git-annex can transfer data to and from configured git remotes. Normally those remotes are normal git repositories (bare and non-bare; local and remote), that store the file contents in their own git-annex directory.
But, git-annex also extends git's concept of remotes, with these special types of remotes. These can be used just like any normal remote by git-annex. They cannot be used by other git commands though.
- S3 (Amazon S3, and other compatible services)
- Amazon Glacier
- gcrypt (encrypted git repositories!)
The above special remotes can be used to tie git-annex into many cloud services.
There are many use cases for a special remote. You could use it as a backup. You could use it to archive files offline in a drive with encryption enabled so if the drive is stolen your data is not. You could git annex move --to specialremote large files when your local drive is getting full, and then git annex move the files back when free space is again available. You could have one repository copy files to a special remote, and then git annex get them on another repository, to transfer the files between computers that do not communicate directly.
The git-annex assistant makes it easy to set up rsync remotes using this last scenario, which is referred to as a transfer repository, and arranges to drop files from the transfer repository once they have been transferred to all known clients.
None of these use cases are particular to particular special remote types. Most special remotes can all be used in these and other ways. It largely doesn't matter for your use what underlying transport the special remote uses.
Here are specific instructions for using git-annex with various services:
- Amazon S3
- Amazon Glacier
- Internet Archive via S3
- Google drive
- Google Cloud Storage
Unused content on special remotes
Over time, special remotes can accumulate file content that is no longer
referred to by files in git. Normally, unused content in the current
repository is found by running
git annex unused. To detect unused content
on special remotes, instead use
git annex unused --from. Example:
$ git annex unused --from mys3 unused mys3 (checking for unused data...) Some annexed data on mys3 is not used by any files in this repository. NUMBER KEY 1 WORM-s3-m1301674316--foo (To see where data was previously used, try: git log --stat -S'KEY') (To remove unwanted data: git-annex dropunused --from mys3 NUMBER) $ git annex dropunused --from mys3 1 dropunused 12948 (from mys3...) ok