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Backup git repository

Git is capable of “bundling” its data into a single file. The bundle command will package up everything that would normally be pushed over the wire with a git push command into a binary file that you can email to someone or put on a flash drive, then unbundle into another repository.

Following bash function will clone repository and create one signle bundle file with nice name:

function git_backup() {
target=$(echo ${1#*:} | tr / _)
git clone --mirror $1 ${target} && cd ${target}
git bundle create ${2-../}/${target%%.git}.bundle --all
cd - && rm -rf ${target}


Terminal window
git_backup ~/Downloads/

PS: Note that git bundle only copies commits that lead to some reference (branch or tag) in the repository. So tangling commits are not stored to the bundle.

You can also create nice alias in .gitconfig file:

backup = "!gb() { target=$(echo ${1#*:} | tr / _); git clone --mirror $1 ${target} && cd ${target}; git bundle create ${2-../}/${target%%.git}.bundle --all; cd - && rm -rf ${target}; }; gb"

Backup alias can be also found in my dotfiles repository.


You can difectly clone repository from bundle file:

Terminal window
git clone my-super-file.bundle directory

Or you can create empty repository and pull from bundle file:

Terminal window
git init directory
cd directory
git pull my-super-file.bundle

Backup whole GitHub account

You can use GitHub API to get list of all user repos. Then you have to apply all your bash magic power to getting right names from that.

Terminal window
curl -s | json_pp | grep full_name | cut -d\" -f4

Or there are a number of tools specifically designed for the purpose of manipulating JSON from the command line. One of the best seems to me jq

Terminal window
for repo in $(curl -s | jq -r ".[].ssh_url")
git backup $repo /Volumes/Backup/git