git-remote-annex - remote helper program to store a git repository in a git-annex special remote


git fetch annex::uuid?param=value&param=value...


This is a git remote helper program that allows git to clone, pull and push from a git repository that is stored in a git-annex special remote with an URL that starts with "annex::"

The special remote needs to have a remote.<name>.url configured to use this. That is set up automatically when git cloning from a special remote.

To make git-annex-initremote(1) and git-annex-enableremote(1) configure the url, pass them the --with-url option.

Or, to configure an existing special remote with a shorthand URL, run:

git config annex::

Once the URL is configured, you can use git pull, git push, etc with the special remote much like with any other git remote. But see CONFLICTING PUSHES below for some situations where it behaves slightly differently.


This uses an URL that starts with "annex::". There are three forms of such URLs:

  • Complete URL

    This contains the UUID and all configuration parameters of the special remote that were passed when using git-annex initremote.

    For example, to clone from a directory special remote:

    git clone annex::358ff77e-0bc3-11ef-bc49-872e6695c0e3?type=directory&encryption=none&directory=/mnt/foo/

  • Shorthand URL

    This makes it easy to configure an existing special remote with an URL without having to come up with the complete URL.


    When using this shorthand URL, the full URL will be displayed each time you git pull or push, when it's possible for git-annex to determine it. (Although in some cases, like the directory special remote, some parameters may be left off of the displayed URL.)

  • Web URL

    This URL points at a file on the web, which contains the complete annex:: URL.


    Not all special remotes can be accessed by such an URL, for security reasons. Currently, this is limited to httpalso special remotes.


Like any git repository, a git repository stored on a special remote can have conflicting things pushed to it from different places. This mostly works the same as any other git repository, eg a push that overwrites other work will be prevented unless forced.

However, it is possible, when conflicting pushes are being done at the same time, for one of the pushes to be overwritten by the other one. In this situation, the overwritten push will appear to have succeeded, but pulling later will show the true situation.


The git repository is stored in the special remote using special annex objects with names starting with "GITMANIFEST" and "GITBUNDLE". For details, see:

Pushes to a special remote are usually done incrementally. However, sometimes the whole git repository is re-uploaded. That is done when force pushing a ref, or deleting a ref from the remote. It's also done when too many git bundles accumulate in the special remote, as configured by the remote.<name>.annex-max-git-bundles git config.

Note that a re-upload of the repository does not delete old GITBUNDLE objects from it. This means that refs pushed to the special remote can still be accessed even after deleting or overwriting them.

A push that deletes every ref from the special remote will delete all the accumulated GITBUNDLE objects. But of course, making such a push means that someone who clones from the special remote at that point in time will see an empty remote.






Joey Hess

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