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File system view of git repositories

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RepoFS represents the Git version control system as a virtual file system where all commits and their contents can be traversed concurrently in a read-only manner using shell commands.

Read the complete description and methodology on SoftwareX

You can cite RepoFS as follows. Vitalis Salis and Diomidis Spinellis. RepoFS: File system view of Git repositories. SoftwareX, Volume 9, 2019, Pages 288-292, ISSN 2352-7110,


RepoFS requires Python >= 3.6 and an installation of libgit2@1.1.0 and fuse. Note: If your vendor doesn't provide libgit2 v1.1.0 you can manually build and install it from source, following the instructions outlined below.

Debian & Ubuntu

~ ❯❯❯ apt install libffi-dev libgit2-dev=1.1.0 fuse python3-pip
~ ❯❯❯ pip3 install repofs

Arch Linux

Available in the AUR:

Using pacaur:

~ ❯❯❯ pacaur -S repofs-git


~ ❯❯❯ brew install libgit2 fuse python3
~ ❯❯❯ pip3 install repofs

Manual installation of libgit2

~ ❯❯❯ wget
~ ❯❯❯ tar xzf v1.1.0.tar.gz
~ ❯❯❯ cd libgit2-1.1.0/
~ ❯❯❯ cmake .
~ ❯❯❯ make
~ ❯❯❯ sudo make install
~ ❯❯❯ sudo ldconfig


~ ❯❯❯ repofs -h
usage: repofs [-h] [--hash-trees] [--no-ref-symlinks] [--no-cache] repo mount

positional arguments:
  repo               Git repository to be processed.
  mount              Path where the FileSystem will be mounted.If it doesn't
                     exist it is created and if it exists and contains files
                     RepoFS exits.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help         show this help message and exit
  --hash-trees       Store 256 entries (first two digits) at each levelof
                     commits-by-hash for the first three levels.
  --no-ref-symlinks  Do not create symlinks for commits of refs.
  --no-cache         Do not use the cache

The mount directory contains four directories:

  • commits-by-hash: Directory containing all commits of the Git repository. A commit directory will contain the state of the repository at the time the commit was made. Since this directory can get large you can further organize it using the --hash-trees command line parameter.
~ ❯❯❯ ls commits-by-hash
06f3d110140b7ac97d000aace0ef4a4233512b6c  47d3af84ddb24690a76ffac32971313cbe500841
082974029413f8c44a07912d1d581d26744fc994  491307a672a07f0354134953fd356998e07fef63
09b371c11e80eb3fe27415c4bdfce367f6bd0279  4a8c2daab3d21c016738a19e7dc8ad8eb3a02eca
  • commits-by-date: Directory containing all commits of the Git repository organized by the time of their creation.
~ ❯❯❯ ls commits-by-date
2017    2018
~ ❯❯❯ ls commits-by-date/2017
01  02  03  04  05  06  07  08  09  10  11  12
~ ❯❯❯ ls commits-by-date/2017/12
01  02  03  04  05  06  07  08  09  10  11  12
13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24
25  26  27  28  29  30  31
~ ❯❯❯ ls commits-by-date/2017/12/18
1a6ca70a91f6ec1fb4de5a80bfb20a0d7b484680  2677b75fd531be570373fe25fc7d576c92e8acd3
58e16f66ae5df0b6e632144ac72c7dd9e3baea37  c5bbc3be37479b23e833d1cb6bddb31ca95f8293
  • tags: Contains all tags of the Git repository. We represent the tag relationship as a symbolic link to the commit the tag points to. In order for the Unix command find to work properly we provide the --no-ref-symlinks option.
  • branches: Similar to the tags directory. Contains all branch names and further organizes them to remote branches and local branches.
~ ❯❯❯ ls branches
heads  remotes
~ ❯❯❯ ls branches/remotes
~ ❯❯❯ ls branches/remotes/origin
HEAD  master

Run man repofs after installation for a complete explanation of RepoFS' usage.

To unmount a Git repository from a specific mount point run umount <mount_dir>.

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