Normally, when you clone a git-annex repository, and use git-annex in it, and then push or otherwise send changes back to origin, information gets committed to the git-annex branch about your clone. Things like the annexed files that are in it, its description, etc.

If you don't want the world to know about your clone, either for privacy reason or only because the clone is a temporary copy of the repository, here's how.

Recently git-annex got a new config setting, annex.private. Set it before you start using git-annex in a repository, and git-annex will avoid recording any information about the repository into the git-annex branch.

git clone ssh://... myclone
cd myclone
git config annex.private true
git annex init

Now you can use git-annex as usual, adding files to the repository, getting the contents of files, etc.

When you push changes back to origin, do still push the git-annex branch, since git-annex still uses it to record anything it needs to keep track of that does not involve your private repository.

And be sure, when adding or editing annexed files, that you git-annex copy them to a publically accessible repository. Otherwise, to everyone else, there will seem to be no copies of that file availble anywhere, since they won't know about your private repo's copy.

private special remotes

You can also make private special remotes, by using git annex initremote --private.

Like a private repository, git-annex avoids storing any information about a private special remote to the git-annex branch. It will only be available in the repository where the special remote was created.

Bear in mind that, if you lose the repository where the private special remote was created, you'll lose the information git-annex needs to access that special remote, and that will likely mean you'll not be able to recover any files stored in it.

private git remotes

When the git config "" is set, git-annex will avoid recording anything in the git-annex branch about the remote. This is set by git-annex initremote --private, and could also be set for git remotes. This could be useful, perhaps. Update this tip if you have a good way to use it.

where the data is actually stored

The private data gets stored in .git/annex/journal-private/ rather than in the git-annex branch.