Weird invisible directory is messing up my disk

I day or two ago I tried to use SourceTree to clone the LyX repository. The result was a very long period of downloading which I estimate was 2-3 GB, but only about 160 MB appeared in an invisible file in the target directory. (The command displayed in a SoureTree window had no meaning to me--it was nothing like git clone...) I have no idea where the other downloaded stuff went--I could not find it on my disk even though the total disk usage indicated that several GB more were being used than right before the attempted cloning started. I deleted the target folder and downloaded the repository using command line tools. I'm on OS X 10.7.4, Lion.


Today's regular backup, the first since the SourceTree experience, failed. The reason given by the backup program is due to a file


By sudo su I was able to verify that this file (and one other in the same directory) indeed exists. The problem reported by the backup program is "No space left on device," meaning the target disk for the backup.

I believe that as long as these files and indeed this bizarre directory MobileBackups exists, all my future attempts to back up will fail.

Is this in fact a SourceTree artifact?

How can i get rid of it?



1 answer

The .MobileBackups folder isn't anything to do with SourceTree, it's a Time Machine folder. You can find more details about this folder here: what's probably happened is that whatever you were cloning was big enough to push you over the edge in terms of disk space. From the path, it looks like you deleted what you partially cloned, but it was still sitting in your Trash and Time Machine is taking a snapshot of it. Emptying your Trash might help as a quick fix. Alternatively you can tell Time Machine not to do these mobile backups, like this:

FYI the command issued by SourceTree would in fact have been a 'git clone' (or 'hg clone' for Mercurial), but there were probably a bunch of global options in the command line in between the 'git' and the 'clone' which might have made you think it wasn't.

Thanks, Steve. That's very helpful. I moved to Lion only recently and am still finding new things.

My destination backup volume is not nearly full so if the problem persists I'll take it up with the developer of the backup program.

I just re-checked the git command that SourceTree issued and of course it is a clone command as you said. I see --recursive in it so I suppose that is why I got more than I wanted. (I still don't know where it went, but I believe it is gone.)

BTW SourceTree does look awesome.



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