Let's say you want to distribute some big files to the whole world. You can of course, just drop them onto a website. But perhaps you'd like to use git-annex to manage those files. And as an added bonus, why not let anyone in the world clone your site and use git-annex get!

My site like this is downloads.kitenet.net. Here's how I set it up. --Joey

  1. Set up a web site. I used Apache, and configured it to follow symlinks. Options FollowSymLinks
  2. Put some files on the website. Make sure it works.
  3. git init; git annex init
  4. git config core.sharedrepository world (Makes sure files are always added with permissions that allow everyone to read them.)
  5. We want users to be able to clone the git repository over http, because git-annex can download files from it over http as well. For this to work, git update-server-info needs to get run after commits. The git post-update hook will take care of this, you just need to enable the hook. chmod +x .git/hooks/post-update
  6. git annex add; git commit -m added
  7. Make sure users can still download files from the site directly.
  8. Instruct advanced users to clone a http url that ends with the "/.git/" directory. For example, for downloads.kitenet.net, the clone url is https://downloads.kitenet.net/.git/
  9. Set up a git post-receive hook to update the repository's working tree when changes are pushed to it. See below for details.

When users clone over http, and run git-annex, it will automatically learn all about your repository and be able to download files right out of it, also using http.

post-receive hook

If you have git-annex 4.20130703, the post-receive hook mentioned above in step 9 just needs to run git annex merge.

With older versions of git-annex, you can instead use git annex sync.

There are two gotchas with some versions of git to be aware of when writing this post-receive hook.

  1. The hook may be run with the current directory set to the .git directory, and not the top of your work tree. So you need to cd .. or similar in the hook.
  2. GIT_DIR may be set to ., which will not be right after changing directory. So you will probably want to unset it.

Here's a post-receive hook that takes these problems into account:

unset GIT_DIR
cd ..
git annex merge