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Git repositories. Why can't I just create a folder and access it using sftp?

Git repositories. Why can't I just create a folder and access it using sftp?

Peter Senna T.
New member | Level 1

I have two different demands for storage space:
1 - To have files distributed around computers and have them synchronized in multiple places
2 - To use git to formally control version of individual files, and use a central storage to keep multiple clients in sync.

There is not a practical way to use Dropbox for hosting git projects. That's a major limitation. Why can't I just create a folder and access it using sftp? That's all I need to host a git central repository at Dropbox. What is the problem?

15 Replies 15

Re: Git repositories

Richard P.
Super User alumni

The problem is that Dropbox isn't designed around any one particular type of file - git repository, jpeg, docx, psd are all treated the same.

Dropbox also doesn't provide arbitrary access methods, which is why you can't use sftp.

You will also find yourself potentially having lots of issues trying to sync git repositories via Dropbox due to the way some git clients handle locking and flushing. You should really be using something like GitHub, BitBucket or Visual Studio Online for hosting your git repositories and do proper pushing and pulling of change sets.

Re: Git repositories

Peter Senna T.
New member | Level 1

Hi, thanks for the answer, but it is not satisfactory. Git doesn't need anything special when the context is files and directories. Why not allowing files to be used as files? It is the other way around of your answer, it is not that I expect Dropbox to support 'particular types' of files. I expect it to support 'files'.

Re: Git repositories

Richard P.
Super User alumni

Well, in that case, just put the repository in the Dropbox folder and be done with it - Dropbox will support syncing git repositories fine if they are in the Dropbox folder.

I'm not sure what else, apart from sftp access, you are looking for. Dropbox has never supported syncing files outside its designated folder.

Re: Git repositories

Peter Senna T.
New member | Level 1

Hi Richard, thanks again, but I'm still not convinced. Dropbox imposes major limitations due it's abstraction of files. While this abstraction can offer advantages for the first use case it makes it impossible for the second one. I've upgraded to pro account yesterday. Can I give up and get my money back?

Re: Git repositories

Dave C.5
New member | Level 2

@Peter Senna T. : can you define what you even mean by "it's abstraction of files".
.
DB syncs a folder content to a cloud storage site, and syncs changes to and from it, whats abstract with that?

Re: Git repositories

Richard P.
Super User alumni

I have no idea what you are talking about when you say "abstraction of files".

Re: Git repositories

Peter Senna T.
New member | Level 1

I'm in unfamiliar ground here, but my current view of the real problem is that the read and write operations for 'files' at Dropbox has different properties to the read and write operations for 'files' on my computer. Dropbox offers me a 'file' and I was expecting to use it as I do on my computer, which is not the case.

Re: Git repositories

Richard P.
Super User alumni

If you access files in your Dropbox folder, they are the same as every other file on your computer - because the Dropbox folder is just another folder, the same as any other folder.

Dropbox syncs files and folders, it does not provide remote access to those files and folders. If you can see them in your Dropbox folder, they are there on your computer and are completely ordinary, normal files and folders. There is no "abstraction" in that regard.

Re: Git repositories

Peter Senna T.
New member | Level 1

Putting it in another way: The fact that I can download and upload a Dropbox 'file' has nothing to do to how the data is stored at Dropbox servers. There are no real(lke the ones at your computer) files on Dropbox servers, which I believe is the reason why I can't access my files with something like sftp.

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