Troubleshooting Git LFS

When working with Git LFS, you might encounter the following issues.

Error: repository or object not found

This error can occur for a few reasons, including:

  • You don’t have permissions to access certain LFS object. Confirm you have permission to push to the project, or fetch from the project.
  • The project isn’t allowed to access the LFS object. The LFS object you want to push (or fetch) is no longer available to the project. In most cases, the object has been removed from the server.
  • The local Git repository is using deprecated version of the Git LFS API. Update your local copy of Git LFS and try again.

Invalid status for <url> : 501

Git LFS logs the failures into a log file. To view this log file:

  1. In your terminal window, go to your project’s directory.
  2. Run this command to see recent log files:

    git lfs logs last

These problems can cause 501 errors:

  • Git LFS is not enabled in your project’s 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 Git LFS support.

  • The Git LFS client version is not supported by GitLab server. You should:

    1. Check your Git LFS version with git lfs version.
    2. Check the Git configuration of your project for traces of the deprecated API with git lfs -l. If your configuration sets batch = false, remove the line, then update your Git LFS client. GitLab supports only versions 1.0.1 and newer.

Credentials are always required when pushing an object

Git LFS authenticates the user with HTTP Basic Authentication on every push for every object, so it requires user HTTPS credentials. By default, Git supports remembering the credentials for each repository you use. For more information, see the official Git documentation.

For example, you can tell Git to remember your password for a period of time in which you expect to push objects. This example remembers your credentials for an hour (3600 seconds), and you must authenticate again in an hour:

git config --global credential.helper 'cache --timeout=3600'

To store and encrypt credentials, see:

To learn more about storing your user credentials, see the Git Credential Storage documentation.

LFS objects are missing on push

GitLab checks files on push to detect LFS pointers. If it detects LFS pointers, GitLab tries to verify that those files already exist in LFS. If you use a separate server for Git LFS, and you encounter this problem:

  1. Verify you have installed Git LFS locally.
  2. Consider a manual push with git lfs push --all.

If you store Git LFS files outside of GitLab, you can disable Git LFS on your project.

Hosting LFS objects externally

You can host LFS objects externally by setting a custom LFS URL:

git config -f .lfsconfig lfs.url<project>.git/info/lfs

You might do this if you store LFS data on an appliance, like a Nexus Repository. If you use an external LFS store, GitLab can’t verify the LFS objects. Pushes then fail if you have GitLab LFS support enabled.

To stop push failures, you can disable Git LFS support in your Project settings. However, this approach might not be desirable, because it also disables GitLab LFS features like:

  • Verifying LFS objects.
  • GitLab UI integration for LFS.

I/O timeout when pushing LFS objects

If your network conditions are unstable, the Git LFS client might time out when trying to upload files. You might see errors like:

LFS: Put "<OBJECT-ID>/15":
read tcp your-instance-ip:54544->your-instance-ip:443: i/o timeout
error: failed to push some refs to 'ssh://'

To fix this problem, set the client activity timeout a higher value. For example, to set the timeout to 60 seconds:

git config lfs.activitytimeout 60

Encountered n files that should have been pointers, but weren’t

This error indicates the repository should be tracking a file with Git LFS, but isn’t. Issue 326342, fixed in GitLab 16.10, was one cause of this problem.

To fix the problem, migrate the affected files, and push them up to the repository:

  1. Migrate the file to LFS:

    git lfs migrate import --yes --no-rewrite "<your-file>"
  2. Push back to your repository:

    git push
  3. Optional. Clean up your .git folder:

    git reflog expire --expire-unreachable=now --all
    git gc --prune=now