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Using a git bundle to fetch the I2P source code

Cloning large software repositories over I2P can be difficult, and using git can sometimes make this harder. Fortunately, it can also sometimes make it easier. Git has a git bundle command which can be used to turn a git repository into a file which git can then clone, fetch, or import from a location on your local disk. By combining this capability with bittorrent downloads, we can solve our remaining problems with git clone.

Before you Start

If you intend to generate a git bundle, you must already possess a full copy of the git repository, not the mtn repository. You can get it from github or from git.idk.i2p, but a shallow clone(a clone done to –depth=1) will not work. It will fail silently, creating what looks like a bundle, but when you try to clone it it will fail. If you are just retrieving a pre-generated git bundle, then this section does not apply to you.

Fetching I2P Source via Bittorrent

Someone will need to supply you with a torrent file or a magnet link corresponding to an existing git bundle that they have already generated for you. A recent, correctly-generated bundle of the mainline i2p.i2p source code as-of Wednesday, March 18, 2020, can be found inside of I2P at my pastebin paste.idk.i2p/f/4hq37i.

Once you have a bundle, you will need to use git to create a working repository from it. If you’re using GNU/Linux and i2psnark, the git bundle should be located in $HOME/.i2p/i2psnark or, as a service on Debian, /var/lib/i2p/i2p-config/i2psnark. If you are using BiglyBT on GNU/Linux, it is probably at “$HOME/BiglyBT Downloads/” instead. The examples here assume I2PSnark on GNU/Linux, if you use something else, replace the path to the bundle with the download directory preferred by your client and platform.

Using git clone

Cloning from a git bundle is easy, just:

git clone $HOME/.i2p/i2psnark/i2p.i2p.bundle

If you get the following error, try using git init and git fetch manually instead.

fatal: multiple updates for ref 'refs/remotes/origin/master' not allowed

Using git init and git fetch

First, create an i2p.i2p directory to turn into a git repository.

mkdir i2p.i2p && cd i2p.i2p

Next, initialize an empty git repository to fetch changes back into.

git init

Finally, fetch the repository from the bundle.

git fetch $HOME/.i2p/i2psnark/i2p.i2p.bundle

Replace the bundle remote with the upstream remote

Now that you have a bundle, you can keep up with changes by setting the remote to the upstream repository source.

git remote set-url origin git@

Generating a Bundle

First, follow the Git guide for Users until you have a successfully --unshallowed clone of clone of the i2p.i2p repository. If you already have a clone, make sure you run git fetch --unshallow before you generate a torrent bundle.

Once you have that, simply run the corresponding ant target:

ant bundle

and copy the resulting bundle into your I2PSnark downloads directory. For instance:

cp i2p.i2p.bundle* $HOME/.i2p/i2psnark/

In a minute or two, I2PSnark will pick up on the torrent. Click on the “Start” button to begin seeding the torrent.