- How it works
- GitLab server configuration
- Known limitations
- Using Git LFS
- File Locking
- LFS objects in project archives
Managing large files such as audio, video and graphics files has always been one of the shortcomings of Git. The general recommendation is to not have Git repositories larger than 1GB to preserve performance.
An LFS icon is shown on files tracked by Git LFS to denote if a file is stored as a blob or as an LFS pointer.
Git LFS client talks with the GitLab server over HTTPS. It uses HTTP Basic Authentication to authorize client requests. Once the request is authorized, Git LFS client receives instructions from where to fetch or where to push the large file.
Documentation for GitLab instance administrators is under LFS administration doc.
- Git LFS is supported in GitLab starting with version 8.2
- Git LFS must be enabled under project settings
- Git LFS client version 1.0.1 and up
- Git LFS v1 original API is not supported since it was deprecated early in LFS development
- When SSH is set as a remote, Git LFS objects still go through HTTPS
- Any Git LFS request will ask for HTTPS credentials to be provided so a good Git credentials store is recommended
- Git LFS always assumes HTTPS so if you have GitLab server on HTTP you will have to add the URL to Git configuration manually (see troubleshooting)
Lets take a look at the workflow when you need to check large files into your Git repository with Git LFS. For example, if you want to upload a very large file and check it into your Git repository:
git clone email@example.com:group/project.git git lfs install # initialize the Git LFS project git lfs track "*.iso" # select the file extensions that you want to treat as large files
Once a certain file extension is marked for tracking as a LFS object you can use Git as usual without having to redo the command to track a file with the same extension:
cp ~/tmp/debian.iso ./ # copy a large file into the current directory git add . # add the large file to the project git commit -am "Added Debian iso" # commit the file meta data git push origin master # sync the git repo and large file to the GitLab server
Make sure that
.gitattributes is tracked by Git. Otherwise Git
LFS will not be working properly for people cloning the project:
git add .gitattributes
Cloning the repository works the same as before. Git automatically detects the
LFS-tracked files and clones them via HTTP. If you performed the
command with a SSH URL, you have to enter your GitLab credentials for HTTP
git clone firstname.lastname@example.org:group/project.git
If you already cloned the repository and you want to get the latest LFS object that are on the remote repository, such as for a branch from origin:
git lfs fetch origin master
Make sure your files aren’t listed in
.gitignore, otherwise, they will be ignored by Git thus will not
be pushed to the remote repository.
Read the documentation on how to migrate an existing Git repository with Git LFS.
To remove objects from LFS:
git filter-repoto remove the objects from the repository.
- Delete the relevant LFS lines for the objects you have removed from your
.gitattributesfile and commit those changes.
See the documentation on File Locking.
- Support for including Git LFS blobs inside project source downloads was introduced in GitLab 13.5.
- It was deployed behind a feature flag, disabled by default.
- Became enabled by default on GitLab 13.6.
- It’s enabled on GitLab.com.
- It’s recommended for production use.
- For GitLab self-managed instances, GitLab administrators can opt to disable it.
Prior to GitLab 13.5, project source downloads would include Git LFS pointers instead of the actual objects. For example, LFS pointers look like the following:
version https://git-lfs.github.com/spec/v1 oid sha256:3ea5dd307f195f449f0e08234183b82e92c3d5f4cff11c2a6bb014f9e0de12aa size 177735
Starting with GitLab 13.5, these pointers are converted to the uploaded
LFS object if the
include_lfs_blobs_in_archive feature flag is
Technical details about how this works can be found in the development documentation for LFS.
LFS objects in project archives is under development but ready for production use. It is deployed behind a feature flag that is enabled by default. GitLab administrators with access to the GitLab Rails console can opt to disable it.
To enable it:
To disable it:
There are a couple of reasons why this error can occur:
- You don’t have permissions to access certain LFS object
Check if you have permissions to push to the project or fetch from the project.
- Project is not allowed to access the LFS object
LFS object you are trying to push to the project or fetch from the project is not available to the project anymore. Probably the object was removed from the server.
- Local Git repository is using deprecated LFS API
Git LFS will log the failures into a log file. To view this log file, while in project directory:
git lfs logs last
If the status
error 501 is shown, it is because:
Git LFS is not enabled in project settings. Check your project settings and enable Git LFS.
Git LFS support is not enabled on the GitLab server. Check with your GitLab administrator why Git LFS is not enabled on the server. See LFS administration documentation for instructions on how to enable LFS support.
Git LFS client version is not supported by GitLab server. Check your Git LFS version with
git lfs version. Check the Git configuration of the project for traces of deprecated API with
git lfs -l. If
batch = falseis set in the configuration, remove the line and try to update your Git LFS client. Only version 1.0.1 and newer are supported.
If you push a LFS object to a project and you receive an error similar to:
Post <URL>/info/lfs/objects/batch: dial tcp IP: getsockopt: connection refused,
the LFS client is trying to reach GitLab through HTTPS. However, your GitLab
instance is being served on HTTP.
This behavior is caused by Git LFS using HTTPS connections by default when a
lfsurl is not set in the Git configuration.
To prevent this from happening, set the LFS URL in project Git configuration:
git config --add lfs.url "http://gitlab.example.com/group/project.git/info/lfs"
Given that Git LFS uses HTTP Basic Authentication to authenticate the user pushing the LFS object on every push for every object, user HTTPS credentials are required.
By default, Git has support for remembering the credentials for each repository you use. This is described in Git credentials man pages.
For example, you can tell Git to remember the password for a period of time in which you expect to push the objects:
git config --global credential.helper 'cache --timeout=3600'
This will remember the credentials for an hour after which Git operations will require re-authentication.
If you are using OS X you can use
osxkeychain to store and encrypt your credentials.
For Windows, you can use
wincred or Microsoft’s Git Credential Manager for Windows.
More details about various methods of storing the user credentials can be found on Git Credential Storage documentation.
GitLab checks files to detect LFS pointers on push. If LFS pointers are detected, GitLab tries to verify that those files already exist in LFS on GitLab.
Verify that LFS is installed locally and consider a manual push with
git lfs push --all.
If you are storing LFS files outside of GitLab you can disable LFS on the project by setting
lfs_enabled: false with the projects API.
It is possible to host LFS objects externally by setting a custom LFS URL with
git config -f .lfsconfig lfs.url https://example.com/<project>.git/info/lfs.
You might choose to do this if you are using an appliance like a Sonatype Nexus to store LFS data. If you choose to use an external LFS store, GitLab will not be able to verify LFS objects which means that pushes will fail if you have GitLab LFS support enabled.
To stop push failure, LFS support can be disabled in the Project settings. This means you will lose GitLab LFS value-adds (Verifying LFS objects, UI integration for LFS).