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Git LFS (Large File System) is basically just a command used to store and maintain very large files in a different git repository than your project’s one. How it works is that it uses pointers instead of the actual files which links your repository with the remote service like GitHub where your files will be stored. This is quite useful in many cases as git by itself is incapable of that. 

However, when trying to execute the ‘git lfs’ command for the first time, you might possibly see an error message like this:

git: ‘lfs’ is not a git command. ‘See help’

This message is not uncommon among users, so don’t worry just yet. Because in this article, I’m here to help you get the command up and running in minutes!

Why is ‘lfs’ command not found?

The lfs command in git is not found because it does not come shipped by default with the git package when you install it in your machine. Now there’s one misconception many people have, that is, the following command you might see does not actually install the lfs command:

$ git lfs install

This command is not used to install lfs for git, trust me. It is instead used for setting up LFS for your user account, and not installing it. To install the package in your system, you’d need to use the package manager of your system. If you’re on Linux, or MacOS, then the solution is ridiculously simple. However, the same may not apply if it is Windows that you’re using.

Fix ‘git: ‘’lfs’ is not a git command’

in Linux

Before you can install the git lfs command, you actually need to download it first in your system. The easiest way to do this is by visiting their official github releases page. Certain distributions may have the package in their repositories by default, but it’s best you download the package from github instead.

However, if you’re using Arch Linux, you can simply use the following command instead:

$ sudo pacman -Syu git-lfs

This will install the git lfs command in your system, but you’ll still need to install it’s configuration and set it up for your system’s user account by running:

$ git lfs install 

If you’re using any other Linux distribution other than Arch Linux, then first visit the following link and download one of the release packages under the Assets section:

Select the architecture that matches yours, and click on it to download the file. The file will be downloaded in .tar.gz format, so you need to use the tar command in your Linux machine to first extract the file.

To do this, fire up a terminal and navigate to the directory where you installed the package. Inside this folder, run the following command to extract the file:

$ tar -xf <filename>

Replace the <filename> with the actual name of the archived package that you had installed. Now enter the extracted folder, where you will find a script called Run the script by using:

$ ./

Lastly, install the lfs command for your user, bu running:

$ git lfs install

You will now be able to use git lfs on your Linux machine. 

in Windows

Installing the command is quite cheezy in Windows. Visit the same Releases page in Github and download the installer by clicking on Windows Installer under the Assets section. Now run the downloaded executable and follow the steps in the Installation Wizard to install the package in your machine, which shouldn’t be too hard if you’re familiar with Windows. Lastly, open up git bash and run the same install command for your system user account:

$ git lfs install

Wala! You now have the git lfs command accessible in your Windows Machine!

in MacOS

In MacOS, you can either directly download the package and install it by visiting, or you can also use a package manager to install it. For example, to install git lfs using Homebrew, you’d use the following command:

$ brew install git-lfs  

Afterwards, as always, you’d need to install it for your system’s user by executing the following command in your terminal:

$ git lfs install

Alternatives to git lfs

It shouldn’t be too surprising to hear that there actually are more alternatives to Git LFS, that provide quite similar services and functionality. Some of the best alternatives are:

There are a few others, but I can’t really tell whether you can consider them to be reliable, so I’d rather not include them. Git LFS gives every account only 1 GB of free storage, and if you upgrade, it might actually end up seeming a bit expensive. In such cases, these alternatives may give you the upper hand. They may not be as feature rich as the git LFS, but should be enough for most users looking for an alternative!