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The inverse of git archive. Adds a new commit from an archiveor the filesystem.

Project description

Gittar creates a git commit from a directory or an archive, allowing you to store a sequence of selective filesystem-snapshots as git commits.


The initial use case for gittar was storing a compiled version of an application in a seperate root inside a git repository. Here’s an example:

Assume you have a webapplication that needs to compile its assets before being deployed. You do not want to have to install a lot of LESS or JS compilers, CSS minifiers, etc. on your production environment.

First, you run your build tool (e.g. scons when using the scons-tools web module), now your app is inside the directory myapp, including the compiled static files, while the source files reside outside the myapp directory.

Now, you can run:

gittar -b web file:myapp

This will create a new commit containing everything inside the myapp directory. If the branch web does not exist, it will be created and will point to the new commit, which will have no parent. If the branch did exist before, the new commit will have it as a parent and the branch will be updated.

The hash of the new commit will be printed to stdout. If the -b option is not specified, this is the only way to reach the commit.

A simple application for this is deploying to heroku. Build your app, add a new gittar-commit to the web branch and push it using git push heroku web:master.


gittar can add files from ZIP-Archives, tar-Archives or plain directories and files.

All sources for inclusion are specified using the following syntax:


A scheme is one of file, zip or tar. The arguments and named arguments are passed on to the sources collecting the files and have meanings depending on the scheme.

Multiple schemes can be specified in a single command.

The file-scheme

A single file or a directory can be added as follows:

gittar file:myfile file:/my/home/special_file file:/some/directory

This will add myfile to the commit with the path myfile. The file /my/home/special_file will also be added, but named special_file (no path) inside the commit.

Assuming /some/directory is a directory, all files in it will be added recursively, without the /some/ path prefix. Example: A file /some/directory/foo/bar will be added as directory/foo/bar to the commit.

Similarities and differences to tar

Specifying file: targets is similiar to tar, with one key differences: Instead of adding absolute paths, gittar will strip any path information (but keep subdirectory trees intact).

Specifically, gittar will never change pathnames depending on your current working directory.

Wildcards and directories as root

Since directories are added recursively and always kept in the relative path, it’s not possible this way to add a directory as the root. One solution is to use wildcards (note the quotes to prevent wildcard expansion by the shell):

gittar 'file:/some/directory/*'

If there are three files in /some/directory named a_file, a_dir and foo, the command above will be logically expanded to:

gittar 'file:/some/directory/a_file' 'file:/some/directory/a_dir' 'file:/some/directory/foo'

This will result in a_file being added to the root of the commit.

Note that wildcard-expansion is done UNIX-style using the glob module. Files starting with a dot (.) are not included using *. To add all files in a directory /foo and not having them as subdirectories, you need to use the following command:

gittar 'file:/foo/*' 'file:/foo/.*'

The zip-scheme

Adds the contents of a zip-Archive:

gittar zip:/path/to/some/

This will add all files inside /path/to/some/ with their relative paths to the commit.

The tar-scheme

Works fairly similiar to the zip-scheme, but for tar archives. Automatic detection of compression is done. Example:

gittar tar:somearchive.tar tar:/another/archive.tar.bz2

Common Options

Extra options can be specififed, some are valid for all sources.


The include and exclude options can be used to specify which files should be included in the commit. Example:

gittar tar:myarchive.tar:include=*.css:include=output/*.html:exclude=~*

Note: You will most likely have to enter this with backslash-escaped asterisks (\*) on your shell.

The command above will include all CSS files and all HTML files from the output folder, provided they do not start with a tilde``~``.

If no include option is given all not-excluded files are included.

Regular expressions

The include and exclude commands use UNIX shell patterns. You can use python (Perl-like) regular expressions by using rinclude and rexclude instead.

Project details

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