git-annex can store data in git-lfs repositories, using the git-lfs special remote.

You do not need the git-lfs program installed to use it, just a recent enough version of git-annex.

getting started

Here's how to initialize a git-lfs special remote on Github.

git annex initremote lfs type=git-lfs encryption=none url=

In this example, the remote will not be encrypted, so anyone who can access it can see its contents. It is possible to encrypt everything stored in a git-lfs remote, see fully encrypted git repositories with gcrypt.

Once the git-lfs remote is set up, git-annex can store and retrieve content in the usual ways:

git annex copy * --to lfs
git annex get --from lfs

But, git-annex cannot delete anything from a git-lfs special remote, because the protocol does not support deletion.

A git-lfs special remote also functions as a regular git remote. You can use things like git push and git pull with it.

enabling existing git-lfs special remotes

There are two different ways to enable a git-lfs special remote in another clone of the repository.

Of course, you can use git annex enableremote to enable a git-lfs special remote, the same as you would enable any other special remote. Eg, for the "lfs" remote initialized above:

git annex enableremote lfs

But perhaps more simply, if git-annex sees a git remote that matches the url that was provided to initremote earlier, it will automatically enable that git remote as a git-lfs special remote.

So you can just git clone from the url, and the "origin" remote will be automatically used as a git-lfs special remote.

git clone
cd yourrepo
git-annex get --from origin

Nice and simple, and much the same as git-annex handles its regular remotes.

(Note that git-annex versions 7.20191115 and older didn't remember the url privided to initremote, so you'll need to pass the url= parameter to enableremote in that case. Newer versions of git-annex will then remember the url.)

multiple urls

Often there are multiple urls that can access the same git repository. You can set up git-lfs remotes for each url. For example, to add a remote accessing the github repository over ssh:

git annex initremote lfs-http --sameas=lfs

The --sameas parameter tells git-annex that this is the same as the "lfs" repository, so it will understand that anything it stores in one remote can be accessed also with the other remote.