The git-annex Windows port is beta, but rapidly becoming polished and usable!


  • There can be problems when the git-annex repository is in a deep or long path. Ie, C:\loooooooooooooooooongdir\. Details here Workaround: Put your git-annex repo in C:\annex or some similar short path if possible.

  • XMPP library not yet built. (See below.)

  • Local pairing seems to fail, after acking on Linux box, it stalls. (Also, of course, the Windows box is unlikely to have a ssh server, so only pairing with a !Windows box will work.)

  • gcrypt is not ported to windows (and as a shell script, may need to be rewritten)

  • Incremental fsck sets the sticky bit to record when a file is fscked, and this is not done on windows, so fsck doesn't behave incrementally there.

  • Deleting a git repository from inside the webapp fails "RemoveDirectory permision denied ... file is being used by another process"

potential encoding problems

Unicode file names ignored on Windows is fixed, but some potential problems remain, since the FileSystemEncoding that git-annex relies on seems unreliable/broken on Windows.

  • When git-annex displays a filename that it's acting on, there can be mojibake on Windows. For example, "háčky.txt" displays the accented characters as instead the pairs of bytes making up the utf-8. Tried doing various things to the stdout handle to avoid this, but only ended up with encoding crashes, or worse mojibake than this.

  • md5FilePath still uses the filesystem encoding, and so may produce the wrong value on Windows. This would impact keys that contain problem characters (probably coming from the filename extension), and might cause interoperability problems when git-annex generates the hash directories of a remote, for example a rsync remote.

  • encodeW8 is used in Git.UnionMerge, and while I fixed the other calls to encodeW8, which all involved ByteStrings reading from git and so can just treat it as utf-8 on Windows (via decodeBS), in the union merge case, the ByteString has no defined encoding. It may have been written on Unix and contain keys with invalid unicode in them. On windows, the union merge code should probably check if it's valid utf-8, and if not, abort the merge.

  • If interoperating with a git-annex repository from a unix system, it's possible for a key to contain some invalid utf-8, which means its filename cannot even be represented on Windows, so who knows what will happen in that case -- probably it will fail in some way when adding the object file to the Windows repo.

  • If data from the git repo does not have a unicode encoding, it will be mangled in various places on Windows, which can lead to undefined behavior.

minor problems

  • webapp lets user choose to encrypt repo, and generate gpg key, before checking that gcrypt is not installed
  • Ssh connection caching does not work on Windows, so git annex get has to connect twice to the remote system over ssh per file, which is much slower than on systems supporting connection caching.
  • glacier-cli is not easily available (probably)
  • user feedback: "Git on windows installer provides openssh 4.6. git-annex installer provides openssh 6.2 . This seems to create problems regarding how known_hosts file path is setup. Setting GIT_SSH= to the git-annex openssh version fixes the problem."
    However, I don't know how to determine what that location is after it's been installed. Maybe look for ssh.exe in same directory as git-annex.exe? --Joey

stuff needing testing

  • test that adding a repo on a removable drive works; that git is synced to it and files can be transferred to it and back
  • Does stopping in progress transfers work in the webapp?

trying to build XMPP

Lots of library deps:

  1. gsasl-$ from (includes gnuidn and gnutls)
  2. pkg-config from
  3. libxml2 from mingw: both the -dll and the -dev
  4. Extract all the above into the Haskell platform's mingw directory. Note that pkg-config needs to be moved out of a named subdirectory.
  5. Run in DOS prompt (not cygwin!): cabal install network-protocol-xmpp

Current FAIL:

Loading package gnutls-0.1.5 ... ghc.exe: internal error: Misaligned section: 18206e5b
    (GHC version 7.6.3 for i386_unknown_mingw32)
        Please report this as a GHC bug:

Note: This only happens in the TH link stage. So building w/o the webapp works with XMPP.


  1. Use EvilSplicer, building first without XMPP library, but with its UI, and a second time without TH, but with the XMPP library. Partially done on the winsplicehack branch, but requires building patched versions of lots of yesod dependency chain to export modules referenced by TH splices, like had to be done on Android. Horrible pain. Ugly as hell.
  2. Make a helper program with the XMPP support in it, that does not use TH.
  3. Swich to a different XMPP client library, like