Browse and display files in a git repo without cloning

0 votes
asked Jul 24, 2009 by ianalis

Is there a way to browse and display files in a git repo without cloning it first? I can do those in svn using the commands:

svn ls /path/to/repo 
svn cat /path/to/repo/file-in-repo

I can supposedly use git show but doing:

git show /path/to/repo
git show HEAD:/path/to/repo

result to

fatal: Not a git repository

5 Answers

0 votes
answered Jul 24, 2009 by jkp

The command you want is git ls-remote which allows you to get some information about remote repositories, but you cant show history or list directories or anything of that level: essentially it only lets you see the remote objects at a very high-level (you can see the current HEADs and tags for example).

The only real way to do what you want (if I understand correctly) would be to use ssh to run a remote command and return the results, for example:

ssh me@otherhost "cd repo && git log -n 10"

What you want would be lovely functionality if they could add it, but from what I read it's not very easy since getting history etc needs a lot of information to be local to git, and at that point you may as well have done a git fetch.

0 votes
answered Jul 7, 2011 by jerome-baum

Take a look at http://git-scm.com/book/en/Git-Internals-Transfer-Protocols for info on how to do this over some transport protocols. Note this won't work for standard git over SSH.

For git over SSH, an up-to-date server-side git should allow you to git-archive directly from the remote, which you could then e.g. pipe to "tar t" to get a list of all files in a given commit.

0 votes
answered Jul 19, 2013 by anne-van-rossum

This is probably considered dirty by some, but a very practical solution in case of github repositories is just to make a script, e.g. "git-ls":

#!/bin/sh
remote_url=${1:? "$0 requires URL as argument"}
curl -s $remote_url | grep js-directory-link | sed "s/.* title=\"\(.*\)\".*/\1/"

Make it executable and reachable of course: chmod a+x git-ls; sudo cp git-ls /usr/local/bin. Now, you just run it as you wish:

git-ls https://github.com/mrquincle/aim-bzr
git-ls https://github.com/mrquincle/aim-bzr/tree/master/aim_modules

Also know that there is a git instaweb utility for your local files. To have the ability to show files and have a server like that does in my opinion not destroy any of the inherent decentralized characteristics of git.

0 votes
answered Jul 12, 2015 by anurag-kanungo

Not the exact, but a way around.

Use GitHub Developer API

  1. Opening this will get you the recent commits.

    https://api.github.com/repos/learningequality/ka-lite/commits

    You can get the specific commit details by attaching the commit hash in the end of above url.

  2. All the files ( You need sha for the main tree)

    https://api.github.com/repos/learningequality/ka-lite/git/trees/7b698a988683b161bdcd48a949b01e2b336b4c01

I hope this may help.

0 votes
answered Jul 4, 2016 by fela

GitHub is svn compatible so you can use svn ls

svn ls https://github.com/user/repository.git/branches/master/

BitBucket supports git archive so you can download tar archive and list archived files. It is not very efficient but works:

git archive --remote=git@bitbucket.org:repository HEAD directory | tar -t
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