Git --distributed-is-the-new-centralized
Topics ▾ Version 1.5.4 ▾ git-index-pack last updated in 1.8.4


git-index-pack [-v] [-o <index-file>] <pack-file>
git-index-pack --stdin [--fix-thin] [--keep] [-v] [-o <index-file>]


Reads a packed archive (.pack) from the specified file, and builds a pack index file (.idx) for it. The packed archive together with the pack index can then be placed in the objects/pack/ directory of a git repository.



Be verbose about what is going on, including progress status.

-o <index-file>

Write the generated pack index into the specified file. Without this option the name of pack index file is constructed from the name of packed archive file by replacing .pack with .idx (and the program fails if the name of packed archive does not end with .pack).


When this flag is provided, the pack is read from stdin instead and a copy is then written to <pack-file>. If <pack-file> is not specified, the pack is written to objects/pack/ directory of the current git repository with a default name determined from the pack content. If <pack-file> is not specified consider using --keep to prevent a race condition between this process and git-repack(1).


It is possible for git-pack-objects(1) to build "thin" pack, which records objects in deltified form based on objects not included in the pack to reduce network traffic. Those objects are expected to be present on the receiving end and they must be included in the pack for that pack to be self contained and indexable. Without this option any attempt to index a thin pack will fail. This option only makes sense in conjunction with --stdin.


Before moving the index into its final destination create an empty .keep file for the associated pack file. This option is usually necessary with --stdin to prevent a simultaneous git-repack(1) process from deleting the newly constructed pack and index before refs can be updated to use objects contained in the pack.


Like --keep create a .keep file before moving the index into its final destination, but rather than creating an empty file place why followed by an LF into the .keep file. The why message can later be searched for within all .keep files to locate any which have outlived their usefulness.


This is intended to be used by the test suite only. It allows to force the version for the generated pack index, and to force 64-bit index entries on objects located above the given offset.


Once the index has been created, the list of object names is sorted and the SHA1 hash of that list is printed to stdout. If --stdin was also used then this is prefixed by either "pack\t", or "keep\t" if a new .keep file was successfully created. This is useful to remove a .keep file used as a lock to prevent the race with git-repack(1) mentioned above.


Written by Sergey Vlasov <>


Documentation by Sergey Vlasov


Part of the git(7) suite