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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  GIT-ANNEX (1)


git-annex - manage files with git, without checking their contents in


Commonly Used Commands
Repository Setup Commands
Repository Maintenance Commands
Query Commands
Metadata Commands
Utility Commands
Plumbing Commands
Testing Commands
Common Options
CONFIGURATION VIA .gitattributes
Exit Status
See Also


git annex command [params ...]


git-annex allows managing files with git, without checking the file contents into git. While that may seem paradoxical, it is useful when dealing with files larger than git can currently easily handle, whether due to limitations in memory, checksumming time, or disk space.

Even without file content tracking, being able to manage files with git, move files around and delete files with versioned directory trees, and use branches and distributed clones, are all very handy reasons to use git. And annexed files can co-exist in the same git repository with regularly versioned files, which is convenient for maintaining documents, Makefiles, etc that are associated with annexed files but that benefit from full revision control.

When a file is annexed, its content is moved into a key-value store, and a symlink is made that points to the content. These symlinks are checked into git and versioned like regular files. You can move them around, delete them, and so on. Pushing to another git repository will make git-annex there aware of the annexed file, and it can be used to retrieve its content from the key-value store.


# git annex get video/
get video/ (not available)
I was unable to access these remotes: server
Try making some of these repositories available:
     5863d8c0-d9a9-11df-adb2-af51e6559a49 -- my home file server
    58d84e8a-d9ae-11df-a1aa-ab9aa8c00826 -- portable USB drive
    ca20064c-dbb5-11df-b2fe-002170d25c55 -- backup SATA drive
# sudo mount /media/usb
# git remote add usbdrive /media/usb
# git annex get video/
get video/ (from usbdrive...) ok

# git annex add iso
add iso/Debian_5.0.iso ok

# git annex drop iso/Debian_4.0.iso
drop iso/Debian_4.0.iso ok

# git annex move iso --to=usbdrive
move iso/Debian_5.0.iso (moving to usbdrive...) ok


Like many git commands, git-annex can be passed a path that is either a file or a directory. In the latter case it acts on all relevant files in the directory. When no path is specified, most git-annex commands default to acting on all relevant files in the current directory (and subdirectories).

help Display built-in help.
For help on a specific command, use git annex help command
add [path ...] Adds files in the path to the annex. If no path is specified, adds files from the current directory and below.
See git-annex-add(1) for details.
get [path ...] Makes the content of annexed files available in this repository.
See git-annex-get(1) for details.
drop [path ...] Drops the content of annexed files from this repository.
See git-annex-drop(1) for details.
move [path ...] [--from=remote|--to=remote] Moves the content of files from or to another remote.
See git-annex-move(1) for details.
copy [path ...] [--from=remote|--to=remote] Copies the content of files from or to another remote.
See git-annex-copy(1) for details.
status [path ...] Similar to git status --short, displays the status of the files in the working tree. Particularly useful in direct mode.
See git-annex-status(1) for details.
unlock [path ...] Unlock annexed files for modification.
See git-annex-unlock(1) for details.
edit [path ...] This is an alias for the unlock command. May be easier to remember, if you think of this as allowing you to edit an annexed file.
lock [path ...] Use this to undo an unlock command if you don’t want to modify the files, or have made modifications you want to discard.
See git-annex-lock(1) for details.
sync [remote ...] Synchronize local repository with remotes.
See git-annex-sync(1) for details.
mirror [path ...] [--to=remote|--from=remote] Mirror content of files to/from another repository.
See git-annex-mirror(1) for details.
addurl [url ...] Downloads each url to its own file, which is added to the annex.
See git-annex-addurl(1) for details.
rmurl file url Record that the file is no longer available at the url.
See git-annex-rmurl(1) for details.
import [path ...] Move and add files from outside git working copy into the annex.
See git-annex-import(1) for details.
importfeed [url ...] Imports the contents of podcast feeds into the annex.
See git-annex-importfeed(1) for details.
undo [filename|directory] ... Undo last change to a file or directory.
See git-annex-undo(1) for details.
watch Watch for changes and autocommit.
See git-annex-watch(1) for details.
assistant Automatically sync folders between devices.
See git-annex-assistant(1) for details.
webapp Opens a web app, that allows easy setup of a git-annex repository, and control of the git-annex assistant. If the assistant is not already running, it will be started.
See git-annex-webapp(1) for details.


init [description]
Until a repository (or one of its remotes) has been initialized, git-annex will refuse to operate on it, to avoid accidentally using it in a repository that was not intended to have an annex.
See git-annex-init(1) for details.
describe repository description Changes the description of a repository.
See git-annex-describe(1) for details.
initremote name type=value [param=value ...] Creates a new special remote, and adds it to .git/config.
See git-annex-initremote(1) for details.
enableremote name [param=value ...] Enables use of an existing special remote in the current repository.
See git-annex-enableremote(1) for details.
numcopies [N] Configure desired number of copies.
See git-annex-numcopies(1) for details.
trust [repository ...] Records that a repository is trusted to not unexpectedly lose content. Use with care.
See git-annex-trust(1) for details.
untrust [repository ...] Records that a repository is not trusted and could lose content at any time.
See git-annex-untrust(1) for details.
semitrust [repository ...] Returns a repository to the default semi trusted state.
See git-annex-semitrust(1) for details.
group repository groupname Add a repository to a group.
See git-annex-group(1) for details.
ungroup repository groupname Removes a repository from a group.
See git-annex-ungroup(1) for details.
wanted repository [expression] Get or set preferred content expression.
See git-annex-wanted(1) for details.
groupwanted groupname [expression] Get or set groupwanted expression.
See git-annex-groupwanted(1) for details.
required repository [expression] Get or set required content expression.
See git-annex-required(1) for details.
schedule repository [expression] Get or set scheduled jobs.
See git-annex-schedule(1) for details.
vicfg Opens EDITOR on a temp file containing most of the above configuration settings, as well as a few others, and when it exits, stores any changes made back to the git-annex branch.
See git-annex-vicfg(1) for details.
direct Switches a repository to use direct mode, where rather than symlinks to files, the files are directly present in the repository.
See git-annex-direct(1) for details.
indirect Switches a repository back from direct mode to the default, indirect mode.
See git-annex-indirect(1) for details.


fsck [path ...]
Checks the annex consistency, and warns about or fixes any problems found. This is a good complement to git fsck.
See git-annex-fsck(1) for details.
expire [repository:]time ... Expires repositories that have not recently performed an activity (such as a fsck).
See git-annex-expire(1) for details.
unused Checks the annex for data that does not correspond to any files present in any tag or branch, and prints a numbered list of the data.
See git-annex-unused(1) for details.
dropunused [number|range ...] Drops the data corresponding to the numbers, as listed by the last git annex unused
See git-annex-dropunused(1) for details.
addunused [number|range ...] Adds back files for the content corresponding to the numbers or ranges, as listed by the last git annex unused.
See git-annex-addunused(1) for details.
fix [path ...] Fixes up symlinks that have become broken to again point to annexed content.
See git-annex-fix(1) for details.
merge Automatically merge changes from remotes.
See git-annex-merge(1) for details.
upgrade Upgrades the repository to current layout.
See git-annex-upgrade(1) for details.
dead [repository ...] [--key key] Indicates that a repository or a single key has been irretrievably lost.
See git-annex-dead(1) for details.
forget Causes the git-annex branch to be rewritten, throwing away historical data about past locations of files.
See git-annex-forget(1) for details.
repair This can repair many of the problems with git repositories that git fsck detects, but does not itself fix. It’s useful if a repository has become badly damaged. One way this can happen is if a repository used by git-annex is on a removable drive that gets unplugged at the wrong time.
See git-annex-repair(1) for details.


find [path ...]
Outputs a list of annexed files in the specified path. With no path, finds files in the current directory and its subdirectories.
See git-annex-find(1) for details.
whereis [path ...] Displays information about where the contents of files are located.
See git-annex-whereis(1) for details.
list [path ...] Displays a table of remotes that contain the contents of the specified files. This is similar to whereis but a more compact display.
See git-annex-list(1) for details.
log [path ...] Displays the location log for the specified file or files, showing each repository they were added to ("+") and removed from ("-").
See git-annex-log(1) for details.
info [directory|file|remote|uuid ...] Displays statistics and other information for the specified item, which can be a directory, or a file, or a remote, or the uuid of a repository.
When no item is specified, displays statistics and information for the repository as a whole.
See git-annex-info(1) for details.
version Shows the version of git-annex, as well as repository version information.
See git-annex-version(1) for details.
map Generate map of repositories.
See git-annex-map(1) for details.


metadata [path ...]
The content of an annexed file can have any number of metadata fields attached to it to describe it. Each metadata field can in turn have any number of values.
This command can be used to set metadata, or show the currently set metadata.
See git-annex-metadata(1) for details.
view [tag ...] [field=value ...] [field=glob ...] [!tag ...] [field!=value ...] Uses metadata to build a view branch of the files in the current branch, and checks out the view branch. Only files in the current branch whose metadata matches all the specified field values and tags will be shown in the view.
See git-annex-view(1) for details.
vpop [N] Switches from the currently active view back to the previous view. Or, from the first view back to original branch.
See git-annex-vpop(1) for details.
vfilter [tag ...] [field=value ...] [!tag ...] [field!=value ...] Filters the current view to only the files that have the specified field values and tags.
See git-annex-vfilter(1) for details.
vadd [field=glob ...] [field=value ...] [tag ...] Changes the current view, adding an additional level of directories to categorize the files.
See git-annex-vfilter(1) for details.
vcycle When a view involves nested subdirectories, this cycles the order.
See git-annex-vcycle(1) for details.


migrate [path ...]
Changes the specified annexed files to use a different key-value backend.
See git-annex-migrate(1) for details.
reinject src dest Moves the src file into the annex as the content of the dest file. This can be useful if you have obtained the content of a file from elsewhere and want to put it in the local annex.
See git-annex-reinject(1) for details.
unannex [path ...] Use this to undo an accidental git annex add command. It puts the file back how it was before the add.
See git-annex-unannex(1) for details.
uninit De-initialize git-annex and clean out repository.
See git-annex-uninit(1) for details.
reinit uuid|description Initialize repository, reusing old UUID.
See git-annex-reinit(1) for details.


pre-commit [path ...]
This is meant to be called from git’s pre-commit hook. git annex init automatically creates a pre-commit hook using this.
See git-annex-pre-commit(1) for details.
lookupkey [file ...] Looks up key used for file.
See git-annex-lookupkey(1) for details.
contentlocation [key ..] Looks up location of annexed content for a key.
See git-annex-contentlocation(1) for details.
examinekey [key ...] Print information that can be determined purely by looking at the key.
See git-annex-examinekey(1) for details.
fromkey [key file] Manually set up a file in the git repository to link to a specified key.
See git-annex-fromkey(1) for details.
registerurl [key url] Registers an url for a key.
See git-annex-registerurl(1) for details.
setkey key file Moves a file into the annex as the content of a key.
See git-annex-setkey(1) for details.
dropkey [key ...] Drops annexed content for specified keys.
See git-annex-dropkey(1) for details.
transferkey key [--from=remote|--to=remote] Transfers a key from or to a remote.
See git-annex-transferkey(1) for details.
transferkeys Used internally by the assistant.
See git-annex-transferkey(1) for details.
setpresentkey key uuid [1|0] This plumbing-level command changes git-annex’s records about whether the specified key’s content is present in a remote with the specified uuid.
See git-annex-setpresentkey(1) for details.
readpresentkey key uuid Read records of where key is present.
See git-annex-readpresentkey(1) for details.
checkpresentkey key remote Check if key is present in remote.
See git-annex-checkpresentkey(1) for details.
rekey [file key ...] Change keys used for files.
See git-annex-rekey(1) for details.
findref [ref] Lists files in a git ref.
See git-annex-findref(1) for details.
proxy -- git cmd [options] Only useful in a direct mode repository, this runs the specified git command with a temporary work tree, and updates the working tree to reflect any changes staged or committed by the git command.
See git-annex-proxy(1) for details.
resolvemerge Resolves a conflicted merge, by adding both conflicting versions of the file to the tree, using variants of their filename. This is done automatically when using git annex sync or git annex merge.
See git-annex-resolvemerge(1) for details.
diffdriver This can be used to make git diff use an external diff driver with annexed files.
See git-annex-diffdriver(1) for details.
remotedaemon Detects when network remotes have received git pushes and fetches from them.
See git-annex-remotedaemon(1) for details.
xmppgit This command is used internally by the assistant to perform git pulls over XMPP.
See git-annex-xmppgit(1) for details.


This runs git-annex’s built-in test suite.
See git-annex-test(1) for details.
testremote remote This tests a remote by generating some random objects and sending them to the remote, then redownloading them, removing them from the remote, etc.
It’s safe to run in an existing repository (the repository contents are not altered), although it may perform expensive data transfers.
See git-annex-testremote(1) for details.
fuzztest Generates random changes to files in the current repository, for use in testing the assistant.
See git-annex-fuzztest(1) for details.


These common options are accepted by all git-annex commands, and may not be explicitly listed on their individual man pages. (Many commands also accept the git-annex-matching-options(1).)

--force Force unsafe actions, such as dropping a file’s content when no other source of it can be verified to still exist, or adding ignored files. Use with care.
--fast Enable less expensive, but also less thorough versions of some commands. What is avoided depends on the command.
--quiet Avoid the default verbose display of what is done; only show errors.
--verbose Enable verbose display.
--debug Show debug messages.
--no-debug Disable debug messages.
--numcopies=n Overrides the numcopies setting, forcing git-annex to ensure the specified number of copies exist.
Note that setting numcopies to 0 is very unsafe.
--time-limit=time Limits how long a git-annex command runs. The time can be something like "5h", or "30m" or even "45s" or "10d".
Note that git-annex may continue running a little past the specified time limit, in order to finish processing a file.
Also, note that if the time limit prevents git-annex from doing all it was asked to, it will exit with a special code, 101.
--untrust=repository Overrides trust settings for a repository. May be specified more than once.
The repository should be specified using the name of a configured remote, or the UUID or description of a repository.
--trust-glacier-inventory Amazon Glacier inventories take hours to retrieve, and may not represent the current state of a repository. So git-annex does not trust that files that the inventory claims are in Glacier are really there. This switch can be used to allow it to trust the inventory.
Be careful using this, especially if you or someone else might have recently removed a file from Glacier. If you try to drop the only other copy of the file, and this switch is enabled, you could lose data!
--backend=name Specifies which key-value backend to use. This can be used when adding a file to the annex, or migrating a file. Once files are in the annex, their backend is known and this option is not necessary.
--user-agent=value Overrides the User-Agent to use when downloading files from the web.
--notify-finish Caused a desktop notification to be displayed after each successful file download and upload.
(Only supported on some platforms, e.g. Linux with dbus. A no-op when not supported.)
--notify-start Caused a desktop notification to be displayed when a file upload or download has started, or when a file is dropped.
-c name=value Overrides git configuration settings. May be specified multiple times.


Like other git commands, git-annex is configured via .git/config. Here are all the supported configuration settings.

annex.uuid A unique UUID for this repository (automatically set).
annex.backends Space-separated list of names of the key-value backends to use. The first listed is used to store new files by default.
annex.diskreserve Amount of disk space to reserve. Disk space is checked when transferring content to avoid running out, and additional free space can be reserved via this option, to make space for more important content (such as git commit logs). Can be specified with any commonly used units, for example, "0.5 gb", "500M", or "100 KiloBytes"
The default reserve is 1 megabyte.
annex.largefiles Allows configuring which files git annex add and the assistant consider to be large enough to need to be added to the annex. By default, all files are added to the annex.
The value is a preferred content expression. See PREFERRED CONTENT for details.
annex.largefiles = largerthan=100kb and not (include=*.c or include=*.h)
annex.numcopies This is a deprecated setting. You should instead use the git annex numcopies command to configure how many copies of files are kept across all repositories.
This config setting is only looked at when git annex numcopies has never been configured.
Note that setting numcopies to 0 is very unsafe.
annex.genmetadata Set this to true to make git-annex automatically generate some metadata when adding files to the repository.
In particular, it stores year and month metadata, from the file’s modification date.
When importfeed is used, it stores additional metadata from the feed, such as the author, title, etc.
annex.used-refspec This controls which refs git-annex unused considers to be used. See REFSPEC FORMAT in git-annex-unused(1) for details.
annex.queuesize git-annex builds a queue of git commands, in order to combine similar commands for speed. By default the size of the queue is limited to 10240 commands; this can be used to change the size. If you have plenty of memory and are working with very large numbers of files, increasing the queue size can speed it up.
annex.bloomcapacity The git annex unused and git annex sync --content commands use a bloom filter to determine what files are present in eg, the work tree. The default bloom filter is sized to handle up to 500000 files. If your repository is larger than that, you should increase this value. Larger values will make git-annex unused and git annex sync --content consume more memory; run git annex info for memory usage numbers.
annex.bloomaccuracy Adjusts the accuracy of the bloom filter used by git annex unused and git annex sync --content. The default accuracy is 10000000 -- 1 unused file out of 10000000 will be missed by git annex unused. Increasing the accuracy will make git annex unused consume more memory; run git annex info for memory usage numbers.
annex.sshcaching By default, git-annex caches ssh connections using ssh’s ControlMaster and ControlPersist settings (if built using a new enough ssh). To disable this, set to false.
annex.alwayscommit By default, git-annex automatically commits data to the git-annex branch after each command is run. If you have a series of commands that you want to make a single commit, you can run the commands with -c annex.alwayscommit=false. You can later commit the data by running git annex merge (or by automatic merges) or git annex sync.
Note that you beware running git gc if using this configuration, since it could garbage collect objects that are staged in git-annex’s index but not yet committed.
annex.hardlink Set this to true to make file contents be hard linked into the repository when possible, instead of a more expensive copy.
Use with caution -- This can invalidate numcopies counting, since with hard links, fewer copies of a file can exist. So, it is a good idea to mark a repository using this setting as untrusted.
When a repository is set up using git clone --shared, git-annex init will automatically set annex.hardlink and mark the repository as untrusted.
annex.delayadd Makes the watch and assistant commands delay for the specified number of seconds before adding a newly created file to the annex. Normally this is not needed, because they already wait for all writers of the file to close it. On Mac OSX, when not using direct mode this defaults to 1 second, to work around a bad interaction with software there.
annex.expireunused Controls what the assistant does about unused file contents that are stored in the repository.
The default is false, which causes all old and unused file contents to be retained, unless the assistant is able to move them to some other repository (such as a backup repository).
Can be set to a time specification, like "7d" or "1m", and then file contents that have been known to be unused for a week or a month will be deleted.
annex.fscknudge When set to false, prevents the webapp from reminding you when using repositories that lack consistency checks.
annex.autoupgrade When set to ask (the default), the webapp will check for new versions and prompt if they should be upgraded to. When set to true, automatically upgrades without prompting (on some supported platforms). When set to false, disables any upgrade checking.
Note that upgrade checking is only done when git-annex is installed from one of the prebuilt images from its website. This does not bypass e.g., a Linux distribution’s own upgrade handling code.
This setting also controls whether to restart the git-annex assistant when the git-annex binary is detected to have changed. That is useful no matter how you installed git-annex.
annex.autocommit Set to false to prevent the git-annex assistant and git-annex sync from automatically committing changes to files in the repository.
annex.startupscan Set to false to prevent the git-annex assistant from scanning the repository for new and changed files on startup. This will prevent it from noticing changes that were made while it was not running, but can be a useful performance tweak for a large repository.
annex.listen Configures which address the webapp listens on. The default is localhost. Can be either an IP address, or a hostname that resolves to the desired address.
annex.debug Set to true to enable debug logging by default.
annex.version Automatically maintained, and used to automate upgrades between versions. Set to true when the repository is in direct mode. Should not be set manually; use the "git annex direct" and "git annex indirect" commands instead.
annex.crippledfilesystem Set to true if the repository is on a crippled filesystem, such as FAT, which does not support symbolic links, or hard links, or unix permissions. This is automatically probed by "git annex init".
remote.<name>.annex-cost When determining which repository to transfer annexed files from or to, ones with lower costs are preferred. The default cost is 100 for local repositories, and 200 for remote repositories.
remote.<name>.annex-cost-command If set, the command is run, and the number it outputs is used as the cost. This allows varying the cost based on e.g., the current network. The cost-command can be any shell command line.
remote.<name>.annex-start-command A command to run when git-annex begins to use the remote. This can be used to, for example, mount the directory containing the remote.
The command may be run repeatedly when multiple git-annex processes are running concurrently.
remote.<name>.annex-stop-command A command to run when git-annex is done using the remote.
The command will only be run once *all* running git-annex processes are finished using the remote.
remote.<name>.annex-shell Specify an alternative git-annex-shell executable on the remote instead of looking for "git-annex-shell" on the PATH.
This is useful if the git-annex-shell program is outside the PATH or has a non-standard name.
remote.<name>.annex-ignore If set to true, prevents git-annex from storing file contents on this remote by default. (You can still request it be used by the --from and --to options.)
This is, for example, useful if the remote is located somewhere without git-annex-shell. (For example, if it’s on GitHub). Or, it could be used if the network connection between two repositories is too slow to be used normally.
This does not prevent git-annex sync (or the git-annex assistant) from syncing the git repository to the remote.
remote.<name>.annex-sync If set to false, prevents git-annex sync (and the git-annex assistant) from syncing with this remote.
remote.<name>.annex-readonly If set to true, prevents git-annex from making changes to a remote. This both prevents git-annex sync from pushing changes, and prevents storing or removing files from read-only remote.
remote.<name>.annexUrl Can be used to specify a different url than the regular remote.<name>.url for git-annex to use when talking with the remote. Similar to the pushUrl used by git-push.
remote.<name>.annex-uuid git-annex caches UUIDs of remote repositories here.
remote.<name>.annex-trustlevel Configures a local trust level for the remote. This overrides the value configured by the trust and untrust commands. The value can be any of "trusted", "semitrusted" or "untrusted".
remote.<name>.annex-availability Can be used to tell git-annex whether a remote is LocallyAvailable or GloballyAvailable. Normally, git-annex determines this automatically.
remote.<name>.annex-bare Can be used to tell git-annex if a remote is a bare repository or not. Normally, git-annex determines this automatically.
remote.<name>.annex-ssh-options Options to use when using ssh to talk to this remote.
remote.<name>.annex-rsync-options Options to use when using rsync to or from this remote. For example, to force IPv6, and limit the bandwidth to 100Kbyte/s, set it to -6 --bwlimit 100
remote.<name>.annex-rsync-upload-options Options to use when using rsync to upload a file to a remote.
These options are passed after other applicable rsync options, so can be used to override them. For example, to limit upload bandwidth to 10Kbyte/s, set --bwlimit 10.
remote.<name>.annex-rsync-download-options Options to use when using rsync to download a file from a remote.
These options are passed after other applicable rsync options, so can be used to override them.
remote.<name>.annex-rsync-transport The remote shell to use to connect to the rsync remote. Possible values are ssh (the default) and rsh, together with their arguments, for instance ssh -p 2222 -c blowfish; Note that the remote hostname should not appear there, see rsync(1) for details. When the transport used is ssh, connections are automatically cached unless annex.sshcaching is unset.
remote.<name>.annex-bup-split-options Options to pass to bup split when storing content in this remote. For example, to limit the bandwidth to 100Kbyte/s, set it to --bwlimit 100k (There is no corresponding option for bup join.)
remote.<name>.annex-gnupg-options Options to pass to GnuPG for symmetric encryption. For instance, to use the AES cipher with a 256 bits key and disable compression, set it to --cipher-algo AES256 --compress-algo none. (These options take precedence over the default GnuPG configuration, which is otherwise used.)
annex.ssh-options, annex.rsync-options, annex.rsync-upload-options, annex.rsync-download-options, annex.bup-split-options, annex.gnupg-options
Default options to use if a remote does not have more specific options as described above.
annex.web-options Options to pass when running wget or curl. For example, to force IPv4 only, set it to "-4"
annex.quvi-options Options to pass to quvi when using it to find the url to download for a video.
annex.aria-torrent-options Options to pass to aria2c when using it to download a torrent.
annex.http-headers HTTP headers to send when downloading from the web. Multiple lines of this option can be set, one per header.
annex.http-headers-command If set, the command is run and each line of its output is used as a HTTP header. This overrides annex.http-headers.
annex.web-download-command Use to specify a command to run to download a file from the web. (The default is to use wget or curl.)
In the command line, %url is replaced with the url to download, and %file is replaced with the file that it should be saved to. This can be set to a command that should be run whenever git-annex removes the content of a file from the repository.
In the command line, %file is replaced with the file that should be erased.
For example, to use the wipe command, set it to wipe -f %file.
remote.<name>.rsyncurl Used by rsync special remotes, this configures the location of the rsync repository to use. Normally this is automatically set up by git annex initremote, but you can change it if needed.
remote.<name>.buprepo Used by bup special remotes, this configures the location of the bup repository to use. Normally this is automatically set up by git annex initremote, but you can change it if needed.
remote.<name>.ddarrepo Used by ddar special remotes, this configures the location of the ddar repository to use. Normally this is automatically set up by git annex initremote, but you can change it if needed.
remote.<name>.directory Used by directory special remotes, this configures the location of the directory where annexed files are stored for this remote. Normally this is automatically set up by git annex initremote, but you can change it if needed.
remote.<name>.s3 Used to identify Amazon S3 special remotes. Normally this is automatically set up by git annex initremote.
remote.<name>.glacier Used to identify Amazon Glacier special remotes. Normally this is automatically set up by git annex initremote.
remote.<name>.webdav Used to identify webdav special remotes. Normally this is automatically set up by git annex initremote.
remote.<name>.tahoe Used to identify tahoe special remotes. Points to the configuration directory for tahoe.
remote.<name>.annex-xmppaddress Used to identify the XMPP address of a Jabber buddy. Normally this is set up by the git-annex assistant when pairing over XMPP.
remote.<name>.gcrypt Used to identify gcrypt special remotes. Normally this is automatically set up by git annex initremote.
It is set to "true" if this is a gcrypt remote. If the gcrypt remote is accessible over ssh and has git-annex-shell available to manage it, it’s set to "shell".
remote.<name>.hooktype, remote.<name>.externaltype Used by hook special remotes and external special remotes to record the type of the remote.
annex.tune.objecthash1, annex.tune.objecthashlower, annex.tune.branchhash1 These can be passed to git annex init to tune the repository. They cannot be safely changed in a running repository. For details, see <>.

CONFIGURATION VIA .gitattributes

The key-value backend used when adding a new file to the annex can be configured on a per-file-type basis via .gitattributes files. In the file, the annex.backend attribute can be set to the name of the backend to use. For example, this here’s how to use the WORM backend by default, but the SHA256E backend for ogg files:

* annex.backend=WORM
*.ogg annex.backend=SHA256E

The numcopies setting can also be configured on a per-file-type basis via the annex.numcopies attribute in .gitattributes files. This overrides other numcopies settings. For example, this makes two copies be needed for wav files and 3 copies for flac files:

*.wav annex.numcopies=2
*.flac annex.numcopies=3

Note that setting numcopies to 0 is very unsafe.

These settings are honored by git-annex whenever it’s operating on a matching file. However, when using --all, --unused, or --key to specify keys to operate on, git-annex is operating on keys and not files, so will not honor the settings from .gitattributes.

Also note that when using views, only the toplevel .gitattributes file is preserved in the view, so other settings in other files won’t have any effect.


git-annex, when called as a git subcommand, may return exit codes 0 or 1 for success or failures, or, more rarely, 127 or 128 for certain very specific failures. git-annex itself should return 0 on success and 1 on failure, unless the --time-limit=time option is hit, in which case it returns with exit code 101.


These files are used by git-annex:

.git/annex/objects/ in your git repository contains the annexed file contents that are currently available. Annexed files in your git repository symlink to that content.

.git/annex/ in your git repository contains other run-time information used by git-annex.

~/.config/git-annex/autostart is a list of git repositories to start the git-annex assistant in.

.git/hooks/pre-commit-annex in your git repository will be run whenever a commit is made to the HEAD branch, either by git commit, git-annex sync, or the git-annex assistant.

.git/hooks/post-update-annex in your git repository will be run whenever the git-annex branch is updated. You can make this hook run git update-server-info when publishing a git-annex repository by http.


More git-annex documentation is available on its web site, <>

If git-annex is installed from a package, a copy of its documentation should be included, in, for example, /usr/share/doc/git-annex/.


Joey Hess <>


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