I have this situation:

  • marcos: home server, canonical repository with all my files (group=backup)
  • angela: laptop, with a subset of the files (group=manual)
  • VHS: backup external USB storage, should have a redundant copy of all files (group=manual)

directly connecting the external USB drive to marcos is annoying, so I usually connect it to angela instead, which doesn't have all the files.

This brings up the peculiar situation that I cannot actually backup all the files to VHS from angela, without first copying them locally.

I have a few issues with that:

  1. it fails silently: if I try to copy to VHS and the file is not on angela, it silently fails:

    [997]anarcat@angela:mp3$ git annex drop nothere
    (recording state in git...)
    [998]anarcat@angela:mp3$ git annex copy --to VHS nothere
    [999]anarcat@angela:mp3$ git annex find --in VHS nothere
    [1001]anarcat@angela:mp3$ git annex list nothere
    ___X___ nothere

    this shouldn't silently fail to copy: it should warn me that it can't find a file to copy, at least.

  2. it takes up more disk space: i need to download all the missing files locally before I can transfer them to VHS. here's the way I make sure files are transfered properly on VHS:

    git annex copy --to VHS --not --in VHS
    git annex get --not --in VHS
    git annex copy --to VHS --not --in VHS
    git annex drop --not --in 'here@{yesterday}'

    the latter line is expecially problematic, because it is not accurate...

  3. it's slower: i need to write files locally before I can transfer them. ideally, those files would be streamed, or at least I would need to buffer locally only one file at a time and not the whole batch.

Maybe I am missing something obvious here and there are other ways of doing this. I am running 6.20160902+gitgbc49d8a-1~ndall+1.

I know I could setup angela to be in the transfer group, but then files I don't want would end up stored on angela: files that are missing from other remotes, for example. Even worse, some files I do want could be candidates for removal on angela because they have been propagated everywhere, whereas I have a select set of files (hence group=manual) that are present in angela that I want to stay there.

It seems to me at least #1 above should be fixed: copy shouldn't succeed when it can't comply with the requested preferred content expression.

Somehow, I expected this to work, and maybe that's the core issue here:

git annex copy --from marcos --to VHS nothere

Thanks for considering this! -- anarcat