[arch-projects] [ABS] [PATCH v3 3/7] git prototype: on initial clones, perform a shallow clone

C Anthony Risinger anthony at xtfx.me
Wed Nov 9 01:28:23 EST 2011

On Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 11:56 PM, Linus Arver <linusarver at gmail.com> wrote:
> Shallow git clones are just like regular clones, but do not contain any
> of the past commit history. It is virtually the same thing as doing a
> regular clone, then doing a rebase to squash all commits into a single
> commit. Many people who do not understand git dismiss shallow clones
> because they wrongly believe that shallow clones are incapable of
> pulling in changes going forward from the remote. This is not the case!
> You can still do pulls from the master remote repo in the future to
> update the shallow clone, just like a regular clone!

i had a few other improvements that may be of interest, outlined here:


... [sort of] condensed:

) `_gitname` is not used consistently ... though i now forget the
various uses ive seen :-( will have to follow up on that

) allow _git* variables to be set by the environment

) introduce `_gitspec` variable which supersedes `_gitname` at
*checkout* stage (fallback to `_gitname`)

) use a targeted fetch command instead of a clone -- this can achieve
even greater savings than shallow clone, even though the fetch is
"deep".  the idea is to pull only $_gitname and _nothing_ else.  this
can however be combined with shallow if done correctly for even
greater savings (this method results in 50%+ reduction to kernel pull
[dont know shallow variant offhand], and i've seen savings as high as

) store repositories in a known list of locations ... people WILL blow
the repo away if it's in the build dir.  my PKGBUILDs searches these
(in order of precedence):


) use a proxy mechanism in the event a repository is found but it is
read-only.  this lets you read-only bind mount a repo (think
mkchrootpkg), and it will simply create a new repository, copy the
refs, and setup the object directory as an alternative for the proxy
repo.  thus the proxy has the ability to download new objects as
needed, but starts from the same spot as the bind-mounted repo.

... these techniques are all in use, and primarily derived from
experiences developing, this PKGBUILD:


... which is a massive 1GB+ download and lengthy compile.  these
modifications also make it very simple to rapidly build git packages
within a chroot (one of the primary motivations) *without* any

probably a little out of scope from what you've done here, and
possibly in need of further discussion, but you're message sparked
memory and i still believe they are all good changes -- it saved me
oodles of time and prevents constant removal of humongous repos (esp.
when in chroot).


C Anthony

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