Please describe the problem.

had datalad get -J4 lockup ... interrupted it, ran git annex directly to observe some errors reported and what looks like to be an attempt to determine if the home directory on remote end is a git repo... see below for details of such a run.

may be unrelated but also experiencing some lock ups while "interacting" with this remote from datalad

What version of git-annex are you using? On what operating system?

6.20180206+gitg638032f3a-1~ndall+1 on the local 6.20180115-g56b56033a on remote

Please provide any additional information below.

$> 'git' '-c' 'receive.autogc=0' '-c' 'gc.auto=0' 'annex' 'get' '--debug' '-c' 'remote.rolando.annex-ssh-options=-o ControlMaster=auto -S /home/yoh/.cache/datalad/sockets/810d3ac4' '--json' '--json-progress' -J4  --from rolando --key SHA256E-s4295588--8db39d197775c7372bb1afff197ea724f158f3217ad064eef7ff8427a1502f15.tgz    
fatal: Not a git repository: '../../../home/bids/.git'
git-annex-shell: Not a git-annex or gcrypt repository.
  Unable to run git-annex-shell on remote .
{"byte-progress":4295588,"action":{"command":"get","note":"from rolando...","key":"SHA256E-s4295588--8db39d197775c7372bb1afff197ea724f158f3217ad064eef7ff8427a1502f15.tgz","file":null},"total-size":4295588,"percent-progress":"100%"}
{"byte-progress":4295588,"action":{"command":"get","note":"from rolando...","key":"SHA256E-s4295588--8db39d197775c7372bb1afff197ea724f158f3217ad064eef7ff8427a1502f15.tgz","file":null},"total-size":4295588,"percent-progress":"100%"}
{"command":"get","note":"checksum...","success":true,"key":"SHA256E-s4295588--8db39d197775c7372bb1afff197ea724f1  Unable to run git-annex-shell on remote .

$> git annex drop 'sourcedata/sub-qa/ses-20180102'
drop sourcedata/sub-qa/ses-20180102/anat/sub-qa_ses-20180102_scout.dicom.tgz (locking rolando...) ok
(recording state in git...)

$> 'git' '-c' 'receive.autogc=0' '-c' 'gc.auto=0' 'annex' 'get' '--debug' '-c' 'remote.rolando.annex-ssh-options=-o ControlMaster=auto -S /home/yoh/.cache/datalad/sockets/810d3ac4' '--json' '--json-progress' --from rolando --key SHA256E-s4295588--8db39d197775c7372bb1afff197ea724f158f3217ad064eef7ff8427a1502f15.tgz     
{"byte-progress":4295588,"action":{"command":"get","note":"from rolando...","key":"SHA256E-s4295588--8db39d197775c7372bb1afff197ea724f158f3217ad064eef7ff8427a1502f15.tgz","file":null},"total-size":4295588,"percent-progress":"100%"}
{"byte-progress":4295588,"action":{"command":"get","note":"from rolando...","key":"SHA256E-s4295588--8db39d197775c7372bb1afff197ea724f158f3217ad064eef7ff8427a1502f15.tgz","file":null},"total-size":4295588,"percent-progress":"100%"}
{"command":"get","note":"checksum...","success":true,"key":"SHA256E-s4295588--8db39d197775c7372bb1afff197ea724f158f3217ad064eef7ff8427a1502f15.tgz","file":null}

$> cat .git/config
 ...
[remote "rolando"]
   url = bids@rolando.cns.dartmouth.edu:/inbox/BIDS/dbic/QA
   fetch = +refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/rolando/*
   annex-uuid = 6384a551-a41d-4290-b186-9258befede97
   annex-ignore = false

To get to that host I have ProxyCommand ssh -q -A smaug.dartmouth.edu 'nc -w1 %h %p' in my ~/.ssh/config for it (if relevant)

Have you had any luck using git-annex before? (Sometimes we get tired of reading bug reports all day and a lil' positive end note does wonders)

Most of the days of the week. Friday is a tricky one