English ▾ Topics ▾ Version 2.38.1 ▾ pull-fetch-param last updated in 2.38.1

The "remote" repository that is the source of a fetch or pull operation. This parameter can be either a URL (see the section GIT URLS below) or the name of a remote (see the section REMOTES below).


A name referring to a list of repositories as the value of remotes.<group> in the configuration file. (See git-config[1]).


Specifies which refs to fetch and which local refs to update. When no <refspec>s appear on the command line, the refs to fetch are read from remote.<repository>.fetch variables instead (see CONFIGURED REMOTE-TRACKING BRANCHES below).

The format of a <refspec> parameter is an optional plus +, followed by the source <src>, followed by a colon :, followed by the destination ref <dst>. The colon can be omitted when <dst> is empty. <src> is typically a ref, but it can also be a fully spelled hex object name.

A <refspec> may contain a * in its <src> to indicate a simple pattern match. Such a refspec functions like a glob that matches any ref with the same prefix. A pattern <refspec> must have a * in both the <src> and <dst>. It will map refs to the destination by replacing the * with the contents matched from the source.

If a refspec is prefixed by ^, it will be interpreted as a negative refspec. Rather than specifying which refs to fetch or which local refs to update, such a refspec will instead specify refs to exclude. A ref will be considered to match if it matches at least one positive refspec, and does not match any negative refspec. Negative refspecs can be useful to restrict the scope of a pattern refspec so that it will not include specific refs. Negative refspecs can themselves be pattern refspecs. However, they may only contain a <src> and do not specify a <dst>. Fully spelled out hex object names are also not supported.

tag <tag> means the same as refs/tags/<tag>:refs/tags/<tag>; it requests fetching everything up to the given tag.

The remote ref that matches <src> is fetched, and if <dst> is not an empty string, an attempt is made to update the local ref that matches it.

Whether that update is allowed without --force depends on the ref namespace it’s being fetched to, the type of object being fetched, and whether the update is considered to be a fast-forward. Generally, the same rules apply for fetching as when pushing, see the <refspec>... section of git-push[1] for what those are. Exceptions to those rules particular to git fetch are noted below.

Until Git version 2.20, and unlike when pushing with git-push[1], any updates to refs/tags/* would be accepted without + in the refspec (or --force). When fetching, we promiscuously considered all tag updates from a remote to be forced fetches. Since Git version 2.20, fetching to update refs/tags/* works the same way as when pushing. I.e. any updates will be rejected without + in the refspec (or --force).

Unlike when pushing with git-push[1], any updates outside of refs/{tags,heads}/* will be accepted without + in the refspec (or --force), whether that’s swapping e.g. a tree object for a blob, or a commit for another commit that’s doesn’t have the previous commit as an ancestor etc.

Unlike when pushing with git-push[1], there is no configuration which’ll amend these rules, and nothing like a pre-fetch hook analogous to the pre-receive hook.

As with pushing with git-push[1], all of the rules described above about what’s not allowed as an update can be overridden by adding an the optional leading + to a refspec (or using --force command line option). The only exception to this is that no amount of forcing will make the refs/heads/* namespace accept a non-commit object.

When the remote branch you want to fetch is known to be rewound and rebased regularly, it is expected that its new tip will not be descendant of its previous tip (as stored in your remote-tracking branch the last time you fetched). You would want to use the + sign to indicate non-fast-forward updates will be needed for such branches. There is no way to determine or declare that a branch will be made available in a repository with this behavior; the pulling user simply must know this is the expected usage pattern for a branch.