Hello --

I want to use git (and git-annex) to take point-in-time snapshots of an FTP site. Think "web.archive.org" but for an FTP site. I'm using LFTP to mirror the site into a directory, which I then check into git. This way I can go back in time to see what the state of the site was in the past.

The site itself is currently about 10K files and about 30GB. The files themselves are mostly zip files, as well as some xml files. I expect files to not change much, and when they do I expect their sizes and modification times to change. I'm using v6 mode with unlocked files.

Here are my questions:

  1. I found that plain "git status" and "git diff" (not using git-annex) is quite slow. i assume this is because git is computing checksums of all the files?

  2. On the assumption that the problem is that git is computing checksums, it seems like the appropriate way to get more performance is to tell git-annex to ignore checksum, i.e. use the WORM backend. Is this correct? I found that git status with the WORM backend set is fast.

  3. What is the proper way to set a backend globally? 'git annex init' has an option "--backend" but it doesn't seem to have any effect. The correct way to set this globally is "git config annex.backends WORM", yes?

  4. Since I'm using another program to mirror the site, it appears I cannot use "locked" mode, as the mirroring program (lftp) will see that git-annex has replaced everything with symlinks and re-download the files. Correct? Therefore I'm using plain "git add" instead of "git annex add."

  5. Another reason why I appear to be forced to use "unlocked" mode is that, as part of the mirroring, the directory permissions are set to match the site, which are not writable. git-annex appears to be unable to move the files that are inside of directories without write permissions. Note that I am the owner of the local files/directories, and lftp happily adds and modifies files insides of these unwritable directories just fine, presumably by temporarily changing the permissions. Is this correct? Should I submit a feature request here?

  6. Although I am using WORM and unlocked mode, I found the initial "git add" and "git commit" of the 10K / 30GB of files to be pretty slow. It takes on the order of 30 minutes for the add and an hour for the commit. I didn't see a ton of either CPU or I/O activity. A subsequent update of about 600 files is taking a long time to add (running 'git add -A'.) I assume commit time will also be long. Is this to be expected? I would have hoped that the WORM backend prevents git from needing to actually read the files for a checksum.

  7. I understand that "thin = false" will lead to data duplication. I assume this will make the initial commits slower. Are there other performance implications of changing the thin setting?

Thank you for creating a great tool.