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I want to have all my files on a partition to be controlled by git-annex to be able to take them with me to other computers via an externel drive. Still I want to use the partition normally (creating, changing, deleting files without having to care about git-annex) when it is the only place where content changes. The partition is on my main PC and there the files are mainly created and changed. The syncing would be rather rare, just to backup files to the externel drive or when I want to take the files somewhere else, and from there back to the main PC.

As far as I understood, I´d have to create the git repo in the top-level directory of the partition and then add everything.

  • Can I use the files, create and delete them on the partition without having to unlock and commit them all the time? I would commit before syncing, though.

  • Git-annex creates a copy of files you unlock. Could that be a performance problem?

Or would I have to use another syncing solution for my scenario? Thanks for help!

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2 Answers 2

  • You have to explicitly manage your files with git-annex. If you want to edit a file you need to unlock it. When you changed it you have to add the new version to the annex. You can drop the changes you made, too.

  • Of course. This can be a performance problem. It depends on the size of the file and the IO-performance of your machine. Every file you want to edit must be duplicated to replace the symlink.

You might want to have a look at the Annex Assistant (Particularly at month 1 and 2). The assistant is running in the background and keeps track of your changes.

Additionally you can define preferred content per repository with the assistant. E.g. Every file is copied automatically to your backup-drive or new media files go to your TV station. The list of features is worth watching closely.

I don't know if git-annex is what you are looking for. Perhaps you want to use a paid dropbox account or even AeroFS

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Thanks! AeroFS sounds interesing... –  user905686 Nov 16 '12 at 17:52

Git annex now supports direct mode, which allows you to use (move, delete, ..) the files normally. If you set it to run the daemon at startup, it will automatically watch and sync the files for you.

However, you lose the safety net, i.e. nothing is preventing you to delete files even if it's the only copy. Some of the git commands won't work anymore, e.g. git pull or git commit.

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