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. (See git-config(1)).
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 specified.
After fetching, remove any remote-tracking branches which no longer exist on the remote.
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. See
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 --recurse-submodules=no option).
Prepend <path> to paths printed in informative messages such as "Fetching submodule foo". This option is used internally when recursing
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
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 my-B branch.
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
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 fetches that ref into FETCH_HEAD, and updates the remote-tracking branches (if any).
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 native transport (i.e. git:// URL) does no authentication and should be used with caution on unsecured networks.
The following syntaxes may be used with them:
An alternative scp-like syntax may also be used with the ssh protocol:
This syntax is only recognized if there are no slashes before the first colon. This helps differentiate a local path that contains a colon.
For example the local path foo:bar could be specified as an absolute path or ./foo:bar to avoid being misinterpreted as an ssh url.
The ssh and git protocols additionally support ~username expansion:
For local repositories, also supported by Git natively, the following syntaxes may be used:
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 details.
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
If you want to rewrite URLs for push only, you can create a configuration section of the form:
[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 URL.
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 format:
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 188.8.131.52 01/14/2014 GIT-FETCH(1)