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Git Plugin Performance Improvement Phase-2 Progress

Rishabh Budhouliya
Rishabh Budhouliya
July 29, 2020

The second phase of the Git Plugin Performance Improvement project has been great in terms of the progress we have achieved in implementing performance improvement insights derived from the phase one JMH micro-benchmark experiments.

What we’ve learned so far in this project is that a git fetch is highly correlated to the size of the remote repository. In order to make fetch improvements in this plugin, our task was to find the difference in performance for the two available git implementations in the Git Plugin, git and JGit.

Our major finding was that git performs much better than JGit when it comes to a large sized repository (>100 MiB). Interestingly, JGit performs better than git when size of the repository is less than 100 MiB.

In this phase, we were successful in coding this derived knowledge from the benchmarks into a new functionality called the GitToolChooser.


This class aims to add the functionality of recommending a git implementation on the basis of the size of a repository which has a strong correlation to the performance of git fetch (from performance Benchmarks).

It utilizes two heuristics to calculate the size:

  • Using cached .git dir from multibranch projects to estimate the size of a repository

  • Providing an extension point which, upon implementation, can use REST APIs exposed by git service providers like Github, GitLab, etc to fetch the size of the remote repository.

Will it optimize your Jenkins instance? That requires one of the following:

  • you have a multibranch project in your Jenkins instance, the plugin can use that to recommend the optimal git implementation

  • you have a branch Source Plugin installed in the Jenkins instance, the particular branch source plugin will recommend a git implementation using REST APIs provided by GitHub or GitLab respectively.

The architecture and code for this class is at: PR-931

Note: This functionality is an upcoming feature in the subsequent Git Plugin release.

JMH benchmarks in multiple environments

The benchmarks were being executed on Linux and macOS machines frequently but there was a need to check if the results gained from those benchmarks would hold true across more platforms to ensure that the solution (GitToolChooser) is generally platform-agnostic.

To test this hypothesis, we performed an experiment:

Running git fetch operation for a 400 MiB sized repository on:

  • Windows

  • FreeBSD 12

  • ppc64le

  • s390x

The result of running this experiment is given below:

Performance on multiple platforms


  • ppc64le and s390x are able to run the operation in almost half the time it takes for the Windows or FreeBSD 12 machine. This behavior may be attributed to the increased computational power of those machines.

  • The difference in performance between git and JGit remains constant across all platforms which is a positive sign for the GitToolChooser as its recommendation would be consistent across multiple devices and operating systems.

Release Plan 🚀

JENKINS-49757 - Avoid double fetch from Git checkout step This issue was fixed in phase one, avoids the second fetch in redundant cases. It will be shipped with some benchmarks on the change in performance due to the removal of the second fetch.


  • PR-931 This pull request is under review, will be shipped in one of the subsequent Git Plugin releases.

Current Challenges with GitToolChooser

  • Implement the extension point to support GitHub Branch Source Plugin, Gitlab Branch Source Plugin and Gitea Plugin.

  • The current version of JGit doesn’t support LFS checkout and sparse checkout, need to make sure that the recommendation doesn’t break existing use cases.

Future Work

In phase three, we wish to:

  • Release a new version of the Git and Git Client Plugin with the features developed during the project

  • Continue to explore more areas for performance improvement

  • Add a new git operation: git clone (Stretch Goal)

Reaching Out

Feel free to reach out to us for any questions or feedback on the project’s link: Channel or the Jenkins Developer Mailing list.

About the author

Rishabh Budhouliya

Rishabh Budhouliya

GSoC 2020 student under the Jenkins project (Git Plugin Performance Improvements). Aspiring to be better at Software Development and participate more in the open source community.