git-annex allows managing files with git, without checking the file contents into git. While that may seem paradoxical, it is useful when dealing with files larger than git can currently easily handle, whether due to limitations in memory, time, or disk space.

git-annex is designed for git users who love the command line. For everyone else, the git-annex assistant turns git-annex into an easy to use folder synchroniser.

To get a feel for git-annex, see the walkthrough.

key concepts

the details

other stuff

use case: The Archivist

Bob has many drives to archive his data, most of them kept offline, in a safe place.

With git-annex, Bob has a single directory tree that includes all his files, even if their content is being stored offline. He can reorganize his files using that tree, committing new versions to git, without worry about accidentally deleting anything.

When Bob needs access to some files, git-annex can tell him which drive(s) they're on, and easily make them available. Indeed, every drive knows what is on every other drive.
more about location tracking

Bob thinks long-term, and so he appreciates that git-annex uses a simple repository format. He knows his files will be accessible in the future even if the world has forgotten about git-annex and git.
more about future-proofing

Run in a cron job, git-annex adds new files to archival drives at night. It also helps Bob keep track of intentional and unintentional copies of files, and logs information he can use to decide when it's time to duplicate the content of old drives.
more about backup copies

use case: The Nomad

Alice is always on the move, often with her trusty netbook and a small handheld terabyte USB drive, or a smaller USB keydrive. She has a server out there on the net. She stores data, encrypted in the Cloud.

All these things can have different files on them, but Alice no longer has to deal with the tedious process of keeping them manually in sync, or remembering where she put a file. git-annex manages all these data sources as if they were git remotes.
more about special remotes

When she has 1 bar on her cell, Alice queues up interesting files on her server for later. At a coffee shop, she has git-annex download them to her USB drive. High in the sky or in a remote cabin, she catches up on podcasts, videos, and games, first letting git-annex copy them from her USB drive to the netbook (this saves battery power).
more about transferring data

When she's done, she tells git-annex which to keep and which to remove. They're all removed from her netbook to save space, and Alice knows that next time she syncs up to the net, her changes will be synced back to her server.
more about distributed version control

If that describes you, or if you're some from column A and some from column B, then git-annex may be the tool you've been looking for to expand from keeping all your small important files in git, to managing your large files with git.

Recent news

version 8.20201116
Posted Mon Nov 16 13:39:16 2020
version 8.20201103
Posted Tue Nov 3 15:54:01 2020

devblog

day 633 ten years
Posted Wed Oct 21 14:32:33 2020
day 631-632 memory leak
Posted Tue Oct 13 22:58:08 2020
day 630 introspection for speed
Posted Fri Sep 25 17:51:34 2020
day 630 dealing with git changes
Posted Mon Sep 7 20:57:40 2020
day 629 async external special remotes
Posted Fri Aug 14 20:01:50 2020

Recent videos

git-annex assistant lan
Posted Wed Jun 4 16:49:34 2014
git-annex views demo
Posted Thu Feb 20 17:23:07 2014

Recent forum posts

Thoughts on glacier remotes for archive purposes
Posted Tue Nov 24 11:53:42 2020
Updating repository permissions
Posted Wed Nov 18 09:04:54 2020
Moving S3 special remote
Posted Tue Nov 3 16:38:17 2020
How are people handling the v8 repo upgrade?
Posted Mon Oct 26 20:55:14 2020

git-annex is Free Software, written in Haskell. You can contribute!

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