Setup and Config
Getting and Creating Projects
Branching and Merging
Sharing and Updating Projects
Inspection and Comparison
- Command-line interface conventions
- Everyday Git
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- All guides...
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git [--version] [--help] [-C <path>] [-c <name>=<value>] [--exec-path[=<path>]] [--html-path] [--man-path] [--info-path] [-p|--paginate|--no-pager] [--no-replace-objects] [--bare] [--git-dir=<path>] [--work-tree=<path>] [--namespace=<name>] <command> [<args>]
Git is a fast, scalable, distributed revision control system with an unusually rich command set that provides both high-level operations and full access to internals.
See gittutorial to get started, then see giteveryday for a useful minimum set of commands. The Git User’s Manual has a more in-depth introduction.
After you mastered the basic concepts, you can come back to this page to learn what commands Git offers. You can learn more about individual Git commands with "git help command". gitcli manual page gives you an overview of the command-line command syntax.
Formatted and hyperlinked version of the latest Git documentation
can be viewed at
Prints the Git suite version that the git program came from.
Prints the synopsis and a list of the most commonly used commands. If the option --all or -a is given then all available commands are printed. If a Git command is named this option will bring up the manual page for that command.
Other options are available to control how the manual page is displayed. See git-help for more information, because
git --help ...is converted internally into
git help ....
- -C <path>
Run as if git was started in <path> instead of the current working directory. When multiple
-Coptions are given, each subsequent non-absolute
-C <path>is interpreted relative to the preceding
This option affects options that expect path name like
--work-treein that their interpretations of the path names would be made relative to the working directory caused by the
-Coption. For example the following invocations are equivalent:
git --git-dir=a.git --work-tree=b -C c status git --git-dir=c/a.git --work-tree=c/b status
- -c <name>=<value>
Pass a configuration parameter to the command. The value given will override values from configuration files. The <name> is expected in the same format as listed by git config (subkeys separated by dots).
Note that omitting the
git -c foo.bar ...is allowed and sets
foo.barto the boolean true value (just like
[foo]barwould in a config file). Including the equals but with an empty value (like
git -c foo.bar= ...) sets
foo.barto the empty string.
Path to wherever your core Git programs are installed. This can also be controlled by setting the GIT_EXEC_PATH environment variable. If no path is given, git will print the current setting and then exit.
Print the path, without trailing slash, where Git’s HTML documentation is installed and exit.
Print the manpath (see
man(1)) for the man pages for this version of Git and exit.
Print the path where the Info files documenting this version of Git are installed and exit.
Pipe all output into less (or if set, $PAGER) if standard output is a terminal. This overrides the
pager.<cmd>configuration options (see the "Configuration Mechanism" section below).
Do not pipe Git output into a pager.
Set the path to the repository. This can also be controlled by setting the GIT_DIR environment variable. It can be an absolute path or relative path to current working directory.
Set the path to the working tree. It can be an absolute path or a path relative to the current working directory. This can also be controlled by setting the GIT_WORK_TREE environment variable and the core.worktree configuration variable (see core.worktree in git-config for a more detailed discussion).
Set the Git namespace. See gitnamespaces for more details. Equivalent to setting the
Treat the repository as a bare repository. If GIT_DIR environment is not set, it is set to the current working directory.
Do not use replacement refs to replace Git objects. See git-replace for more information.
Treat pathspecs literally (i.e. no globbing, no pathspec magic). This is equivalent to setting the
GIT_LITERAL_PATHSPECSenvironment variable to
Add "glob" magic to all pathspec. This is equivalent to setting the
GIT_GLOB_PATHSPECSenvironment variable to
1. Disabling globbing on individual pathspecs can be done using pathspec magic ":(literal)"
Add "literal" magic to all pathspec. This is equivalent to setting the
GIT_NOGLOB_PATHSPECSenvironment variable to
1. Enabling globbing on individual pathspecs can be done using pathspec magic ":(glob)"
Add "icase" magic to all pathspec. This is equivalent to setting the
GIT_ICASE_PATHSPECSenvironment variable to
We divide Git into high level ("porcelain") commands and low level ("plumbing") commands.
High-level commands (porcelain)
We separate the porcelain commands into the main commands and some ancillary user utilities.
Main porcelain commands
Add file contents to the index
Apply a series of patches from a mailbox
Create an archive of files from a named tree
Use binary search to find the commit that introduced a bug
List, create, or delete branches
Move objects and refs by archive
Switch branches or restore working tree files
Apply the changes introduced by some existing commits
Graphical alternative to git-commit
Remove untracked files from the working tree
Clone a repository into a new directory
Record changes to the repository
Describe a commit using the most recent tag reachable from it
Show changes between commits, commit and working tree, etc
Download objects and refs from another repository
Prepare patches for e-mail submission
Cleanup unnecessary files and optimize the local repository
Print lines matching a pattern
A portable graphical interface to Git
Create an empty Git repository or reinitialize an existing one
The Git repository browser
Show commit logs
Join two or more development histories together
Move or rename a file, a directory, or a symlink
Add or inspect object notes
Fetch from and integrate with another repository or a local branch
Update remote refs along with associated objects
Forward-port local commits to the updated upstream head
Reset current HEAD to the specified state
Revert some existing commits
Remove files from the working tree and from the index
Summarize git log output
Show various types of objects
Stash the changes in a dirty working directory away
Show the working tree status
Initialize, update or inspect submodules
Create, list, delete or verify a tag object signed with GPG
Manage multiple working trees
Get and set repository or global options
Git data exporter
Backend for fast Git data importers
Run merge conflict resolution tools to resolve merge conflicts
Pack heads and tags for efficient repository access
Prune all unreachable objects from the object database
Manage reflog information
Hardlink common objects in local repositories
Manage set of tracked repositories
Pack unpacked objects in a repository
Create, list, delete refs to replace objects
Annotate file lines with commit information
Show what revision and author last modified each line of a file
Find commits yet to be applied to upstream
Count unpacked number of objects and their disk consumption
Show changes using common diff tools
Verifies the connectivity and validity of the objects in the database
Extract commit ID from an archive created using git-archive
Display help information about Git
Instantly browse your working repository in gitweb
Show three-way merge without touching index
Reuse recorded resolution of conflicted merges
Pick out and massage parameters
Show branches and their commits
Check the GPG signature of commits
Check the GPG signature of tags
Git web interface (web frontend to Git repositories)
Show logs with difference each commit introduces
Interacting with Others
These commands are to interact with foreign SCM and with other people via patch over e-mail.
Import an Arch repository into Git
Export a single commit to a CVS checkout
Salvage your data out of another SCM people love to hate
A CVS server emulator for Git
Send a collection of patches from stdin to an IMAP folder
Import from and submit to Perforce repositories
Applies a quilt patchset onto the current branch
Generates a summary of pending changes
Send a collection of patches as emails
Bidirectional operation between a Subversion repository and Git
Low-level commands (plumbing)
Although Git includes its own porcelain layer, its low-level commands are sufficient to support development of alternative porcelains. Developers of such porcelains might start by reading about git-update-index and git-read-tree.
The interface (input, output, set of options and the semantics) to these low-level commands are meant to be a lot more stable than Porcelain level commands, because these commands are primarily for scripted use. The interface to Porcelain commands on the other hand are subject to change in order to improve the end user experience.
The following description divides the low-level commands into commands that manipulate objects (in the repository, index, and working tree), commands that interrogate and compare objects, and commands that move objects and references between repositories.
Apply a patch to files and/or to the index
Copy files from the index to the working tree
Create a new commit object
Compute object ID and optionally creates a blob from a file
Build pack index file for an existing packed archive
Run a three-way file merge
Run a merge for files needing merging
Creates a tag object
Build a tree-object from ls-tree formatted text
Create a packed archive of objects
Remove extra objects that are already in pack files
Reads tree information into the index
Read, modify and delete symbolic refs
Unpack objects from a packed archive
Register file contents in the working tree to the index
Update the object name stored in a ref safely
Create a tree object from the current index
Provide content or type and size information for repository objects
Compares files in the working tree and the index
Compare a tree to the working tree or index
Compares the content and mode of blobs found via two tree objects
Output information on each ref
Show information about files in the index and the working tree
List references in a remote repository
List the contents of a tree object
Find as good common ancestors as possible for a merge
Find symbolic names for given revs
Find redundant pack files
Lists commit objects in reverse chronological order
Show packed archive index
List references in a local repository
Creates a temporary file with a blob’s contents
Show a Git logical variable
Validate packed Git archive files
In general, the interrogate commands do not touch the files in the working tree.
A really simple server for Git repositories
Receive missing objects from another repository
Server side implementation of Git over HTTP
Push objects over Git protocol to another repository
Update auxiliary info file to help dumb servers
The following are helper commands used by the above; end users typically do not use them directly.
Download from a remote Git repository via HTTP
Push objects over HTTP/DAV to another repository
Routines to help parsing remote repository access parameters
Receive what is pushed into the repository
Restricted login shell for Git-only SSH access
Send archive back to git-archive
Send objects packed back to git-fetch-pack
Internal helper commands
These are internal helper commands used by other commands; end users typically do not use them directly.
Display gitattributes information
Debug gitignore / exclude files
Show canonical names and email addresses of contacts
Ensures that a reference name is well formed
Display data in columns
Retrieve and store user credentials
Helper to temporarily store passwords in memory
Helper to store credentials on disk
Produce a merge commit message
help add structured information into commit messages
Extracts patch and authorship from a single e-mail message
Simple UNIX mbox splitter program
The standard helper program to use with git-merge-index
Compute unique ID for a patch
Git’s i18n setup code for shell scripts
Common Git shell script setup code
Remove unnecessary whitespace
Git uses a simple text format to store customizations that are per repository and are per user. Such a configuration file may look like this:
# # A '#' or ';' character indicates a comment. # ; core variables [core] ; Don't trust file modes filemode = false ; user identity [user] name = "Junio C Hamano" email = "firstname.lastname@example.org"
Various commands read from the configuration file and adjust their operation accordingly. See git-config for a list and more details about the configuration mechanism.
Indicates the object name for any type of object.
Indicates a blob object name.
Indicates a tree object name.
Indicates a commit object name.
Indicates a tree, commit or tag object name. A command that takes a <tree-ish> argument ultimately wants to operate on a <tree> object but automatically dereferences <commit> and <tag> objects that point at a <tree>.
Indicates a commit or tag object name. A command that takes a <commit-ish> argument ultimately wants to operate on a <commit> object but automatically dereferences <tag> objects that point at a <commit>.
Indicates that an object type is required. Currently one of:
Indicates a filename - almost always relative to the root of the tree structure
Any Git command accepting any <object> can also use the following symbolic notation:
For a more complete list of ways to spell object names, see "SPECIFYING REVISIONS" section in gitrevisions.
Please see the gitrepository-layout document.
Read githooks for more details about each hook.
Higher level SCMs may provide and manage additional information in the
Please see gitglossary.
Various Git commands use the following environment variables:
The Git Repository
These environment variables apply to all core Git commands. Nb: it is worth noting that they may be used/overridden by SCMS sitting above Git so take care if using a foreign front-end.
This environment allows the specification of an alternate index file. If not specified, the default of
This environment variable allows the specification of an index version for new repositories. It won’t affect existing index files. By default index file version 2 or 3 is used. See git-update-index for more information.
If the object storage directory is specified via this environment variable then the sha1 directories are created underneath - otherwise the default
$GIT_DIR/objectsdirectory is used.
Due to the immutable nature of Git objects, old objects can be archived into shared, read-only directories. This variable specifies a ":" separated (on Windows ";" separated) list of Git object directories which can be used to search for Git objects. New objects will not be written to these directories.
If the GIT_DIR environment variable is set then it specifies a path to use instead of the default
.gitfor the base of the repository. The --git-dir command-line option also sets this value.
Set the path to the root of the working tree. This can also be controlled by the --work-tree command-line option and the core.worktree configuration variable.
Set the Git namespace; see gitnamespaces for details. The --namespace command-line option also sets this value.
This should be a colon-separated list of absolute paths. If set, it is a list of directories that Git should not chdir up into while looking for a repository directory (useful for excluding slow-loading network directories). It will not exclude the current working directory or a GIT_DIR set on the command line or in the environment. Normally, Git has to read the entries in this list and resolve any symlink that might be present in order to compare them with the current directory. However, if even this access is slow, you can add an empty entry to the list to tell Git that the subsequent entries are not symlinks and needn’t be resolved; e.g., GIT_CEILING_DIRECTORIES=/maybe/symlink::/very/slow/non/symlink.
When run in a directory that does not have ".git" repository directory, Git tries to find such a directory in the parent directories to find the top of the working tree, but by default it does not cross filesystem boundaries. This environment variable can be set to true to tell Git not to stop at filesystem boundaries. Like GIT_CEILING_DIRECTORIES, this will not affect an explicit repository directory set via GIT_DIR or on the command line.
If this variable is set to a path, non-worktree files that are normally in $GIT_DIR will be taken from this path instead. Worktree-specific files such as HEAD or index are taken from $GIT_DIR. See gitrepository-layout and git-worktree for details. This variable has lower precedence than other path variables such as GIT_INDEX_FILE, GIT_OBJECT_DIRECTORY…
Only valid setting is "--unified=??" or "-u??" to set the number of context lines shown when a unified diff is created. This takes precedence over any "-U" or "--unified" option value passed on the Git diff command line.
When the environment variable GIT_EXTERNAL_DIFF is set, the program named by it is called, instead of the diff invocation described above. For a path that is added, removed, or modified, GIT_EXTERNAL_DIFF is called with 7 parameters:
path old-file old-hex old-mode new-file new-hex new-mode
are files GIT_EXTERNAL_DIFF can use to read the contents of <old|new>,
are the 40-hexdigit SHA-1 hashes,
are the octal representation of the file modes.
The file parameters can point at the user’s working file (e.g.
old-filewhen a new file is added), or a temporary file (e.g.
old-filein the index). GIT_EXTERNAL_DIFF should not worry about unlinking the temporary file --- it is removed when GIT_EXTERNAL_DIFF exits.
For a path that is unmerged, GIT_EXTERNAL_DIFF is called with 1 parameter, <path>.
For each path GIT_EXTERNAL_DIFF is called, two environment variables, GIT_DIFF_PATH_COUNTER and GIT_DIFF_PATH_TOTAL are set.
A 1-based counter incremented by one for every path.
The total number of paths.
A number controlling the amount of output shown by the recursive merge strategy. Overrides merge.verbosity. See git-merge
This environment variable overrides
$PAGER. If it is set to an empty string or to the value "cat", Git will not launch a pager. See also the
core.pageroption in git-config.
This environment variable overrides
$VISUAL. It is used by several Git commands when, on interactive mode, an editor is to be launched. See also git-var and the
core.editoroption in git-config.
If either of these environment variables is set then git fetch and git push will use the specified command instead of ssh when they need to connect to a remote system. The command will be given exactly two or four arguments: the username@host (or just host) from the URL and the shell command to execute on that remote system, optionally preceded by -p (literally) and the port from the URL when it specifies something other than the default SSH port.
$GIT_SSH_COMMANDtakes precedence over
$GIT_SSH, and is interpreted by the shell, which allows additional arguments to be included.
$GIT_SSHon the other hand must be just the path to a program (which can be a wrapper shell script, if additional arguments are needed).
Usually it is easier to configure any desired options through your personal
.ssh/configfile. Please consult your ssh documentation for further details.
If this environment variable is set, then Git commands which need to acquire passwords or passphrases (e.g. for HTTP or IMAP authentication) will call this program with a suitable prompt as command-line argument and read the password from its STDOUT. See also the core.askPass option in git-config.
If this environment variable is set to
0, git will not prompt on the terminal (e.g., when asking for HTTP authentication).
Whether to skip reading settings from the system-wide
$(prefix)/etc/gitconfigfile. This environment variable can be used along with
$XDG_CONFIG_HOMEto create a predictable environment for a picky script, or you can set it temporarily to avoid using a buggy
/etc/gitconfigfile while waiting for someone with sufficient permissions to fix it.
If this environment variable is set to "1", then commands such as git blame (in incremental mode), git rev-list, git log, git check-attr and git check-ignore will force a flush of the output stream after each record have been flushed. If this variable is set to "0", the output of these commands will be done using completely buffered I/O. If this environment variable is not set, Git will choose buffered or record-oriented flushing based on whether stdout appears to be redirected to a file or not.
Enables general trace messages, e.g. alias expansion, built-in command execution and external command execution.
If this variable is set to "1", "2" or "true" (comparison is case insensitive), trace messages will be printed to stderr.
If the variable is set to an integer value greater than 2 and lower than 10 (strictly) then Git will interpret this value as an open file descriptor and will try to write the trace messages into this file descriptor.
Alternatively, if the variable is set to an absolute path (starting with a / character), Git will interpret this as a file path and will try to write the trace messages into it.
Unsetting the variable, or setting it to empty, "0" or "false" (case insensitive) disables trace messages.
Enables trace messages for all accesses to any packs. For each access, the pack file name and an offset in the pack is recorded. This may be helpful for troubleshooting some pack-related performance problems. See GIT_TRACE for available trace output options.
Enables trace messages for all packets coming in or out of a given program. This can help with debugging object negotiation or other protocol issues. Tracing is turned off at a packet starting with "PACK" (but see GIT_TRACE_PACKFILE below). See GIT_TRACE for available trace output options.
Enables tracing of packfiles sent or received by a given program. Unlike other trace output, this trace is verbatim: no headers, and no quoting of binary data. You almost certainly want to direct into a file (e.g.,
GIT_TRACE_PACKFILE=/tmp/my.pack) rather than displaying it on the terminal or mixing it with other trace output.
Note that this is currently only implemented for the client side of clones and fetches.
Enables performance related trace messages, e.g. total execution time of each Git command. See GIT_TRACE for available trace output options.
Enables trace messages printing the .git, working tree and current working directory after Git has completed its setup phase. See GIT_TRACE for available trace output options.
Enables trace messages that can help debugging fetching / cloning of shallow repositories. See GIT_TRACE for available trace output options.
Setting this variable to
1will cause Git to treat all pathspecs literally, rather than as glob patterns. For example, running
GIT_LITERAL_PATHSPECS=1 git log -- '*.c'will search for commits that touch the path
*.c, not any paths that the glob
*.cmatches. You might want this if you are feeding literal paths to Git (e.g., paths previously given to you by
--rawdiff output, etc).
Setting this variable to
1will cause Git to treat all pathspecs as glob patterns (aka "glob" magic).
Setting this variable to
1will cause Git to treat all pathspecs as literal (aka "literal" magic).
Setting this variable to
1will cause Git to treat all pathspecs as case-insensitive.
When a ref is updated, reflog entries are created to keep track of the reason why the ref was updated (which is typically the name of the high-level command that updated the ref), in addition to the old and new values of the ref. A scripted Porcelain command can use set_reflog_action helper function in
git-sh-setupto set its name to this variable when it is invoked as the top level command by the end user, to be recorded in the body of the reflog.
If set to
1, include broken or badly named refs when iterating over lists of refs. In a normal, non-corrupted repository, this does nothing. However, enabling it may help git to detect and abort some operations in the presence of broken refs. Git sets this variable automatically when performing destructive operations like git-prune. You should not need to set it yourself unless you want to be paranoid about making sure an operation has touched every ref (e.g., because you are cloning a repository to make a backup).
If set, provide a colon-separated list of protocols which are allowed to be used with fetch/push/clone. This is useful to restrict recursive submodule initialization from an untrusted repository. Any protocol not mentioned will be disallowed (i.e., this is a whitelist, not a blacklist). If the variable is not set at all, all protocols are enabled. The protocol names currently used by git are:
file: any local file-based path (including
file://URLs, or local paths)
git: the anonymous git protocol over a direct TCP connection (or proxy, if configured)
ssh: git over ssh (including
rsync: git over rsync
http: git over http, both "smart http" and "dumb http". Note that this does not include
https; if you want both, you should specify both as
any external helpers are named by their protocol (e.g., use
hgto allow the
More detail on the following is available from the Git concepts chapter of the user-manual and gitcore-tutorial.
A Git project normally consists of a working directory with a ".git" subdirectory at the top level. The .git directory contains, among other things, a compressed object database representing the complete history of the project, an "index" file which links that history to the current contents of the working tree, and named pointers into that history such as tags and branch heads.
The object database contains objects of three main types: blobs, which hold file data; trees, which point to blobs and other trees to build up directory hierarchies; and commits, which each reference a single tree and some number of parent commits.
The commit, equivalent to what other systems call a "changeset" or "version", represents a step in the project’s history, and each parent represents an immediately preceding step. Commits with more than one parent represent merges of independent lines of development.
All objects are named by the SHA-1 hash of their contents, normally written as a string of 40 hex digits. Such names are globally unique. The entire history leading up to a commit can be vouched for by signing just that commit. A fourth object type, the tag, is provided for this purpose.
When first created, objects are stored in individual files, but for efficiency may later be compressed together into "pack files".
Named pointers called refs mark interesting points in history. A ref
may contain the SHA-1 name of an object or the name of another ref. Refs
with names beginning
ref/head/ contain the SHA-1 name of the most
recent commit (or "head") of a branch under development. SHA-1 names of
tags of interest are stored under
ref/tags/. A special ref named
HEAD contains the name of the currently checked-out branch.
The index file is initialized with a list of all paths and, for each path, a blob object and a set of attributes. The blob object represents the contents of the file as of the head of the current branch. The attributes (last modified time, size, etc.) are taken from the corresponding file in the working tree. Subsequent changes to the working tree can be found by comparing these attributes. The index may be updated with new content, and new commits may be created from the content stored in the index.
The index is also capable of storing multiple entries (called "stages") for a given pathname. These stages are used to hold the various unmerged version of a file when a merge is in progress.
See the references in the "description" section to get started using Git. The following is probably more detail than necessary for a first-time user.
The Git concepts chapter of the user-manual and gitcore-tutorial both provide introductions to the underlying Git architecture.
See gitworkflows for an overview of recommended workflows.
See also the howto documents for some useful examples.
The internals are documented in the Git API documentation.
Users migrating from CVS may also want to read gitcvs-migration.
Git was started by Linus Torvalds, and is currently maintained by Junio C Hamano. Numerous contributions have come from the Git mailing list <email@example.com>. http://www.openhub.net/p/git/contributors/summary gives you a more complete list of contributors.
If you have a clone of git.git itself, the output of git-shortlog and git-blame can show you the authors for specific parts of the project.
Report bugs to the Git mailing list <firstname.lastname@example.org> where the development and maintenance is primarily done. You do not have to be subscribed to the list to send a message there.
Part of the git suite