Topics ▾ Version 1.0.7 ▾ git-fsck-objects last updated in 2.14.1


git-fsck-objects - Verifies the connectivity and validity of the objects in the database


git-fsck-objects [--tags] [--root] [--unreachable] [--cache]
		 [--standalone | --full] [--strict] [<object>*]


Verifies the connectivity and validity of the objects in the database.



An object to treat as the head of an unreachability trace.

If no objects are given, git-fsck-objects defaults to using the index file and all SHA1 references in .git/refs/* as heads.


Print out objects that exist but that aren’t readable from any of the reference nodes.


Report root nodes.


Report tags.


Consider any object recorded in the index also as a head node for an unreachability trace.


Limit checks to the contents of GIT_OBJECT_DIRECTORY ($GIT_DIR/objects), making sure that it is consistent and complete without referring to objects found in alternate object pools listed in GIT_ALTERNATE_OBJECT_DIRECTORIES, nor packed git archives found in $GIT_DIR/objects/pack; cannot be used with --full.


Check not just objects in GIT_OBJECT_DIRECTORY ($GIT_DIR/objects), but also the ones found in alternate object pools listed in GIT_ALTERNATE_OBJECT_DIRECTORIES, and in packed git archives found in $GIT_DIR/objects/pack and corresponding pack subdirectories in alternate object pools; cannot be used with --standalone.


Enable more strict checking, namely to catch a file mode recorded with g+w bit set, which was created by older versions of git. Existing repositories, including the Linux kernel, git itself, and sparse repository have old objects that triggers this check, but it is recommended to check new projects with this flag.

It tests SHA1 and general object sanity, and it does full tracking of the resulting reachability and everything else. It prints out any corruption it finds (missing or bad objects), and if you use the --unreachable flag it will also print out objects that exist but that aren’t readable from any of the specified head nodes.

So for example

git-fsck-objects --unreachable HEAD $(cat .git/refs/heads/*)

will do quite a lot of verification on the tree. There are a few extra validity tests to be added (make sure that tree objects are sorted properly etc), but on the whole if "git-fsck-objects" is happy, you do have a valid tree.

Any corrupt objects you will have to find in backups or other archives (ie you can just remove them and do an "rsync" with some other site in the hopes that somebody else has the object you have corrupted).

Of course, "valid tree" doesn’t mean that it wasn’t generated by some evil person, and the end result might be crap. git is a revision tracking system, not a quality assurance system ;)

Extracted Diagnostics

expect dangling commits - potential heads - due to lack of head information

You haven’t specified any nodes as heads so it won’t be possible to differentiate between un-parented commits and root nodes.

missing sha1 directory <dir>

The directory holding the sha1 objects is missing.

unreachable <type> <object>

The <type> object <object>, isn’t actually referred to directly or indirectly in any of the trees or commits seen. This can mean that there’s another root node that you’re not specifying or that the tree is corrupt. If you haven’t missed a root node then you might as well delete unreachable nodes since they can’t be used.

missing <type> <object>

The <type> object <object>, is referred to but isn’t present in the database.

dangling <type> <object>

The <type> object <object>, is present in the database but never directly used. A dangling commit could be a root node.

warning: git-fsck-objects: tree <tree> has full pathnames in it

And it shouldn’t…​

sha1 mismatch <object>

The database has an object who’s sha1 doesn’t match the database value. This indicates a serious data integrity problem.

Environment Variables


used to specify the object database root (usually $GIT_DIR/objects)


used to specify the index file of the index


used to specify additional object database roots (usually unset)


Written by Linus Torvalds <>


Documentation by David Greaves, Junio C Hamano and the git-list <>.


Part of the git7 suite