Reduce repository size

Bitbucket is great for keeping your source files and managing changes, especially when working on a team, but it's not the best place to keep large binary files, such as executables and other build artifacts, or videos and other media files.

We recommend repositories be kept under 2.0 GB to help ensure that our servers are fast and downloads are quick for our users. Bitbucket Cloud repositories have a 4.0 GB limit. When that limit is reached, you will only be able to push changes that undo the latest commits.

Repository size limits

When your repository reaches 2 GB or beyond, you’ll see a warning in the Repository details panel to let you know you are over halfway to the 4 GB repository size limit. If you need to keep large files in Bitbucket, consider introducing Git Large File Storage (Git LFS) as part of your workflow, and Use BFG to migrate a repo to Git LFS.

Over 4.0 GB limit

If the size exceeds the 4.0 GB limit you will not be able to push any more commits:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 $ git push Enumerating objects: 5, done. Counting objects: 100% (5/5), done. Delta compression using up to 12 threads Compressing objects: 100% (3/3), done. Writing objects: 100% (3/3), 406 bytes | 406.00 KiB/s, done. Total 3 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0) remote: Repository is over the size limit (4 GB) and will not accept further additions. remote: remote: Learn how to reduce your repository size: remote: ' To ! [remote rejected] main -> main (pre-receive hook declined) error: failed to push some refs to '' $ _

The warning message is displayed following the first push attempted after the repository has exceeded the 4 GB limit. To continue making changes you’ll need to undo the last commit; see Undoing the last push below. This will bring the size below the 4.0 GB limit and remove the push restriction, allowing you to perform maintenance on the repository.

Undoing the last push

To remove large files you need to rewrite history; otherwise, Git just keeps the large files in the history.

Rewind history to undo large commits

Rewind the branch containing the bad commit to just before that commit. This process is assuming that the bad commit is only on one branch and hasn’t been merged to other branches.

It is essential to inform anyone else using the affected branch that you are undoing the last commit, and not to merge that commit into any other branches.

Remote history in Bitbucket looks similar to the following example:

1 2 3 4 branch | o---o---o---o <= last (bad) commit in Bitbucket

Local history might look similar to the following example, assuming you only need to undo one commit:

1 2 3 4 5 6 branch | o---o---o---o---o <= last local commit failed to push | reset to here and push

To rewind history on the branch containing the bad commit:

  1. Create a temporary branch to keep any local commits.

  2. Reset the original branch to the commit just before the bad commit containing the large files.

  3. Push the new head to Bitbucket (rewriting history).

  4. Restore local changes – you won’t be able to push these yet, you’ll need to remove any large files first.

1 2 3 4 5 git branch <keeper> git reset --soft @{u}^ git push --force git merge --ff-only <keeper> git branch -d <keeper>

Using the --soft option will keep any commits you haven't pushed yet and any changes you haven’t committed, so you can push them later once you’ve removed any large files. If you don’t have changes you want to keep, you can use the --hard option and skip Lines 1, 4, and 5 in the command line example above.

Garbage collection is automatically run to delete dangling commits

After you undo your last push (if you were over the repository size limit), we automatically run garbage collection to clean up your repository.

Remote history in Bitbucket should now look similar to the following example:

1 2 3 4 5 branch | o---o---o-/-o | dangling commit deleted

Once that’s done pushes will work again, so you can go ahead and reduce the repository size to below the 2.0 GB limit by removing large files; see Removing large files below.

What can I do if my repository size was not reduced after following the above steps?

If your repository size is not reduced after taking these steps, it may mean that you need to remove any large files in order to rewrite history. After you remove any large files, you will need to contact our Support team to run GC for you and reduce your repository size.

Removing large files

Once pushes are unblocked, you can go ahead and remove large files from the repository. Below are some resources to help you maintain your Git repository and provide more information about using Git LFS.

If you want to keep a lot of large files without paying for extra LFS storage you’ll need to put them elsewhere; see Options for storing large files below for a few of the available options.

Once large files have been removed, it is a best practice for everyone using the repository to make a new clone; otherwise, if someone does a force push, they will push the large files again and you’ll be back to where you started.

Avoiding large commits

As mentioned above, we recommend repositories be kept under 2.0 GB to help ensure that our servers are fast and downloads are quick for our users. Here are a couple things you can do to avoid the following error when trying to push a large commit: remote: fatal: pack exceeds maximum allowed size.

  • If you already tried and failed to push then reset the last commit and try again.

    • git reset --mixed COMMIT-SHA (this will remove those large files from the repo Index and make them un-staged but still available locally)

    • git status (will show what changes are currently unstaged)

    • make smaller changes by using `git add file` and commit with smaller commits

    • push each smaller commit to origin

  • Set up and use Git LFS. Learn more about using Git LFS with Bitbucket Cloud.

Avoid adding large files

There are a couple of things you can do to avoid accidentally adding large files to your repository:

  • Enable the push file size limit repository setting. This setting is enabled by default.

  • Tell Git to ignore the kinds of files you don’t want to include.

  • Install automation to prevent large commits from being created.

Disable or enable the push file size limit setting

This setting is enabled by default. If you are a workspace or repository admin, you can prevent files larger that are 100 MB or larger from being pushed to your repository.

  1. From the repository, select Repository settings in the left sidebar.

  2. Select the Advanced dropdown to display the Advanced settings.

  3. Enable or disable the limit using the Block pushes with files over 100 MB toggle

  4. Select Save changes.

Ignore large files

You can tell Git to exclude files from commits by adding pathname patterns to a file called .gitignore in the directory containing your local repository. 

For example:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 # File types to ignore *.exe *.bin *.jar *.war *.mp3 *.mp4 # Directories to ignore target/ .build/ .env/

In general, you may want to tell Git to ignore:

  • build artifacts – best to put all these in a directory, for example Maven puts them in a target directory.

  • IDE settings – you don’t usually want these in the repository, for example ignore the .idea directory.

  • dependencies – exclude caches of dependencies, for example Python’s virtualenv or node’s local packages.

  • media files – a git repository is not the best place to keep large audio or video files.

Block large commits

To prevent any large files getting included in commits, you can install a local hook that checks the size of files in every commit and will reject the commit if it is too large.

Copy the check_added_large_files script into the repository. You can modify the script to work however you want. Then you can inform anyone using the repository to add a link to that script in their local clone as a pre-commit hook:

1 ln -s .git/hooks/

You can change the copy of the script in your repository to work however you want, and everyone will get the latest logic when they pull.

Options for storing large files

Your Bitbucket repository is the best place to keep source files. There are better places to keep other files generated from that source. Here we give some examples but encourage you to explore all the available options.

Use an artifact repository

There are many services that store build artifacts, two popular examples being:

Configure your build process to upload build artifacts to these repositories so they can be shared. Also, make sure .gitignore is configured to exclude build artifacts from commits.

Use a Docker repository

If your Bitbucket repository is used to build executables, consider building them as Docker images.

Your build process can push the images to a Docker repository hosted on Docker Hub, or a local Docker repository.

Use AWS S3

Rather than storing large media files in your Bitbucket repository, upload them to an S3 bucket where they can be easily downloaded.

Use Git LFS

If the files really need to be part of the Bitbucket repository, use the Large File Storage available on your plan. You can buy more storage if required.

Tell Git to use LFS for specific types of file using a wildcard pattern:

1 git lfs track "<pattern>"

For example, to use LFS for MP4 movies:

1 git lfs track "*.mp4"

*The quotes in the example above are important.

Use BFG to migrate a repo to Git LFS by moving existing large files into more efficient Large File Storage, reducing your repository size and giving a better Bitbucket experience.

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