This post is in response to a comment someone made on irc earlier today:

[I] would really like a git lookaside cache which operated on an upstream repo, but pulled objects locally when they’re available

In this post I present a proof-of-concept solution to this request. Please note that thisand isn’t something that has actually been used or tested anywhere!

If you access a git repository via ssh, it’s easy to provide a wrapper for git operations via the command= option in an authorized_keys file. We can take advantage of this to update a a local “cache” repository prior to responding to a clone/pull/etc. operation.

A simple wrapper might look like this:


[ "$SSH_ORIGINAL_COMMAND" ] || exit 1


cd repos

case $1 in
  (*)	echo "*** Unrecognized command." >&2
    exit 1

if [ "$1" = "git-upload-pack" ]; then
  # Update the local repository cache if the file 
  # 'git-auto-update' exists.
  cd "$2"
  [ -f git-auto-update ] &&
    git remote update >&2

exec "$@"

If we have a git user locally, we can place the above script into /home/git/bin/gitwrapper, and then set up a .ssh/authorized_keys file that looks something like this:

command="/home/git/bin/gitwrapper" ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC...

Let’s set up a local repository mirror:

# su - git
git$ mkdir repos
git$ cd repos
git$ git clone --mirror

In order to tell the wrapper script that it should perform the automatic update logic on this repository, we need to touch the appropriate flag file:

git$ touch devstack.git/git-auto-update

If we then attempt to clone that repository:

lars$ git clone git@localhost:devstack.git

The wrapper script will check for the presence of that flag file, and if it exists it will first perform a git remote update before responding to the clone operation. This ensures that any new objects are fetched, while ensuring fast transfer of objects that are already available locally. The output we see after running the above git clone looks something like:

Fetching origin
   8ce00ac..0ba1848  master     -> master
First, rewinding head to replay your work on top of it...
Fast-forwarded master to 0ba18481672964808bbbc4160643387dc931c654.

The first three lines are the result git remote update operation in our cache repository.