Git LFS handles large files by storing references to the file in the repository, but not the actual file itself. To work around Git's architecture, Git LFS creates a pointer file which acts as a reference to the actual file (which is stored somewhere else). GitHub manages this pointer file in your repository. When you clone the repository down, GitHub uses the pointer file as a map to go and find the large file for you.
Different maximum size limits for Git LFS apply depending on your GitHub plan.
|Maximum file size
|GitHub Enterprise Cloud
If you exceed the per file limit of 5 GB, the file will be rejected silently by Git LFS.
You can also use Git LFS with GitHub Desktop. For more information about cloning Git LFS repositories in GitHub Desktop, see "Cloning a repository from GitHub to GitHub Desktop."
You can choose whether Git LFS objects are included in source code archives, such as ZIP files and tarballs, that GitHub creates for your repository. For more information, see "Managing Git LFS objects in archives of your repository."
Git LFS's pointer file looks like this:
It tracks the
version of Git LFS you're using, followed by a unique identifier for the file (
oid). It also stores the
size of the final file.
- Git LFS cannot be used with GitHub Pages sites.
- Git LFS cannot be used with template repositories.