Topics ▾ Version 1.8.5 ▾ git-replace last updated in 2.18.0


git-replace - Create, list, delete refs to replace objects


git replace [-f] <object> <replacement>
git replace -d <object>…​
git replace -l [<pattern>]


Adds a replace reference in refs/replace/ namespace.

The name of the replace reference is the SHA-1 of the object that is replaced. The content of the replace reference is the SHA-1 of the replacement object.

The replaced object and the replacement object must be of the same type. This restriction can be bypassed using -f.

Unless -f is given, the replace reference must not yet exist.

There is no other restriction on the replaced and replacement objects. Merge commits can be replaced by non-merge commits and vice versa.

Replacement references will be used by default by all Git commands except those doing reachability traversal (prune, pack transfer and fsck).

It is possible to disable use of replacement references for any command using the --no-replace-objects option just after git.

For example if commit foo has been replaced by commit bar:

$ git --no-replace-objects cat-file commit foo

shows information about commit foo, while:

$ git cat-file commit foo

shows information about commit bar.

The GIT_NO_REPLACE_OBJECTS environment variable can be set to achieve the same effect as the --no-replace-objects option.



If an existing replace ref for the same object exists, it will be overwritten (instead of failing).


Delete existing replace refs for the given objects.

-l <pattern>
--list <pattern>

List replace refs for objects that match the given pattern (or all if no pattern is given). Typing "git replace" without arguments, also lists all replace refs.


git-filter-branch[1], git-hash-object[1] and git-rebase[1], among other git commands, can be used to create replacement objects from existing objects.

If you want to replace many blobs, trees or commits that are part of a string of commits, you may just want to create a replacement string of commits and then only replace the commit at the tip of the target string of commits with the commit at the tip of the replacement string of commits.


Comparing blobs or trees that have been replaced with those that replace them will not work properly. And using git reset --hard to go back to a replaced commit will move the branch to the replacement commit instead of the replaced commit.

There may be other problems when using git rev-list related to pending objects.


Part of the git[1] suite