Note: this is the reverse of splitting a repository.


You are a new git-annex user. You have already files spread around many computers and wish to migrate those into git-annex, without having to recopy all files all over the place.

Let's say, for example, you have a server, named marcos and a workstation named angela. You have your audio collection stored in /srv/mp3 in marcos and ~/mp3 on angela, but only marcos has all the files, and angela only has a subset.

We also assume that marcos has an SSH server.

How do you add all this stuff to git-annex?

Create the biggest git-annex repository

Start with marcos, with the complete directory:

cd /srv/mp3
git init
git annex init
git annex add .
git commit -m "git annex yay"

This will checksum all files and add them to the git-annex branch of the git repository. Wait for this process to complete.

Create the smaller repo and synchronise

On angela, we want to synchronise the git annex metadata with marcos. We need to initialize a git repo with marcos as a remote:

cd ~/mp3
git init
git remote add marcos
git fetch marcos
git annex info # this should display the two repos
git annex add .

This will, again, checksum all files and add them to git annex. Once that is done, you can verify that the files are really the same as marcos with whereis:

git annex whereis

This should display something like:

whereis Orange Seeds/I remember.wav (2 copies)
        b7802161-c984-4c9f-8d05-787a29c41cfe -- marcos (anarcat@marcos:/srv/mp3)
        c2ca4a13-9a5f-461b-a44b-53255ed3e2f9 -- here (anarcat@angela)

Once you are sure things went on okay, you can synchronise this with marcos:

git annex sync --allow-unrelated-histories

This will push the metadata information to marcos, so it knows which files are available on angela. From there on, you can freely get and move files between the two repos!

Importing files from a third directory

Say that some files on angela are actually spread out outside of the ~/mp3 directory. You can use the git annex import command to add those extra directories:

cd ~/mp3
git annex import ~/music/

(!) Be careful that ~/music is not a git-annex repository.

Deleting deleted files

It is quite possible some files were removed (or renamed!) on marcos but not on angela, since it was synchronised only some time ago. A good way to find out about those files is to use the --not --in argument, for example, on angela:

git annex whereis --in here --not --in marcos

This will show files that are on angela and not on marcos. They could be new files that were only added on angela, so be careful! A manual analysis is necessary, but let's say you are certain those files are not relevant anymore, you can delete them from angela:

git annex drop <file>