here's another idea: why do we store metadata for files that have "default" modes (as understood by git) like 0755 (for directories) or 0644 (for files)? This seems like a huge waste of time and something that grows the .etckeeper metadata file needlessly.

I believe the following patch would improve things quite a bit:

modified   pre-commit.d/30store-metadata
@@ -92,7 +92,9 @@ maybe_chmod_chown() {
            if ($gid != $)) {
                printf "maybe chgrp $q%s$q %s\n", gidname($gid), $_;
-          printf "maybe chmod %04o %s\n", $mode & 07777, $_;
+          if ($mode != 0100644 and $mode != 040755) {
+              printf "maybe chmod %04o %s\n", $mode & 07777, $_;
+          }
        return $?

See also this commit which is the current HEAD of my optimize-default-metadata branch.

In my messy home server, this gives me that resulting diff:

root@marcos:/etc# git diff --cached --stat
 .etckeeper | 10231 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1 file changed, 10231 deletions(-)

yes, you read that right, that's 10 thousand files cleaned up. and yes, it seems like i have over 20,000 files in /etc. yikes. (it's mostly because this is a puppet server and there's lots of git repos under there, and cache files. and yes, those are in the .gitignore and shouldn't even be in the .etckeeper file in the first place, but that's a different story, see metadata ignore filters do not work.

before this and the git ignore patch:

root@marcos:/etc# VCS=git time sh  /home/anarcat/src/etckeeper/pre-commit.d/30store-metadata
0.22user 0.13system 0:00.34elapsed 104%CPU (0avgtext+0avgdata 11500maxresident)k
0inputs+12088outputs (0major+4497minor)pagefaults 0swaps


root@marcos:/etc# VCS=git  time sh /etc/etckeeper/pre-commit.d/30store-metadata
0.07user 0.02system 0:00.09elapsed 106%CPU (0avgtext+0avgdata 7748maxresident)k
0inputs+2080outputs (0major+3287minor)pagefaults 0swaps

it doesn't look like much, but that's a 10-fold improvement. and it doesn't count the time it takes to actually do the commit, which I haven't benchmarked, but it takes a few seconds to commit before the change, and a few miliseconds after.

so anyways, i figured that would be a worthwhile optimisation! :) --?anarcat