The easy to use webapp, ports to Android and Mac OS X, and Windows, and other
great features I've worked on in the last year have brought git-annex
to more users than ever before. Together we kick-started something awesome!
But now it's important to keep that momentum going. While lots of new
people are trying out git-annex, I need to be able to devote all my time to
fixing problems they find, and making it work really well.
Make no mistake, I'll continue working on git-annex no matter what happens
here. The only question is, will I be able to give it my full attention in
this critical period?
... Well, that question has been answered. I'm working on git-annex
full time for another year! And maybe a little beyond.
There are so many features to add, and ways to improve git-annex, that I
can't begin to list them all here, but here are a few:
Integrate better with Android.
Get the assistant and webapp ported to Windows.
Refine the automated stress testing tools to find and fix more problems
before users ever see them.
Automatic recovery. Cosmic ray flipped a bit in a file?
USB drive corrupted itself? The assistant should notice these problems,
and fix them.
Encourage more contributions from others. For example, improve the
special remote plugin interface so it can do everything the native Haskell
interface can do. Eight new cloud storage services were added this year
as plugins, but we can do better!
See also: the git-annex enhancement contest
Use deltas to reduce bandwidth needed to transfer modified versions of files.
Improved ssh password prompting when setting up a ssh remote in the
Focus on security & privacy
Git-annex users are storing their files securely encrypted in the cloud.
They're avoiding getting locked into one proprietary service. They're able
to sync and share their files without losing control of their data. Recent
developments have highlighted the importance of software that helps you
protect your privacy and avoid lock-in.
I was thrilled to see that git-annex is featured on
prism-break.org as an alternative to DropBox,
Google Drive, and iCloud. Proud to see it in the company with
so much other good software that respects these principles. But also
worried, since any software using encryption always has room for improvement.
So, this campaign has an additional focus on improving git-annex's security.
Some of the areas I want to work on:
Add easy support for encrypted git repositories
so you can safely push to a repository on a server you don't control.
Add support for setting up and using GPG keys in the webapp.
Add protection to the XMPP protocol to guard against man in the middle
attacks if the XMPP server is compromised. Ie, Google should not be able to
learn about your git-annex repository even if you're using their servers.
To avoid leaking even the size of your encrypted files to
cloud storage providers, add a mode that stores fixed size chunks.
This is a one-time thing. I do not plan to try to live off of the generosity
of my backers indefinitely. But it's sure been great to spend a year building
exactly what I feel needs to be built, with the ongoing feedback of my backers!
I do have some other Kickstarter-worthy ideas for projects that might
involve git-annex in other ways, and might lead to a sustainable funding in
the long term. I have not decided yet if I'll try to take such a project
Also, I've heard from a ton of people encouraging me to run another
fundraiser, both happy Kickstarter backers, and people who missed
their chance to contribute to the first one. Who am I to say no to that?
One of the great things to come out of my original git-annex Kickstarter,
that I did not anticipate, was that it helped inspire some other
similar attempts. MediaGoblin had a
successful croudfunding campaign.
There is an ongoing campaign by the Software Freedom Conservancy to
fund development of
Non-Profit Accounting Software.
The Free Software community is still figuring out how to use crowdfunding
effectively. Does it make sense to continue supporting a project that's
already had one successful round of crowdfunding? I think it's best to
leave the decision up to you!
No, it is not. However, I have structured this campaign to avoid other
overheads that use up significant percentages of the funds raised by a
typical Kickstarter project. That's one reason why I'm encouraging
donations using Bitcoin.
git-annex is GPL-3+, and its webapp is AGPL-3+.
This web page is CC-BY-SA 3.0.
What people are saying about git-annex
Git-annex now auto-syncing photos from my android phone to a Tor hidden SSH service I control
(via @guardianproject's Orbot)
Annex is working great for me since 8/2012 or something... Using it a lot
and the Assistant is awesome! really great software!
Git annex is great to keep all my repository synchronized while not
requesting that all my pictures are present on my laptop. Thank you!
I discovered git-annex few months ago and it really helps me to keep my files
well organized. I missed the first crowd funding campaign but would be happy
to contribute to the next one
I've finally gone from either keeping hard drives from my past computers or
keeping a full copy of the data, to having a proper archiving and backup system
for all files I care about. I've got over 12,000 files stored on my main annex,
and it's perfectly responsive.
Git-annex makes it possible for me to have lots of data. Before I started using
it I had a music library and a few massive tar files, none of it properly
backed up, and occasionally there would be random corruption (I still have
broken mp3s which jump and stutter in places) because I would carelessly cp
them from HDD to HDD. So I'd avoid actually letting data accumulate; this was
inconvenient in itself. Now git-annex does everything for me.
I'm using git-annex to consolidate all the stuff that accumulated for years on
various drives I have. Music I downloaded and bought (don't wanna loose those),
photos from 2003 and on, archives of school and work stuff etc. Using it for
6-7 months now, I came to trust git-annex
Thanks Joey for all the great work, I really hope you can continue
I'm a graduate student, so I write a lot. I started using git to manage my
latex sources a while ago, but I didn't like gumming up my repository with a
bunch of figures (large binaries). I was constantly forgetting to scp the
latest versions of my figures from here to there (as I do my work on a number
of different computers.) Git annex gives me a good way to version the figures
and manage them with the same tool I'm using for the text.
I'm using git-annex to make videos, pictures and music available on all my
devices (windows, android, linux). It has saved me on trips with my 2yr
daughter when she's had meltdowns; I have her favorite movie ready. I quickly
exceeded the free dropbox quota and git-annex has replaced the need and gives
me greater confidence and control over my data. Thank you!
I have moved all my photographs to an annex running on a Ubuntu file server
while doing photo editing, presenting etc. on my MacBook. The annex is great in
selectively moving files between these machines for editing and presentation
purposes. I started using it around Christmas season last year and added a
glacier "backup" recently. My statistics: 6 repositories in total, more than
300GB (dedup'd from 380GB)
I sync my working machines, my home fileserver, my VPS
(for file access on the go), Android devices, and even a couple of dumb MP3
players from git-annex. Best of all, I have one place to go for all of my
files, and if they're not on the device at the moment I need them, they're a
I've got an annex with all my DVD ISOs that's nearly 3TB alone, uses the SHA512
hash and gets split over three computers, 6 external SATA drives and 3 USB
If you do another fundraiser you've got my support!
I have 6+ repos, 235 GB of data;
nevertheless git annex is
generally pretty cooperative. I almost don't have to think about the stuff annex
handles. It's really fun to install a fresh OS, clone the git annex repo, and
have my entire annex directory tree available immediately.
Our 4T of data gets deduplicated to about 270G, only a couple of
megs get transferred every night, and thanks to git-annex everything just works,
like it should!
Thanks very much for the dev blog! I was looking forward
every morning to see what's coming next, what problems you are facing
and how you're planning to solve them. It is simply amazing what
you've achieved in the last year and your posts gave me a lot of
I know that my expectations in this project are a little bit high and I see how
much work it was to get where we are now. Once again thank you for the
excellent work done so far. I don't fear to synchronize important data with