git‐annex‐metadata − sets or gets metadata of a file

git annex metadata [path ...]

The content of an annexed file can have any number of
metadata fields attached to it to describe it. Each metadata
field can in turn have any number of values.

     This command can be used to set metadata, or show the
currently set metadata.

     When run without any −s or −t parameters, displays the
current metadata.

     Each metadata field has its own "field−lastchanged"
metadata, which contains the date the field was last
changed. Unlike other metadata, this cannot be directly
modified by this command. It is updated automatically.

     Note that the metadata is attached to the particular
content of a file, not to a particular filename on a
particular git branch.  More precisely, metadata is attached
to the key used for the file, which can reflect file
contents and/or name, depending on the key−value backend
used for the file.  All files with the same key share the
same metadata, which is stored in the git‐annex branch. If a
file is edited, old metadata will be copied to the new key
when you git‐annex−add the edited file.  Note also that
changes to a file’s git‐annex metadata will not be reflected
in the git log of the file, since they are stored on the
git‐annex branch. To attach metadata to a particular path,
rather than a particular key, use .gitattributes .

−g field / −−get field

     Get the value(s) of a single field.

     The values will be output one per line, with no other
     output, so this is suitable for use in a script.

−s field=value / −−set field=value
     Set a field’s value, removing any old values.

−s field+=value / −−set field+=value
     Add an additional value, preserving any old values.


−s field?=value / −−set field?=value
     Set a value, but only if the field does not already
     have a value set.

−s field−=value / −−set field−=value
     Remove a value from a field, leaving any other values
     that the field has set.

−r field / −−remove field
     Remove all current values of the field.

−t tag / −−tag tag
     Set a tag. Note that a tag is just a value of the "tag"

−u tag / −−unset tag
     Unset a tag.

     Remove all metadata from the specified files.

     When a file is modified and the new version added, git‐
     annex will copy over the metadata from the old version
     of the file. In situations where you don’t want that
     copied metadata, you can use this option to remove it.

     By default, git annex metadata refuses to recursively
     set metadata throughout the files in a directory. This
     option enables such recursive setting.

file matching options
     The git‐annex−matching−options(1) can be used to
     specify files to act on.

−−all −A
     Specify instead of a file to get/set metadata on all
     known keys.

     Specify instead of a file to get/set metadata on all
     files in the specified branch or treeish.


     Specify instead of a file to get/set metadata on files
     found by last run of git‐annex unused.

     Specify instead of a file to get/set metadata of the
     specified key.

     Enable JSON output (and input). Each line is a JSON

     The format of the JSON objects changed in git‐annex
     version 6.20160726.

     Example of the new format:


     Example of the old format, which lacks the inner fields


     Messages that would normally be output to standard
     error are included in the json instead.

     Enables batch mode, which can be used to both get,
     store, and unset metadata for multiple files or keys.

     Batch currently only supports JSON input. So, you must
     enable −−json along with −−batch.

     In batch mode, git‐annex reads lines from stdin, which
     contain JSON objects. It replies to each input with an
     output JSON object.

     The format of the JSON sent to git‐annex can be the
     same as the JSON that it outputs. Or, a simplified
     version. Only the "file" (or "key") field is actually

     For example, to get the current metadata of file foo:


     To get the current metadata of the key k:



     Any metadata fields included in the JSON object will be
     stored, replacing whatever values the fields had
     before.  To unset a field, include it with an empty
     list of values.

     To change the author of file foo to bar:


     To remove the author of file foo:


     Note that file matching options do not affect the files
     that are processed when in batch mode.

To set some tags on a file and also its author:

      git annex metadata annexscreencast.ogv −t video −t
screencast −s author+=Alice



Joey Hess <>