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I ran my semi-regular rsync backup on my personal laptop to an external drive today, and I noticed many .git/ folders had their backups updated, presumably because they were all modified. However, there are many, many git repositories on my system that I have not touched in a long time, certainly not between now and the last backup.

What sorts of things might happen such that every git repository on my system would have its .git/ folder updated?

Each folder's modified time is within a second or so of the same time a few hours ago today, at which I don't remember doing anything interesting on my system:

>>> for dir in os.listdir('.'):
...     if os.path.exists(os.path.join(dir, '.git')):
...         _ = os.system('stat -c %y ' + '"%s"' %  os.path.join(dir, '.git'))
... 
2019-06-08 12:05:42.925587738 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:42.945586351 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:42.965584965 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:42.985583576 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:42.995582884 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.045579436 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.105575310 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.145572557 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.155571870 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.175570494 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.185569805 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.195569117 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.205568430 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.215567741 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.225567054 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.245565678 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.255564991 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.265564302 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:49.305158116 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.295562238 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.325560175 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.345558798 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.355558111 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.365557422 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.375556735 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.385556046 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.405554670 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.415553983 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.425553296 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.435552606 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.445551919 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.465550543 -0400
2019-06-08 12:05:43.475549856 -0400

The contents of the folders aren't modified - just the folders themselves.

I have not even used git today.

What sorts of things might mass-touch .git folders like this? I am on Arch Linux running gnome-shell, and I can't think of what tools I use that might be scanning my whole system for git repositories.

  • perhaps diff against a different backup? – Jasen Jun 9 at 5:33
  • Nope, I only have the one backup, I'm not keeping versioned backups or anything like that. It's just a regular rsync command to sync my root filesystem to an external drive. – Chris Billington Jun 9 at 15:22

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