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Copple
Copple

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Quick tip: Clone a single folder from Github

Sometimes you find a repository on Github and you only really need a single folder.

How do you get it without cloning the entire repo?

Luckily Github just implemented sparse-checkout. This is a super-quick example of how it works.

Example repo

Let's say I wanted to clone Supabase's example Slack clone, which lives in the following folder:

├── connectors
├── examples
│   ├── slack-clone-basic # <-- github.com/supabase/supabase/examples/slack-clone-basic
├── libraries
├── web
└── README.md

Sparse Checkout

Here are all the steps I would need:

# 1. Copy an empty repo
git clone --no-checkout https://github.com/supabase/supabase

# 2. Move into the empty repo
cd supabase

# 3. Initialize sparse-checkout
git sparse-checkout init --cone

#4. Checkout the folder
git sparse-checkout set examples/slack-clone-basic

And viola! Now you have just the folder you want.

Troubleshooting

sparse-checkout was introduced in Git version 2.25. If you get see an error "git: 'sparse-checkout' is not a git command" then you probably need to update. You can use git --version to see what version you're on.

If you're on Mac (and used homebrew to install git) you can run brew upgrade git.

Top comments (3)

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cescquintero profile image
Francisco Quintero 🇨🇴

Juuumm, interesting. Thanks for sharing!

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aleclarson profile image
Alec Larson

This helped me when upgrading git:
apple.stackexchange.com/a/285131/7...

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davidrbailey profile image
David Bailey

Hacktoberfest is happening now!



It is a month-long celebration of open source. For a lot of devs, its their introduction to open source.


Check out the Hacktoberfest tag on DEV to keep up with the latest!