use git fat find. This example finds all objects greater than 10MB in git's database and prints them out.
git fat find 10485760
For many commands,
git-fat by default only checks the current
HEAD for placeholder files to clone. This can save on bandwidth for
frequently changing large files and also saves on processing time for
very large repositories. To force commands to search the entire history
for placeholders and pull all files, call
git fat -a pull
If you add
git-fat to an existing repository, the default behavior
is to not convert existing binary files to
git-fat. Converting a
file that already exists in the history for git would not save any
space. Once the file is changed or renamed, it will then be added to the
To setup an http server to accept
git-fat requests, just configure a
webserver to have a url serve up the
git-fat directory on the
server, and point the
.gitfat http remote to that url.
You can retroactively import a repository to
git-fat using a combination
index-filter used with git's
Before you do this, make sure you understand the consequences of rewriting history and be sure to backup your repository before starting.
First, clone the repository and find all the large files with the
git fat find command.
darthurdent at betelgeuse in /tmp/git-fat-demo (master) $ git fat find 5123123 761a63bf287867da92eb420fca515363c4b02ad1 9437184 flowerpot.tar.gz 6c5d4031e03408e34ae476c5053ee497a91ac37b 10485760 whale.tar.gz
Review the files and make sure that they're what you want to exclude from the
repository. If the list looks good, put the file names into another file that
will be read from during
darthurdent at betelgeuse in /tmp/git-fat-demo (master) $ git fat find 5123123 | cut -d' ' -f3- > /tmp/towel darthurdent at betelgeuse in /tmp/git-fat-demo (master) $ cat /tmp/towel flowerpot.tar.gz whale.tar.gz darthurdent at betelgeuse in /tmp/git-fat-demo (master) $ ll total 19M drwxrwxr-x 3 darthurdent darthurdent 4.0K Dec 10 13:42 . drwxrwxrwt 6 root root 76K Dec 10 13:42 .. drwxrwxr-x 6 darthurdent darthurdent 4.0K Dec 10 13:42 .git -rw-r--r-- 1 darthurdent darthurdent 9.0M Dec 10 13:37 flowerpot.tar.gz -rw-r--r-- 1 darthurdent darthurdent 10M Dec 10 13:37 whale.tar.gz
git fat index-filter as the index filter.
Pass in the file name containing the paths to files you want to exclude.
darthurdent at betelgeuse in /tmp/git-fat-demo (master) $ git filter-branch --index-filter 'git fat index-filter /tmp/towel'\ --tag-name-filter cat -- --all Rewrite 28cfba441aac92992c3f80dae97cd1c19b3befad (2/2) Ref 'refs/heads/master' was rewritten
Review the changes made to the repository.
darthurdent at betelgeuse in /tmp/git-fat-demo (master) $ ll total 19M drwxrwxr-x 3 darthurdent darthurdent 4.0K Dec 10 13:42 . drwxrwxrwt 6 root root 76K Dec 10 13:42 .. drwxrwxr-x 6 darthurdent darthurdent 4.0K Dec 10 13:42 .git -rw-rw-r-- 1 darthurdent darthurdent 64 Dec 10 13:42 .gitattributes -rw-rw-r-- 1 darthurdent darthurdent 9.0M Dec 10 13:42 flowerpot.tar.gz -rw-rw-r-- 1 darthurdent darthurdent 10M Dec 10 13:42 whale.tar.gz darthurdent at betelgeuse in /tmp/git-fat-demo (master) $ cat .gitattributes flowerpot.tar.gz filter=fat -text whale.tar.gz filter=fat -text darthurdent at betelgeuse in /tmp/git-fat-demo (master) $ git cat-file -p $(git hash-object whale.tar.gz) #$# git-fat 8c206a1a87599f532ce68675536f0b1546900d7a 10485760
Remove all the old and dangling references by doing a clone of the repository
you just cleaned. The
file:// uri is
darthurdent at betelgeuse in /tmp/git-fat-demo (master) $ cd .. && git clone file://git-fat-demo git-fat-clean
- git-annex is a far more comprehensive solution, but was designed for a more distributed use case and has more dependencies.
- git-media adopts a similar
git-fat, but with a different synchronization philosophy and with many Ruby dependencies.
To run the tests, simply run
python setup.py test.
To use the development version of
git-fat for manual testing, run
pip install -U . (suggest doing that in a virtualenv).
Master branch is a stable branch with the latest release at the HEAD.
- Better Documentation (esp. setting up a server)
- Improved Testing
- config file location argument (global)
- cli option to specify which backend to use for push and pull (http, rsync, etc)
- Python 3 compatibility (without six)
- Really implement pattern matching
- Git hooks