git-annex - Man Page

manage files with git, without checking their contents in

Examples (TL;DR)


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

Commonly Used Commands


Display built-in help.

For help on a specific command, use git annex help command

add [path ...]

Adds files to the annex.

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.

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 --from remote branch[:subdir] | [path ...]

Add a tree of files to the repository.

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.

export treeish --to remote

Export content to a remote.

See git-annex-export(1) for details.

undo [filename|directory] ...

Undo last change to a file or directory.

See git-annex-undo(1) for details.


Multicast file distribution.

See git-annex-multicast(1) for details.


Watch for changes and autocommit.

See git-annex-watch(1) for details.


Automatically sync folders between devices.

See git-annex-assistant(1) for details.


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.


Persistant communication with remotes.

See git-annex-remotedaemon(1) for details.

Repository Setup Commands

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.


Renames a special remote.

See git-annex-renameremote(1) for details.


Sets up tor hidden service.

See git-annex-enable-tor(1) for details.

numcopies [N]

Configure desired number of copies.

See git-annex-numcopies(1) for details.

mincopies [N]

Configure minimum number of copies.

See git-annex-mincopies(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.


Get and set other configuration stored in git-annex branch.

See git-annex-config(1) for details.


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.


Switches a repository to use an adjusted branch, which can automatically unlock all files, etc.

See git-annex-adjust(1) for details.


Switches a repository to use direct mode. (deprecated)

See git-annex-direct(1) for details.


Switches a repository to use indirect mode. (deprecated)

See git-annex-indirect(1) for details.

Repository Maintenance Commands

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.


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.


Automatically merge changes from remotes.

See git-annex-merge(1) for details.


Upgrades the repository.

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.


Causes the git-annex branch to be rewritten, throwing away historical data about past locations of files.

See git-annex-forget(1) for details.


Produces a filtered version of the git-annex branch.

See git-annex-filter-branch(1) for details.


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.


Configure peer-2-Peer links between repositories.

See git-annex-p2p(1) for details.

Query Commands

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.


Finds what files use or used a key.

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.


Shows the version of git-annex, as well as repository version information.

See git-annex-version(1) for details.


Generate map of repositories.

See git-annex-map(1) for details.


Access files while they're being downloaded.

See git-annex-inprogress(1) for details.

Metadata Commands

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.


When a view involves nested subdirectories, this cycles the order.

See git-annex-vcycle(1) for details.

Utility Commands

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.


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.

Plumbing Commands

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.


This is meant to be called from git's post-receive hook. git annex init automatically creates a post-receive hook using this.

See git-annex-post-receive(1) for details.

lookupkey [file ...]

Looks up key used for file.

See git-annex-lookupkey(1) for details.

calckey [file ...]

Calculates the key that would be used to refer to a file.

See git-annex-calckey(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.


Checks if a preferred content expression matches provided data.

See git-annex-matchexpression(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.

unregisterurl [key url]

Unregisters an url for a key.

See git-annex-unregisterurl(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.


Used internally by git-annex to transfer content.

See git-annex-transferrer(1) for details.


Used internally by old versions of 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.


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.


This can be used to make git diff use an external diff driver with annexed files.

See git-annex-diffdriver(1) for details.


This command lets git-annex be used as a git filter driver, allowing annexed files in the git repository to be unlocked regular files instead of symlinks.

See git-annex-smudge(1) for details.


An alternative implementation of a git filter driver, that is faster in some situations and slower in others than git-annex smudge.

See git-annex-filter-process(1) for details.


Restages unlocked files in the git index.

See git-annex-restage(1) for details.

findref [ref]

Lists files in a git ref. (deprecated)

See git-annex-findref(1) for details.

proxy -- git cmd [options]

Bypass direct mode guard. (deprecated)

See git-annex-proxy(1) for details.

Testing Commands


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.


Generates random changes to files in the current repository, for use in testing the assistant.

See git-annex-fuzztest(1) for details.


This runs git-annex's built-in benchmarks, if it was built with benchmarking support.

See git-annex-benchmark(1) for details.

Addon Commands

In addition to all the commands listed above, more commands can be added to git-annex by dropping commands named like "git-annex-foo" into a directory in the PATH.


Like other git commands, git-annex is configured via .git/config. These settings, as well as relevant git config settings, are the ones git-annex uses.

(Some of these settings can also be set, across all clones of the repository, using git-annex-config. See its man page for a list.)


A unique UUID for this repository (automatically set).


Name of the default key-value backend to use when adding new files to the repository. See git-annex-backends(1) for information about available backends.

This is overridden by annex annex.backend configuration in the .gitattributes files, and by the --backend option.

(This used to be named annex.backends, and that will still be used if set.)


Set to true to indicate that the repository should only use cryptographically secure hashes (SHA2, SHA3) and not insecure hashes (MD5, SHA1) for content.

When this is set, the contents of files using cryptographically insecure hashes will not be allowed to be added to the repository.

Also, git-annex fsck will complain about any files present in the repository that use insecure hashes. And,  git-annex import --no-content will refuse to import files from special remotes using insecure hashes.

To configure the behavior in new clones of the repository, this can be set using git-annex-config.


Maximum length, in bytes, of what is considered a filename extension when adding a file to a backend that preserves filename extensions. The default length is 4, which allows extensions like "jpeg". The dot before the extension is not counted part of its length. At most two extensions at the end of a filename will be preserved, e.g. .gz or .tar.gz .


Amount of disk space to reserve. Disk space is checked when transferring annexed content to avoid running out, and additional free space can be reserved via this option, to make space for other data (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 100 megabytes.


Set to true to make commands like "git-annex get" silently skip over items that are listed in the command line, but are not checked into git.

Set to false to make it an error for commands like "git-annex get" to be asked to operate on files that are not checked into git. (This is the default in recent versions of git-annex.)

Note that, when annex.skipunknown is false, a command like "git-annex get ." will fail if no files in the current directory are checked into git, but a command like "git-annex get" will not fail, because the current directory is not listed, but is implicit. Commands like "git-annex get foo/" will fail if no files in the directory are checked into git, but if at least one file is, it will ignore other files that are not. This is all the same as the behavior of "git-ls files --error-unmatch".

Also note that git-annex skips files that are checked into git, but are not annexed files, this setting does not affect that.


Used to configure which files are large enough to be added to the annex. It is an expression that matches the large files, eg "include=*.mp3 or largerthan=500kb" See git-annex-matching-expression(1) for details on the syntax.

Overrides any annex.largefiles attributes in .gitattributes files.

To configure a default annex.largefiles for all clones of the repository, this can be set in git-annex-config(1).

This configures the behavior of both git-annex and git when adding files to the repository. By default, git-annex add adds all files to the annex (except dotfiles), and git add adds files to git (unless they were added to the annex previously). When annex.largefiles is configured, both git annex add and git add will add matching large files to the annex, and the other files to git.

Other git-annex commands also honor annex.largefiles, including git annex import, git annex addurl, git annex importfeed and the assistant.


Normally, dotfiles are assumed to be files like .gitignore, whose content should always be part of the git repository, so  they will not be added to the annex. Setting annex.dotfiles to true makes dotfiles be added to the annex the same as any other file.

To annex only some dotfiles, set this and configure annex.largefiles to match the ones you want. For example, to match only dotfiles ending  in ".big"

git config annex.largefiles "(include=.*.big or include=*/.*.big) or (exclude=.* and exclude=*/.*)"
git config annex.dotfiles true

To configure a default annex.dotfiles for all clones of the repository, this can be set in git-annex-config(1).


Setting this to false will prevent git add from adding files to the annex, despite the annex.largefiles configuration.


Controls whether small files (not matching annex.largefiles) should be checked into git by git annex add. Defaults to true; set to false to instead make small files be skipped.


Commands like git-annex add default to adding files to the repository in locked form. This can make them add the files in unlocked form, the same as if git-annex-unlock(1) were run on the files.

This can be set to "true" to add everything unlocked, or it can be a more complicated expression that matches files by name, size, or content. See git-annex-matching-expression(1) for details.

To configure a default annex.addunlocked for all clones of the repository, this can be set in git-annex-config(1).

(Using git add always adds files in unlocked form and it is not affected by this setting.)

When a repository has core.symlinks set to false, or has an adjusted  unlocked branch checked out, this setting is ignored, and files are  always added to the repository in unlocked form.


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, or the annex.numcopies .gitattributes setting.

This config setting is only looked at when git annex numcopies has never been configured, and when there's no annex.numcopies setting in the .gitattributes file.


Set this to true to make git-annex automatically generate some metadata when adding files to the repository.

In particular, it stores year, month, and day metadata, from the file's modification date.

When importfeed is used, it stores additional metadata from the feed, such as the author, title, etc.


This controls which refs git-annex unused considers to be used. See REFSPEC FORMAT in git-annex-unused(1) for details.

Configure the number of concurrent jobs to run. Default is 1.

Only git-annex commands that support the --jobs option will use this.

Setting this to "cpus" will run one job per CPU core.

When the --batch option is used, this configuration is ignored.


When git-annex-adjust(1) is used to set up an adjusted branch that needs to be refreshed after getting or dropping files, this config controls how frequently the branch is refreshed.

Refreshing the branch takes some time, so doing it after every file can be too slow. (It also can generate a lot of dangling git objects.) The default value is 0 (or false), which does not refresh the branch. Setting 1 (or true) will refresh only once,  after git-annex has made other changes. Setting 2 refreshes after every file, 3 after every other file, and so on; setting 100 refreshes after every 99 files.

(If git-annex gets faster in the future, refresh rates will increase proportional to the speed improvements.)


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.


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.


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.


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.


When git-annex is unable to use ssh connection caching, or has been configured not to, and concurrency is enabled, it will warn that this might result in multiple ssh processes prompting for passwords at the same time. To disable that warning, eg if you have configured ssh connection caching yourself, or have ssh agent caching passwords,  set this to false.


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.


When git-annex updates the git-annex branch, it usually makes up its own commit message (eg "update"), since users rarely look at or care about changes to that branch. If you do care, you can specify this setting by running commands with -c annex.commitmessage=whatever

This works well in combination with annex.alwayscommit=false, to gather up a set of changes and commit them with a message you specify.


By default, git-annex compacts data it records in the git-annex branch. Setting this to false avoids doing that compaction in some cases, which can speed up operations that populate the git-annex branch with a lot of data. However, when used with operations that overwrite old values in the git-annex branch, that may cause the git-annex branch to use more disk space, and so slow down reading data from it.

An example of a command that can be sped up by using  -c annex.alwayscompact=false is git-annex registerurl --batch, when adding a large number of urls to the same key.

This option was first supported by git-annex version 10.20220724. It is not entirely safe to set this option in a repository that may also be used by an older version of git-annex at the same time as a version that supports this option.


By default git-annex avoids gpg signing commits that it makes when they're not the purpose of a command, but only a side effect. That default avoids lots of gpg password prompts when commit.gpgSign is set. A command like git annex sync or git annex merge will gpg sign its commit, but a command like git annex get, that updates the git-annex branch, will not. The assistant also avoids signing commits.

Setting annex.allowsign to true lets all commits be signed, as controlled by commit.gpgSign and other git configuration.


By default, git-annex branches that have been pulled from remotes are automatically merged into the local git-annex branch, so that git-annex has the most up-to-date possible knowledge.

To avoid that merging, set this to "false".

This can be useful particularly when you don't have write permission to the repository. While git-annex is mostly able to work in a read-only repository with unmerged git-annex branches, some things do not work, and when it does work it will be slower due to needing to look at each of the unmerged branches.


When this is set to true, no information about the repository will be recorded in the git-annex branch.

For example, to make a repository without any mention of it ever appearing in the git-annex branch:

git init myprivate
cd myprivaterepo
git config annex.private true
git annex init


Set this to true to make file contents be hard linked between the repository and its remotes 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.

When annex.thin is also set, setting annex.hardlink has no effect.


Set this to true to make unlocked files be a hard link to their content in the annex, rather than a second copy. This can save considerable disk space, but when a modification is made to a file, you will lose the local (and possibly only) copy of the old version. So, enable with care.

After setting (or unsetting) this, you should run git annex fix to fix up the annexed files in the work tree to be hard links (or copies).

Note that this has no effect when the filesystem does not support hard links. And when multiple files in the work tree have the same content, only one of them gets hard linked to the annex.


By default git-annex supports unlocked files as well as locked files, so this defaults to true. If set to false, git-annex will only support locked files. That will avoid doing the work needed to support unlocked files.

Note that setting this to false does not prevent a repository from having unlocked files added to it, and in that case the content of the files will not be accessible until they are locked.

After changing this config, you need to re-run git-annex init for it to take effect.


Set to false to prevent merge conflicts in the checked out branch being automatically resolved by the git-annex assitant, git-annex sync, git-annex merge, and the git-annex post-receive hook.

To configure the behavior in all clones of the repository, this can be set in git-annex-config(1).


Set to true to make git-annex sync default to syncing annexed content.

To configure the behavior in all clones of the repository, this can be set in git-annex-config(1).


Set to true to make git-annex sync default to only sincing the git-annex branch and annexed content.

To configure the behavior in all clones of the repository, this can be set in git-annex-config(1).


Set to true to enable debug logging by default.


Set to configure which debug messages to display (when debug message display has been enabled by annex.debug or --debug). The value is one or more module names, separated by commas.


The current version of the git-annex repository. This is maintained by git-annex and should never be manually changed.


When an old git-annex repository version is no longer supported, git-annex will normally automatically upgrade the repository to the new version. It may also sometimes upgrade from an old repository version that is still supported but that is not as good as a later version.

If this is set to false, git-annex won't automatically upgrade the repository. If the repository version is not supported, git-annex will instead exit with an error message. If it is still supported, git-annex will continue to work.

You can run git annex upgrade yourself when you are ready to upgrade the repository.


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".


Normally, git-annex uses fine-grained lock files to allow multiple processes to run concurrently without getting in each others' way. That works great, unless you are using git-annex on a filesystem that does not support POSIX fcntl locks. This is sometimes the case when using NFS or Lustre filesystems.

To support such situations, you can set annex.pidlock to true, and it will fall back to a single top-level pid file lock.

Although, often, you'd really be better off fixing your networked filesystem configuration to support POSIX locks.. And, some networked filesystems are so inconsistent that one node can't reliably tell when the other node is holding a pid lock. Caveat emptor.


git-annex will wait up to this many seconds for the pid lock file to go away, and will then abort if it cannot continue. Default: 300

When using pid lock files, it's possible for a stale lock file to get left behind by previous run of git-annex that crashed or was interrupted. This is mostly avoided, but can occur especially when using a network file system. This timeout prevents git-annex waiting forever in such a situation.


The directory where git-annex should store its sqlite databases. The default location is inside .git/annex/.

Certian filesystems, such as cifs, may not support locking operations that sqlite needs, and setting this to a directory on another filesystem can work around such a problem.

This can safely be set to the same directory in the configuration of multiple repositories; each repository will use a subdirectory for its sqlite database.


When "true" (the default), git-annex will cache credentials used to access special remotes in files in .git/annex/creds/ that only you can read. To disable that caching, set to "false", and credentials will only be read from the environment, or if they have been embedded in encrypted form in the git repository, will be extracted and decrypted each time git-annex needs to access the remote.

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.

annex.freezecontent-command,  annex.thawcontent-command

Usually the write permission bits are unset to protect annexed objects from being modified or deleted. The freezecontent-command is run after git-annex has removed (or attempted to remove) the write bit, and can be used to prevent writing in some other way. The thawcontent-command should undo its effect, and is run before git-annex restores the write bit.

In the command line, %path is replaced with the file or directory to operate on.

(When annex.crippledfilesystem is set, git-annex will not try to remove/restore the write bit, but it will still run these hooks.)

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 and should never be set in global git configuration. For details, see <>.

Configuration of Remotes

Remotes are configured using these settings in .git/config.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


If set, the command is run, and if it exits nonzero, that's the same as setting annex-ignore to true. This allows controlling behavior based on e.g., the current network.


If set to false, prevents git-annex sync (and the git-annex assistant) from syncing with this remote by default. However, git annex sync <name> can still be used to sync with the remote.


If set, the command is run, and if it exits nonzero, that's the same as setting annex-sync to false. This allows controlling behavior based on e.g., the current network.


If set to false, prevents git-annex sync (and the git-annex assistant etc) from ever pulling (or fetching) from the remote.


If set to false, prevents git-annex sync (and the git-annex assistant etc) from ever pushing to the remote.


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>.annex-verify,  annex.verify

By default, git-annex will verify the checksums of objects downloaded from remotes. If you trust a remote and don't want the overhead of these checksums, you can set this to false.

Note that even when this is set to false, git-annex does verification in some edge cases, where it's likely the case than an object was downloaded incorrectly, or when needed for security.


This is for use with special remotes that support exports and imports.

When set to eg, "master", this tells git-annex that you want the special remote to track that branch.

When set to eg, "master:subdir", the special remote tracks only the subdirectory of that branch.

git-annex sync --content will import changes from the remote and  merge them into the annex-tracking-branch. They also export changes made to the branch to the remote.


Deprecated name for remote.<name>.annex-tracking-branch. Will still be used if it's configured and remote.<name>.annex-tracking-branch is not.


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.


git-annex caches UUIDs of remote repositories here.


Used for some special remotes, points to a different special remote configuration to use.

remote.<name>.annex-retry,  annex.retry

Number of times a transfer that fails can be retried. (default 0)

remote.<name>.annex-forward-retry,  annex.forward-retry

If a transfer made some forward progress before failing, this allows it to be retried even when annex.retry does not. The value is the maximum number of times to do that. (default 5)

When both annex.retry and this are set, the maximum number of retries is the larger of the two.

remote.<name>.annex-retry-delay,  annex.retry-delay

Number of seconds to delay before the first retry of a transfer. When making multiple retries of the same transfer, the delay  doubles after each retry. (default 1)

remote.<name>.annex-bwlimit,  annex.bwlimit

This can be used to limit how much bandwidth is used for a transfer from or to a remote.

For example, to limit transfers to 1 mebibyte per second: git config annex.bwlimit "1MiB"

This will work with many remotes, including git remotes, but not for remotes where the transfer is run by a separate program than git-annex.

remote.<name>.annex-stalldetecton,  annex.stalldetection

Configuring this lets stalled or too-slow transfers be detected, and dealt with, so rather than getting stuck, git-annex will cancel the stalled operation. The transfer will be considered to have failed, so settings like annex.retry will control what it does next.

By default, git-annex detects transfers that have probably stalled, and suggests configuring this. If it is incorrectly detecting stalls, setting this to "false" will avoid that.

Set to "true" to enable automatic stall detection. If a remote does not update its progress consistently, no automatic stall detection will be done. And it may take a while for git-annex to decide a remote is really stalled when using automatic stall detection, since it needs to be conservative about what looks like a stall.

For more fine control over what constitutes a stall, set to a value in the form "$amount/$timeperiod" to specify how much data git-annex should expect to see flowing, minimum, over a given period of time.

For example, to detect outright stalls where no data has been transferred after 30 seconds: git config annex.stalldetection "1KB/30s"

Or, if you have a remote on a USB drive that is normally capable of several megabytes per second, but has bad sectors where it gets stuck for a long time, you could use: git config remote.usbdrive.annex-stalldetection "1MB/1m"

This is not enabled by default, because it can make git-annex use more resources. To be able to cancel stalls, git-annex has to run transfers in separate processes (one per concurrent job). So it may need to open more connections to a remote than usual, or the communication with those processes may make it a bit slower.


This only affects remotes that have their url pointing to a directory on the same system. git-annex normally checks the uuid of such remotes each time it's run, which lets it transparently deal with different drives being mounted to the location at different times.

Setting annex-checkuuid to false will prevent it from checking the uuid  at startup (although the uuid is still verified before making any changes to the remote repository). This may be useful to set to prevent unnecessary spin-up or automounting of a drive.


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".


Can be used to tell git-annex whether a remote is LocallyAvailable or GloballyAvailable. Normally, git-annex determines this automatically.


Set to "true" to make git-annex speculate that this remote may contain the content of any file, even though its normal location tracking does not indicate that it does. This will cause git-annex to try to get all file contents from the remote. Can be useful in setting up a caching remote.


When this is set to true, no information about the remote will be recorded in the git-annex branch. This is mostly useful for special remotes, and is set when using git-annex-initremote(1) with the --private option.


Can be used to tell git-annex if a remote is a bare repository or not. Normally, git-annex determines this automatically.


Options to use when using ssh to talk to this remote.


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

Note that git-annex-shell has a whitelist of allowed rsync options, and others will not be be passed to the remote rsync. So using some options may break the communication between the local and remote rsyncs.


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.


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.


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.


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.)


Options to pass to GnuPG when it's encrypting data. 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.)


Options to pass to GnuPG when it's decrypting data. (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, annex.gnupg-decrypt-options

Default options to use if a remote does not have more specific options as described above.


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.


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.


Used by borg special remotes, this configures the location of the borg repository to use. Normally this is automatically set up by git annex initremote, but you can change it if needed.


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.


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.


Used to identify remotes on Android devices accessed via adb. Normally this is automatically set up by git annex initremote.


Used by adb special remotes, this is the directory on the Android device where files are stored for this remote. Normally this is automatically set up by git annex initremote, but you can change it if needed.


Used by adb special remotes, this is the serial number of the Android device used by the remote. Normally this is automatically set up by git annex initremote, but you can change it if needed, eg when upgrading to a new Android device.


Used to identify Amazon S3 special remotes. Normally this is automatically set up by git annex initremote.


Used to identify Amazon Glacier special remotes. Normally this is automatically set up by git annex initremote.


Used to identify webdav special remotes. Normally this is automatically set up by git annex initremote.


Used to identify tahoe special remotes. Points to the configuration directory for tahoe.


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".


Used to identify git-lfs special remotes. Normally this is automatically set up by git annex initremote.

It is set to "true" if this is a git-lfs remote.


Used to identify httpalso special remotes. Normally this is automatically set up by git annex initremote.


Used external special remotes to record the type of the remote.

Eg, if this is set to "foo", git-annex will run a "git-annex-remote-foo" program to communicate with the external special remote.

If this is set to "readonly", then git-annex will not run any external special remote program, but will try to access things stored in the remote using http. That only works for some external special remotes, so consult the documentation of the one you are using.


Used by hook special remotes to record the type of the remote.


Options to pass to curl when git-annex uses it to download urls (rather than the default built-in url downloader).

For example, to force IPv4 only, set it to "-4".

Setting this option makes git-annex use curl, but only when is configured in a specific way. See its documentation.

Setting this option prevents git-annex from using git-credential for prompting for http passwords. Instead, you can include "--netrc" to make curl use your ~/.netrc file and record the passwords there.

Options to pass to youtube-dl (or yt-dlp) when using it to find the url to download for a video.

Some options may break git-annex's integration with youtube-dl. For example, the --output option could cause it to store files somewhere git-annex won't find them. Avoid setting here or in the youtube-dl config file any options that cause youtube-dl to download more than one file, or to store the file anywhere other than the current working directory.

Command to run for youtube-dl. Default is to use "youtube-dl" or  if that is not available in the PATH, to use "yt-dlp".


Options to pass to aria2c when using it to download a torrent.


HTTP headers to send when downloading from the web. Multiple lines of this option can be set, one per header.


If set, the command is run and each line of its output is used as a HTTP header. This overrides annex.http-headers.

List of URL schemes that git-annex is allowed to download content from. The default is "http https ftp".

Think very carefully before changing this; there are security implications. For example, if it's changed to allow "file" URLs, then anyone who can get a commit into your git-annex repository could git-annex addurl a pointer to a private file located outside that repository, possibly causing it to be copied into your repository and transferred on to other remotes, exposing its content.

Any url schemes supported by curl can be listed here, but you will also need to configure annex.allowed-ip-addresses to allow using curl.

Some special remotes support their own domain-specific URL schemes; those are not affected by this configuration setting.

By default, git-annex only makes connections to public IP addresses; it will refuse to use HTTP and other servers on localhost or on a private network.

This setting can override that behavior, allowing access to particular IP addresses that would normally be blocked. For example " ::1" allows access to localhost (both IPV4 and IPV6). To allow access to all IP addresses, use "all"

Think very carefully before changing this; there are security implications. Anyone who can get a commit into your git-annex repository could git annex addurl an url on a private server, possibly causing it to be downloaded into your repository and transferred to other remotes, exposing its content.

Note that, since the interfaces of curl and youtube-dl do not allow these IP address restrictions to be enforced, curl and youtube-dl will never be used unless

To allow accessing local or private IP addresses on only specific ports, use the syntax "[addr]:port". For example, "[]:80 []:443 [::1]:80 [::1]:443" allows localhost on the http ports only.

Old name for If set, this is treated the same as having set.

For security reasons, git-annex refuses to download content from most special remotes when it cannot check a hash to verify  that the correct content was downloaded. This particularly impacts downloading the content of URL or WORM keys, which lack hashes.

The best way to avoid problems due to this is to migrate files away from such keys, before their content reaches a special remote. See git-annex-migrate(1).

When the content is only available from a special remote, you can use this configuration to force git-annex to download it. But you do so at your own risk, and it's very important you read and understand the information below first!

Downloading unverified content from encrypted special remotes is prevented, because the special remote could send some other encrypted content than what you expect, causing git-annex to decrypt data that you never checked into git-annex, and risking exposing the decrypted data to any non-encrypted remotes you send content to.

Downloading unverified content from (non-encrypted) external special remotes is prevented, because they could follow http redirects to web servers on localhost or on a private network, or in some cases to a file:/// url.

If you decide to bypass this security check, the best thing to do is to only set it temporarily while running the command that gets the file. The value to set the config to is "ACKTHPPT". For example:

git -c annex get myfile

It would be a good idea to check that it downloaded the file you expected, too.


Per-remote configuration of

Configuration of Assistant


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.

Note that this only delays adding files created while the daemon is running. Changes made when it is not running will be added immediately the next time it is started up.


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.


When set to false, prevents the webapp from reminding you when using repositories that lack consistency checks.


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.


Set to false to prevent the git-annex assistant and git-annex sync from automatically committing changes to files in the repository.

To configure the behavior in all clones of the repository, this can be set in git-annex-config(1).


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.


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.

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. (See git-annex-backends(1) for information about available backends.) 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

There is a annex.largefiles attribute, which is used to configure which files are large enough to be added to the annex. Since attributes cannot contain spaces, it is difficult to use for more complex annex.largefiles settings. Setting annex.largefiles in git-annex-config(1) is an easier way to configure it across all clones of the repository. See git-annex-matching-expression(1) for details on the syntax.

The numcopies and mincopies settings can also be configured on a  per-file-type basis via the annex.numcopies and annex.mincopies  attributes in .gitattributes files. This overrides other 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

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. For this reason, the git annex numcopies and git annex mincopies commands are useful to configure a global default.

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.

Exit Status

git-annex itself will exit 0 on success and 1 on failure, unless  the --size-limit or --time-limit option is hit, in  which case it exits 101.

A few git-annex subcommands have other exit statuses used to indicate specific problems, which are documented on their individual man pages.


These environment variables are used by git-annex when set:


Handled the same as they are by git, see git(1)


Handled similarly to the same as described in git(1). The one difference is that git-annex will sometimes pass an additional "-n" parameter to these, as the first parameter, to prevent ssh from reading from stdin. Since that can break existing uses of these environment variables that don't expect the extra parameter, you will need to set GIT_ANNEX_USE_GIT_SSH=1 to make git-annex support these.

Note that setting either of these environment variables prevents git-annex from automatically enabling ssh connection caching (see annex.sshcaching), so it will slow down some operations with remotes over ssh. It's up to you to enable ssh connection caching if you need it; see ssh's documentation.

Also, annex.ssh-options and remote.<name>.annex-ssh-options won't have any effect when these envionment variables are set.

Usually it's better to configure any desired options through your ~/.ssh/config file, or by setting annex.ssh-options.


Normally git-annex timestamps lines in the log files committed to the git-annex branch. Setting this environment variable to a number will make git-annex use that (or a larger number)  rather than the current number of seconds since the UNIX epoch. Note that decimal seconds are supported.

This is only provided for advanced users who either have a better way to tell which commit is current than the local clock, or who need to avoid embedding timestamps for policy reasons.

Some special remotes use additional environment variables

for authentication etc. For example, AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and GIT_ANNEX_P2P_AUTHTOKEN. See special remote documentation.


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.

See Also

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 <>


Referenced By

git-annex-add(1), git-annex-addunused(1), git-annex-addurl(1), git-annex-adjust(1), git-annex-assistant(1), git-annex-backends(1), git-annex-calckey(1), git-annex-checkpresentkey(1), git-annex-config(1), git-annex-contentlocation(1), git-annex-copy(1), git-annex-dead(1), git-annex-describe(1), git-annex-diffdriver(1), git-annex-direct(1), git-annex-drop(1), git-annex-dropkey(1), git-annex-dropunused(1), git-annex-enableremote(1), git-annex-enable-tor(1), git-annex-examinekey(1), git-annex-expire(1), git-annex-export(1), git-annex-filter-branch(1), git-annex-find(1), git-annex-findref(1), git-annex-fix(1), git-annex-forget(1), git-annex-fromkey(1), git-annex-fsck(1), git-annex-fuzztest(1), git-annex-get(1), git-annex-group(1), git-annex-groupwanted(1), git-annex-import(1), git-annex-importfeed(1), git-annex-indirect(1), git-annex-info(1), git-annex-init(1), git-annex-initremote(1), git-annex-inprogress(1), git-annex-list(1), git-annex-lock(1), git-annex-log(1), git-annex-lookupkey(1), git-annex-map(1), git-annex-matchexpression(1), git-annex-matching-options(1), git-annex-merge(1), git-annex-metadata(1), git-annex-migrate(1), git-annex-mirror(1), git-annex-move(1), git-annex-multicast(1), git-annex-numcopies(1), git-annex-p2p(1), git-annex-pre-commit(1), git-annex-preferred-content(1), git-annex-proxy(1), git-annex-readpresentkey(1), git-annex-registerurl(1), git-annex-reinit(1), git-annex-reinject(1), git-annex-rekey(1), git-annex-remotedaemon(1), git-annex-renameremote(1), git-annex-repair(1), git-annex-required(1), git-annex-resolvemerge(1), git-annex-restage(1), git-annex-rmurl(1), git-annex-schedule(1), git-annex-semitrust(1), git-annex-setkey(1), git-annex-setpresentkey(1), git-annex-shell(1), git-annex-smudge(1), git-annex-status(1), git-annex-sync(1), git-annex-test(1), git-annex-testremote(1), git-annex-transferkey(1), git-annex-transferkeys(1), git-annex-trust(1), git-annex-unannex(1), git-annex-undo(1), git-annex-ungroup(1), git-annex-uninit(1), git-annex-unlock(1), git-annex-unregisterurl(1), git-annex-untrust(1), git-annex-unused(1), git-annex-upgrade(1), git-annex-vadd(1), git-annex-vcycle(1), git-annex-version(1), git-annex-vfilter(1), git-annex-vicfg(1), git-annex-view(1), git-annex-vpop(1), git-annex-wanted(1), git-annex-watch(1), git-annex-webapp(1), git-annex-whereis(1), git-annex-whereused(1), git-remote-tor-annex(1).