I found a collection of slackbuilds, some i need there are on GitHub. https://github.com/PhantomX/slackbuilds/ I don't want to get all git.

git clone https://github.com/PhantomX/slackbuilds.git

But only get a slackbuild, for this one.

How to do this? Is it possible?


You will end up downloading the entire history, so I don't see much benefit in it, but you can checkout specific parts using a "sparse" checkout. Quoting this Stack Overflow post:

The steps to do a sparse clone are as follows:

mkdir <repo>
cd <repo>
git init
git remote add -f origin <url>

This creates an empty repository with your remote, and fetches all objects but doesn't check them out. Then do:

git config core.sparseCheckout true

Now you need to define which files/folders you want to actually check out. This is done by listing them in .git/info/sparse-checkout, eg:

echo "some/dir/" >> .git/info/sparse-checkout
echo "another/sub/tree" >> .git/info/sparse-checkout

Last but not least, update your empty repo with the state from the remote:

git pull origin master

You might want to have a look at the extended tutorial and you should probably read the official documentation for sparse checkout.

You might be better off using a shallow clone too. Instead of the git pull command given earlier, try:

git pull --depth=1 origin master
  • 1
    I am getting error: Sparse checkout leaves no entry on working directory after doing a git pull after making the modification to core.sparseCheckout and .git/info/sparse-checkout – Sandeepan Nath Aug 7 '17 at 12:00
  • Correction: git init; git remote ... just set up things, nothing is downloaded. The whole point of sparse is to get only objects you are interested in. – vonbrand 10 hours ago

Try this:

svn export https://github.com/PhantomX/slackbuilds/trunk/${directory}
  • This is the simplest way. It does not download all the repo. Note that we must add the /trunk and remove /tree/master. More here – Bernardo Ramos Jan 23 '17 at 1:38
  • Thanks! I just want to clone a folder of the repo and not all the folders in a repo. And this one really works for me. – Edper Apr 18 '17 at 9:32

git clone --filter from Git 2.19

This option will actually skip fetching unneeded objects from the server:

git clone --depth 1 --no-checkout --filter=blob:none \
  "file://$(pwd)/server_repo" local_repo
cd local_repo
git checkout master -- mydir/

The server should be configured with:

git config --local uploadpack.allowfilter 1
git config --local uploadpack.allowanysha1inwant 1

There is no server support as of v2.19.0, but it can already be locally tested.

TODO: --filter=blob:none skips all blobs, but still fetches all tree objects. But on a normal repo, this should be tiny compared to the files themselves, so this is already good enough. Asked at: https://www.spinics.net/lists/git/msg342006.html Devs replied a --filter=tree:0 is in the works to do that.

Remember that --depth 1 already implies --single-branch, see also: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1778088/how-to-clone-a-single-branch-in-git

file://$(path) is required to overcome git clone protocol shenanigans: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/47307578/how-to-shallow-clone-a-local-git-repository-with-a-relative-path

The format of --filter is documented on man git-rev-list.

An extension was made to the Git remote protocol to support this feature.

Docs on Git tree:

Test it out

#!/usr/bin/env bash
set -eu

list-objects() (
  git rev-list --all --objects
  echo "master commit SHA: $(git log -1 --format="%H")"
  echo "mybranch commit SHA: $(git log -1 --format="%H")"
  git ls-tree master
  git ls-tree mybranch | grep mybranch
  git ls-tree master~ | grep root

# Reproducibility.
export GIT_AUTHOR_NAME='a'
export GIT_COMMITTER_DATE='2000-01-01T00:00:00+0000'
export GIT_AUTHOR_DATE='2000-01-01T00:00:00+0000'

rm -rf server_repo local_repo
mkdir server_repo
cd server_repo

# Create repo.
git init --quiet
git config --local uploadpack.allowfilter 1
git config --local uploadpack.allowanysha1inwant 1

# First commit.
# Directories present in all branches.
mkdir d1 d2
printf 'd1/a' > ./d1/a
printf 'd1/b' > ./d1/b
printf 'd2/a' > ./d2/a
printf 'd2/b' > ./d2/b
# Present only in root.
mkdir 'root'
printf 'root' > ./root/root
git add .
git commit -m 'root' --quiet

# Second commit only on master.
git rm --quiet -r ./root
mkdir 'master'
printf 'master' > ./master/master
git add .
git commit -m 'master commit' --quiet

# Second commit only on mybranch.
git checkout -b mybranch --quiet master~
git rm --quiet -r ./root
mkdir 'mybranch'
printf 'mybranch' > ./mybranch/mybranch
git add .
git commit -m 'mybranch commit' --quiet

echo "# List and identify all objects"

# Restore master.
git checkout --quiet master
cd ..

# Clone. Don't checkout for now, only .git/ dir.
git clone --depth 1 --quiet --no-checkout --filter=blob:none "file://$(pwd)/server_repo" local_repo
cd local_repo

# List missing objects from master.
echo "# Missing objects after --no-checkout"
git rev-list --all --quiet --objects --missing=print

echo "# Git checkout fails without internet"
mv ../server_repo ../server_repo.off
! git checkout master

echo "# Git checkout fetches the missing directory from internet"
mv ../server_repo.off ../server_repo
git checkout master -- d1/

echo "# Missing objects after checking out d1"
git rev-list --all --quiet --objects --missing=print

GitHub upstream.

Output in Git v2.19.0:

# List and identify all objects
b64bf435a3e54c5208a1b70b7bcb0fc627463a75 d1
308150e8fddde043f3dbbb8573abb6af1df96e63 d1/a
f70a17f51b7b30fec48a32e4f19ac15e261fd1a4 d1/b
84de03c312dc741d0f2a66df7b2f168d823e122a d2
0975df9b39e23c15f63db194df7f45c76528bccb d2/a
41484c13520fcbb6e7243a26fdb1fc9405c08520 d2/b
7d5230379e4652f1b1da7ed1e78e0b8253e03ba3 master
8b25206ff90e9432f6f1a8600f87a7bd695a24af master/master
19f7a4ca4a038aff89d803f017f76d2b66063043 mybranch
1b671b190e293aa091239b8b5e8c149411d00523 mybranch/mybranch
a0234da53ec608b54813b4271fbf00ba5318b99f root
93ca1422a8da0a9effc465eccbcb17e23015542d root/root
master commit SHA: fc5e97944480982cfc180a6d6634699921ee63ec
mybranch commit SHA: fc5e97944480982cfc180a6d6634699921ee63ec
040000 tree b64bf435a3e54c5208a1b70b7bcb0fc627463a75    d1
040000 tree 84de03c312dc741d0f2a66df7b2f168d823e122a    d2
040000 tree 7d5230379e4652f1b1da7ed1e78e0b8253e03ba3    master
040000 tree 19f7a4ca4a038aff89d803f017f76d2b66063043    mybranch
040000 tree a0234da53ec608b54813b4271fbf00ba5318b99f    root

# Missing objects after --no-checkout

# Git checkout fails without internet
fatal: '/home/ciro/bak/git/test-git-web-interface/other-test-repos/partial-clone.tmp/server_repo' does not appear to be a git repository
fatal: Could not read from remote repository.

Please make sure you have the correct access rights
and the repository exists.

# Git checkout fetches the missing directory from internet
remote: Enumerating objects: 1, done.
remote: Counting objects: 100% (1/1), done.
remote: Total 1 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0)
Receiving objects: 100% (1/1), 45 bytes | 45.00 KiB/s, done.
remote: Enumerating objects: 1, done.
remote: Counting objects: 100% (1/1), done.
remote: Total 1 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0)
Receiving objects: 100% (1/1), 45 bytes | 45.00 KiB/s, done.

# Missing objects after checking out d1

Conclusions: all blobs from outside of d1/ are missing. E.g. 0975df9b39e23c15f63db194df7f45c76528bccb, which is d2/b is not there after checking out d1/.

Note that root/root and mybranch/mybranch are also missing, but --depth 1 hides that from the list of missing files. If you remove --depth 1, then they show on the list of missing files.


I got this working finally thanks to the above. I was editing the file directly, getting errors by accidently including the quotes. Your .git/info/sparse-checkout file should include just the directory, no quotes. Here's an example: This gigantic project: https://github.com/SharePoint/sp-dev-fx-webparts, I wanted just the react-script-editor in the samples directory. https://github.com/SharePoint/sp-dev-fx-webparts/tree/master/samples/react-script-editor

I followed the directions above and got it working when my .git/info/sparse-checkout file had just this in it



This will clone a specific folder and remove all history unrelated to it.

git clone --single-branch -b {branch} git@github.com:{user}/{repo}.git
git filter-branch --subdirectory-filter {path/to/folder} HEAD
git remote remove origin
git remote add origin git@github.com:{user}/{new-repo}.git
git push -u origin master

For GitHub repos, you can clone any sub-directories of any GitHub repository (at any reference) using https://github.com/HR/github-clone


I'll answer with specific restrictions I faced.

  • In VSO, SSH was disabled by security, so couldn't use git archive. Only PAT/ CredentialProvider was supported.
  • Our branch had enormous code, so git clone would itself take 15 minutes, at minimum.

Here's what I did:

  1. One-time manual process: in VSO UI, create a new remote branch say 'emptyBranch' which has zero files (all are deleted).
  2. git clone --depth=1 --single-branch --branch emptyBranch <remote> (pretty quick)
  3. git checkout <branchToSyncTo> <directoryToSyncTo> (checks-out only specific folder)
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