By Scott Chacon

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You need to build a content distribution framework that will easily and efficiently transfer all the necessary content to the machines on your network. You need to constantly determine what content each machine has and what it needs to have and transfer the difference as efficiently as possible, because networking to these units may be spotty. It turns out that Git is an excellent solution to this problem. You can simply check all the needed content into Git, create a branch for each unit and point that branch to the exact subtree of content it needs.

Running it on a tree will just give you the filenames of the contents of that tree, but none of its subtrees. Where it’s most useful is using it to look at commits. git object browsing screencast In this screencast, we show how to browse and inspect raw Git objects. The major tools covered are the git cat-file and git ls-tree commands to inspect the object contents, and then we cover some of the included graphical browsers, gitk and gitweb. showing commits If you call it on a tree-ish that is a commit object, you will get simple information about the commit (the author, message, date, etc) and a diff of what changed between that commit and its parents.

It turns out that Git is an excellent solution to this problem. You can simply check all the needed content into Git, create a branch for each unit and point that branch to the exact subtree of content it needs. Then at some interval, you have the unit fetch its branch. If nothing has changed, nothing happens – if content has changed somehow, it gets only the files it does not already have in a delta compressed package and then expands them locally. Log and status files could even be transferred back by a push.

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Git Internals - Source code control and beyond by Scott Chacon


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