* [PATCH v2] partial-clone: design doc
2017-12-14 15:24 [PATCH v2] Partial clone design document Jeff Hostetler
@ 2017-12-14 15:24 ` Jeff Hostetler
2017-12-14 18:24 ` Junio C Hamano
2017-12-14 18:27 ` Junio C Hamano
0 siblings, 2 replies; 5+ messages in thread
From: Jeff Hostetler @ 2017-12-14 15:24 UTC (permalink / raw)
To: git; +Cc: gitster, peff, jonathantanmy, Jeff Hostetler
From: Jeff Hostetler <firstname.lastname@example.org>
First draft of design document for partial clone feature.
Signed-off-by: Jeff Hostetler <email@example.com>
Documentation/technical/partial-clone.txt | 259 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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+Partial Clone Design Notes
+The "Partial Clone" feature is a performance optimization for git that
+allows git to function without having a complete copy of the repository.
+During clone and fetch operations, git normally downloads the complete
+contents and history of the repository. That is, during clone the client
+receives all of the commits, trees, and blobs in the repository into a
+local ODB. Subsequent fetches extend the local ODB with any new objects.
+For large repositories, this can take significant time to download and
+large amounts of diskspace to store.
+The goal of this work is to allow git better handle extremely large
+repositories. Often in these repositories there are many files that the
+user does not need such as ancient versions of source files, files in
+portions of the worktree outside of the user's work area, or large binary
+assets. If we can avoid downloading such unneeded objects *in advance*
+during clone and fetch operations, we can decrease download times and
+reduce ODB disk usage.
+Partial clone is a mechanism to limit the number of blobs and trees downloaded
+*within* a given range of commits -- and is therefore independent of and not
+intended to conflict with existing DAG-level mechanisms to limit the set of
+requested commits (i.e. shallow clone, single branch, or fetch '<refspec>').
+Partial clone logically consists of the following parts:
+- A mechanism for the client to describe unneeded or unwanted objects to
+ the server.
+- A mechanism for the server to omit such unwanted objects from packfiles
+ sent to the client.
+- A mechanism for the client to gracefully handle missing objects (that
+ were previously omitted by the server).
+- A mechanism for the client to backfill missing objects as needed.
+- A new pack-protocol capability "filter" is added to the fetch-pack and
+ upload-pack negotiation.
+ This uses the existing capability discovery mechanism.
+ See "filter" in Documentation/technical/pack-protocol.txt.
+- Clients pass a "filter-spec" to clone and fetch which is passed to the
+ server to request filtering during packfile construction.
+ There are various filters available to accomodate different situations.
+ See "--filter=<filter-spec>" in Documentation/rev-list-options.txt.
+- On the server pack-objects applies the requested filter-spec as it
+ creates "filtered" packfiles for the client.
+ These filtered packfiles are incomplete in the traditional sense because
+ they may contain trees that reference blobs that the client does not have.
+- On the client these incomplete packfiles are marked as "promisor pacfiles"
+ and treated differently by various commands.
+- On the client a repository extension is added to the local config to
+ prevent older versions of git from failing mid-operation because of
+ missing objects that they cannot handle.
+ See "extensions.partialClone" in Documentation/technical/repository-version.txt"
+Handling Missing Objects
+- An object may be missing due to a partial clone or fetch, or missing due
+ to repository corruption. To differentiate these cases, the local
+ repository specially indicates packfiles obtained from the promisor
+ These "promisor packfiles" consist of a "<name>.promisor" file with
+ arbitrary contents (like the "<name>.keep" files), in addition to
+ their "<name>.pack" and "<name>.idx" files.
+ In the future, this ability may be extended to loose objects in case
+ a promisor packfile is accidentally unpacked.
+- The local repository considers a "promisor object" to be an object that
+ it knows (to the best of its ability) that the promisor remote has, either
+ because the local repository has that object in one of its promisor
+ packfiles, or because another promisor object refers to it.
+ When git encounters a missing object, Git can see if it a promisor object
+ and handle it appropriately. If not, Git can report a corruption.
+ This means that there is no need for the client to explicitly maintain an
+ expensive-to-modify list of missing objects.
+- Since almost all Git code currently expects any referenced object to be
+ present locally and because we do not want to force every command to do
+ a dry-run first, a fallback mechanism is added to allow Git to attempt
+ to dynamically fetch missing objects from the promisor remote.
+ When the normal object lookup fails to find an object, Git invokes
+ fetch-object to try to get the object from the server and then retry
+ the object lookup. This allows objects to be "faulted in" without
+ complicated prediction algorithms.
+ For efficiency reasons, no check as to whether the missing object is
+ actually a promisor object is performed.
+ Dynamic object fetching tends to be slow as objects are fetched one at
+ a time.
+- checkout (and any other command using unpack-trees) has been taught to
+ bulk pre-fetch all required missing blobs in a single batch.
+- rev-list has been taught to print missing objects.
+ This can be used by other commands to bulk prefetch objects.
+ For example, a "git log -p A..B" may internally want to first do
+ something like "git rev-list --objects --quiet --missing=print A..B"
+ and prefetch those objects in bulk.
+- fsck has been updated to be fully aware of promisor objects.
+- repack in GC has been updated to not touch promisor packfiles at all,
+ and to only repack other objects.
+- The global variable fetch_if_missing is used to control whether an
+ object lookup will attempt to dynamically fetch a missing object or
+ report an error.
+ We are not happy with this global variable and would like to remove it,
+ but that requires significant refactoring of the object code to pass an
+ additional flag. We hope that concurrent efforts to add an ODB API can
+ encompass this.
+Fetching Missing Objects
+Fetching of objects is done using the existing transport mechanism using
+transport_fetch_refs(), setting a new transport option
+TRANS_OPT_NO_DEPENDENTS to indicate that only the objects themselves are
+desired, not any object that they refer to. Because some transports
+invoke fetch_pack() in the same process, fetch_pack() has been updated
+to not use any object flags when the corresponding argument
+(no_dependents) is set.
+The local repository sends a request with the hashes of all requested
+objects as "want" lines, and does not perform any packfile negotiation.
+It then receives a packfile.
+Because we are reusing the existing fetch-pack mechanism, fetching
+currently fetches all objects referred to by the requested objects, even
+though they are not necessary.
+- The remote used for a partial clone (or the first partial fetch
+ following a regular clone) is marked as the "promisor remote".
+ We are currently limited to a single promisor remote and only that
+ remote may be used for subsequent partial fetches.
+- Dynamic object fetching will only ask the promisor remote for missing
+ objects. We assume that the promisor remote has a complete view of the
+ repository and can satisfy all such requests.
+ Future work may lift this restriction when we figure out how to route
+ such requests. The current assumption is that partial clone will not be
+ used for triangular workflows that would need that (at least initially).
+- Repack essentially treats promisor and non-promisor packfiles as 2
+ distinct partitions and does not mix them. Repack currently only works
+ on non-promisor packfiles and loose objects.
+ Future work may let repack work to repack promisor packfiles (while
+ keeping them in a different partition from the others).
+- The current object filtering mechanism does not make use of packfile
+ bitmaps (when present).
+ We should allow this for filters that are not pathname-based.
+- Currently, dynamic object fetching invokes fetch-pack for each item
+ because most algorithms stumble upon a missing object and need to have
+ it resolved before continuing their work. This may incur significant
+ overhead -- and multiple authentication requests -- if many objects are
+ We need to investigate use of a long-running process, such as proposed
+ in [5,6] to reduce process startup and overhead costs.
+ It would be nice if pack protocol V2 could allow that long-running
+ process to make a series of requests over a single long-running
+- Dynamic object fetching currently uses the existing pack protocol V0
+ which means that each object is requested via fetch-pack. The server
+ will send a full set of info/refs when the connection is established.
+ If there are large number of refs, this may incur significant overhead.
+ We expect that protocol V2 will allow us to avoid this cost.
+- Every time the subject of "demand loading blobs" comes up it seems
+ that someone suggests that the server be allowed to "guess" and send
+ additional objects that may be related to the requested objects.
+ No work has gone into actually doing that; we're just documenting that
+ it is a common suggestion. We're not sure how it would work and have
+ no plans to work on it.
+ It is valid for the server to send more objects than requested (even
+ for a dynamic object fetch), but we are not building on that.
+ Chromium work item for: Partial Clone
+ Subject: [RFC] Add support for downloading blobs on demand
+ Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2017 10:52:53 -0500
+ Subject: [PATCH 00/18] Partial clone (from clone to lazy fetch in 18 patches)
+ Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2017 13:11:36 -0700
+ Subject: Proposal for missing blob support in Git repos
+ Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:13:46 -0700
+ Subject: [PATCH 00/10] RFC Partial Clone and Fetch
+ Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2017 18:50:29 +0000
+ Subject: [PATCH v7 00/10] refactor the filter process code into a reusable module
+ Date: Fri, 5 May 2017 11:27:52 -0400
+ Subject: [RFC/PATCH v2 0/1] Add support for downloading blobs on demand
+ Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2017 09:26:50 -0400
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