GIT-FETCH(1) Git Manual GIT-FETCH(1)
git-fetch - Download objects and refs from another repository
git fetch [<options>] [<repository> [<refspec>...]]
git fetch [<options>] <group>
git fetch --multiple [<options>] [(<repository> | <group>)...]
git fetch --all [<options>]
Fetches named heads or tags from one or more other repositories, along with the objects
necessary to complete them.
The ref names and their object names of fetched refs are stored in .git/FETCH_HEAD. This
information is left for a later merge operation done by git merge.
When <refspec> stores the fetched result in remote-tracking branches, the tags that point
at these branches are automatically followed. This is done by first fetching from the
remote using the given <refspec>s, and if the repository has objects that are pointed by
remote tags that it does not yet have, then fetch those missing tags. If the other end has
tags that point at branches you are not interested in, you will not get them.
git fetch can fetch from either a single named repository, or from several repositories at
once if <group> is given and there is a remotes.<group> entry in the configuration file.
Fetch all remotes.
Append ref names and object names of fetched refs to the existing contents of
.git/FETCH_HEAD. Without this option old data in .git/FETCH_HEAD will be overwritten.
Deepen or shorten the history of a shallow repository created by git clone with
--depth=<depth> option (see git-clone(1)) to the specified number of commits from the
tip of each remote branch history. Tags for the deepened commits are not fetched.
Convert a shallow repository to a complete one, removing all the limitations imposed
by shallow repositories.
Show what would be done, without making any changes.
When git fetch is used with <rbranch>:<lbranch> refspec, it refuses to update the
local branch <lbranch> unless the remote branch <rbranch> it fetches is a descendant
of <lbranch>. This option overrides that check.
Keep downloaded pack.
Allow several <repository> and <group> arguments to be specified. No <refspec>s may be
After fetching, remove any remote-tracking branches which no longer exist on the
By default, tags that point at objects that are downloaded from the remote repository
are fetched and stored locally. This option disables this automatic tag following. The
default behavior for a remote may be specified with the remote.<name>.tagopt setting.
This is a short-hand for giving "refs/tags/:refs/tags/" refspec from the command line,
to ask all tags to be fetched and stored locally. Because this acts as an explicit
refspec, the default refspecs (configured with the remote.$name.fetch variable) are
overridden and not used.
This option controls if and under what conditions new commits of populated submodules
should be fetched too. It can be used as a boolean option to completely disable
recursion when set to no or to unconditionally recurse into all populated submodules
when set to yes, which is the default when this option is used without any value. Use
on-demand to only recurse into a populated submodule when the superproject retrieves a
commit that updates the submodule's reference to a commit that isn't already in the
local submodule clone.
Disable recursive fetching of submodules (this has the same effect as using the
Prepend <path> to paths printed in informative messages such as "Fetching submodule
foo". This option is used internally when recursing over submodules.
This option is used internally to temporarily provide a non-negative default value for
the --recurse-submodules option. All other methods of configuring fetch's submodule
recursion (such as settings in gitmodules(5) and git-config(1)) override this option,
as does specifying --[no-]recurse-submodules directly.
By default git fetch refuses to update the head which corresponds to the current
branch. This flag disables the check. This is purely for the internal use for git pull
to communicate with git fetch, and unless you are implementing your own Porcelain you
are not supposed to use it.
When given, and the repository to fetch from is handled by git fetch-pack,
--exec=<upload-pack> is passed to the command to specify non-default path for the
command run on the other end.
Pass --quiet to git-fetch-pack and silence any other internally used git commands.
Progress is not reported to the standard error stream.
Progress status is reported on the standard error stream by default when it is
attached to a terminal, unless -q is specified. This flag forces progress status even
if the standard error stream is not directed to a terminal.
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)).
The format of a <refspec> parameter is an optional plus +, followed by the source ref
<src>, followed by a colon :, followed by the destination ref <dst>.
The remote ref that matches <src> is fetched, and if <dst> is not empty string, the
local ref that matches it is fast-forwarded using <src>. If the optional plus + is
used, the local ref is updated even if it does not result in a fast-forward update.
If the remote branch from which you want to pull is modified in non-linear ways
such as being rewound and rebased frequently, then a pull will attempt a merge
with an older version of itself, likely conflict, and fail. It is under these
conditions that you would want to use the + sign to indicate non-fast-forward
updates will be needed. There is currently no easy 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.
You never do your own development on branches that appear on the right hand side
of a <refspec> colon on Pull: lines; they are to be updated by git fetch. If you
intend to do development derived from a remote branch B, have a Pull: line to
track it (i.e. Pull: B:remote-B), and have a separate branch my-B to do your
development on top of it. The latter is created by git branch my-B remote-B (or
its equivalent git checkout -b my-B remote-B). Run git fetch to keep track of the
progress of the remote side, and when you see something new on the remote branch,
merge it into your development branch with git pull . remote-B, while you are on
There is a difference between listing multiple <refspec> directly on git pull
command line and having multiple Pull: <refspec> lines for a <repository> and
running git pull command without any explicit <refspec> parameters. <refspec>
listed explicitly on the command line are always merged into the current branch
after fetching. In other words, if you list more than one remote refs, you would
be making an Octopus. While git pull run without any explicit <refspec> parameter
takes default <refspec>s from Pull: lines, it merges only the first <refspec>
found into the current branch, after fetching all the remote refs. This is because
making an Octopus from remote refs is rarely done, while keeping track of multiple
remote heads in one-go by fetching more than one is often useful.
Some short-cut notations are also supported.
o tag <tag> means the same as refs/tags/<tag>:refs/tags/<tag>; it requests fetching
everything up to the given tag.
o A parameter <ref> without a colon is equivalent to <ref>: when pulling/fetching,
so it merges <ref> into the current branch without storing the remote branch
In general, URLs contain information about the transport protocol, the address of the
remote server, and the path to the repository. Depending on the transport protocol, some
of this information may be absent.
Git supports ssh, git, http, and https protocols (in addition, ftp, and ftps can be used
for fetching and rsync can be used for fetching and pushing, but these are inefficient and
deprecated; do not use them).
The following syntaxes may be used with them:
An alternative scp-like syntax may also be used with the ssh protocol:
The ssh and git protocols additionally support ~username expansion:
For local repositories, also supported by Git natively, the following syntaxes may be
These two syntaxes are mostly equivalent, except when cloning, when the former implies
--local option. See git-clone(1) for details.
When Git doesn't know how to handle a certain transport protocol, it attempts to use the
remote-<transport> remote helper, if one exists. To explicitly request a remote helper,
the following syntax may be used:
where <address> may be a path, a server and path, or an arbitrary URL-like string
recognized by the specific remote helper being invoked. See gitremote-helpers(1) for
If there are a large number of similarly-named remote repositories and you want to use a
different format for them (such that the URLs you use will be rewritten into URLs that
work), you can create a configuration section of the form:
[url "<actual url base>"]
insteadOf = <other url base>
For example, with this:
insteadOf = host.xz:/path/to/
insteadOf = work:
a URL like "work:repo.git" or like "host.xz:/path/to/repo.git" will be rewritten in any
context that takes a URL to be "git://git.host.xz/repo.git".
If you want to rewrite URLs for push only, you can create a configuration section of the
[url "<actual url base>"]
pushInsteadOf = <other url base>
For example, with this:
pushInsteadOf = git://example.org/
a URL like "git://example.org/path/to/repo.git" will be rewritten to
"ssh://example.org/path/to/repo.git" for pushes, but pulls will still use the original
The name of one of the following can be used instead of a URL as <repository> argument:
o a remote in the Git configuration file: $GIT_DIR/config,
o a file in the $GIT_DIR/remotes directory, or
o a file in the $GIT_DIR/branches directory.
All of these also allow you to omit the refspec from the command line because they each
contain a refspec which git will use by default.
Named remote in configuration file
You can choose to provide the name of a remote which you had previously configured using
git-remote(1), git-config(1) or even by a manual edit to the $GIT_DIR/config file. The URL
of this remote will be used to access the repository. The refspec of this remote will be
used by default when you do not provide a refspec on the command line. The entry in the
config file would appear like this:
url = <url>
pushurl = <pushurl>
push = <refspec>
fetch = <refspec>
The <pushurl> is used for pushes only. It is optional and defaults to <url>.
Named file in $GIT_DIR/remotes
You can choose to provide the name of a file in $GIT_DIR/remotes. The URL in this file
will be used to access the repository. The refspec in this file will be used as default
when you do not provide a refspec on the command line. This file should have the following
URL: one of the above URL format
Push: lines are used by git push and Pull: lines are used by git pull and git fetch.
Multiple Push: and Pull: lines may be specified for additional branch mappings.
Named file in $GIT_DIR/branches
You can choose to provide the name of a file in $GIT_DIR/branches. The URL in this file
will be used to access the repository. This file should have the following format:
<url> is required; #<head> is optional.
Depending on the operation, git will use one of the following refspecs, if you don't
provide one on the command line. <branch> is the name of this file in $GIT_DIR/branches
and <head> defaults to master.
git fetch uses:
git push uses:
o Update the remote-tracking branches:
$ git fetch origin
The above command copies all branches from the remote refs/heads/ namespace and stores
them to the local refs/remotes/origin/ namespace, unless the branch.<name>.fetch
option is used to specify a non-default refspec.
o Using refspecs explicitly:
$ git fetch origin +pu:pu maint:tmp
This updates (or creates, as necessary) branches pu and tmp in the local repository by
fetching from the branches (respectively) pu and maint from the remote repository.
The pu branch will be updated even if it is does not fast-forward, because it is
prefixed with a plus sign; tmp will not be.
Using --recurse-submodules can only fetch new commits in already checked out submodules
right now. When e.g. upstream added a new submodule in the just fetched commits of the
superproject the submodule itself can not be fetched, making it impossible to check out
that submodule later without having to do a fetch again. This is expected to be fixed in a
future Git version.
Part of the git(1) suite
Git 22.214.171.124 06/10/2014 GIT-FETCH(1)