GitLab Documentation

Git LFS

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.

How it works

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.

Requirements

GitLab and Git LFS

Configuration

Git LFS objects can be large in size. By default, they are stored on the server GitLab is installed on.

There are two configuration options to help GitLab server administrators:

Omnibus packages

In /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb:

gitlab_rails['lfs_enabled'] = false
gitlab_rails['lfs_storage_path'] = "/mnt/storage/lfs-objects"

Installations from source

In config/gitlab.yml:

  lfs:
    enabled: false
    storage_path: /mnt/storage/lfs-objects

Known limitations

Using Git LFS

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 git@gitlab.example.com:group/project.git
git lfs init                          # initialize the Git LFS project 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

Cloning the repository works the same as before. Git automatically detects the LFS-tracked files and clones them via HTTP. If you performed the git clone command with a SSH URL, you have to enter your GitLab credentials for HTTP authentication.

git clone git@gitlab.example.com:group/project.git

Troubleshooting

error: Repository or object not found

There are a couple of reasons why this error can occur:

Check the version of Git LFS on the client machine with git lfs version. Only version 0.6.0 and newer are supported.

Check the Git config of the project for traces of deprecated API with git lfs -l. If batch = false is set in the config, remove the line and try using Git LFS client newer than 0.6.0.

Invalid status for : 501

When attempting to push a LFS object to a GitLab server that doesn't have Git LFS support enabled, server will return status error 501. Check with your GitLab administrator why Git LFS is not enabled on the server. See Configuration section for instructions on how to enable LFS support.

getsockopt: connection refused

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 behaviour is caused by Git LFS using HTTPS connections by default when a lfsurl is not set in the Git config.

To prevent this from happening, set the lfs url in project Git config:


git config --add lfs.url "http://gitlab.example.com/group/project.git/info/lfs/objects/batch"

Credentials are always required when pushing an object

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, wincred is available.

More details about various methods of storing the user credentials can be found on Git Credential Storage documentation