GIT-SUBMODULE(1) Git Manual GIT-SUBMODULE(1)
git-submodule - Initialize, update or inspect submodules
git submodule [--quiet] add [-b <branch>] [-f|--force] [--name <name>]
[--reference <repository>] [--depth <depth>] [--] <repository> [<path>]
git submodule [--quiet] status [--cached] [--recursive] [--] [<path>...]
git submodule [--quiet] init [--] [<path>...]
git submodule [--quiet] deinit [-f|--force] [--] <path>...
git submodule [--quiet] update [--init] [--remote] [-N|--no-fetch]
[-f|--force] [--rebase] [--reference <repository>] [--depth <depth>]
[--merge] [--recursive] [--] [<path>...]
git submodule [--quiet] summary [--cached|--files] [(-n|--summary-limit) <n>]
[commit] [--] [<path>...]
git submodule [--quiet] foreach [--recursive] <command>
git submodule [--quiet] sync [--] [<path>...]
Submodules allow foreign repositories to be embedded within a dedicated subdirectory of
the source tree, always pointed at a particular commit.
They are not to be confused with remotes, which are meant mainly for branches of the same
project; submodules are meant for different projects you would like to make part of your
source tree, while the history of the two projects still stays completely independent and
you cannot modify the contents of the submodule from within the main project. If you want
to merge the project histories and want to treat the aggregated whole as a single project
from then on, you may want to add a remote for the other project and use the subtree merge
strategy, instead of treating the other project as a submodule. Directories that come from
both projects can be cloned and checked out as a whole if you choose to go that route.
Submodules are composed from a so-called gitlink tree entry in the main repository that
refers to a particular commit object within the inner repository that is completely
separate. A record in the .gitmodules (see gitmodules(5)) file at the root of the source
tree assigns a logical name to the submodule and describes the default URL the submodule
shall be cloned from. The logical name can be used for overriding this URL within your
local repository configuration (see submodule init).
This command will manage the tree entries and contents of the gitmodules file for you, as
well as inspect the status of your submodules and update them. When adding a new submodule
to the tree, the add subcommand is to be used. However, when pulling a tree containing
submodules, these will not be checked out by default; the init and update subcommands will
maintain submodules checked out and at appropriate revision in your working tree. You can
briefly inspect the up-to-date status of your submodules using the status subcommand and
get a detailed overview of the difference between the index and checkouts using the
Add the given repository as a submodule at the given path to the changeset to be
committed next to the current project: the current project is termed the
This requires at least one argument: <repository>. The optional argument <path> is the
relative location for the cloned submodule to exist in the superproject. If <path> is
not given, the "humanish" part of the source repository is used ("repo" for
"/path/to/repo.git" and "foo" for "host.xz:foo/.git"). The <path> is also used as the
submodule's logical name in its configuration entries unless --name is used to specify
a logical name.
<repository> is the URL of the new submodule's origin repository. This may be either
an absolute URL, or (if it begins with ./ or ../), the location relative to the
superproject's origin repository (Please note that to specify a repository foo.git
which is located right next to a superproject bar.git, you'll have to use ../foo.git
instead of ./foo.git - as one might expect when following the rules for relative URLs
- because the evaluation of relative URLs in Git is identical to that of relative
directories). If the superproject doesn't have an origin configured the superproject
is its own authoritative upstream and the current working directory is used instead.
<path> is the relative location for the cloned submodule to exist in the superproject.
If <path> does not exist, then the submodule is created by cloning from the named URL.
If <path> does exist and is already a valid Git repository, then this is added to the
changeset without cloning. This second form is provided to ease creating a new
submodule from scratch, and presumes the user will later push the submodule to the
In either case, the given URL is recorded into .gitmodules for use by subsequent users
cloning the superproject. If the URL is given relative to the superproject's
repository, the presumption is the superproject and submodule repositories will be
kept together in the same relative location, and only the superproject's URL needs to
be provided: git-submodule will correctly locate the submodule using the relative URL
Show the status of the submodules. This will print the SHA-1 of the currently checked
out commit for each submodule, along with the submodule path and the output of git
describe for the SHA-1. Each SHA-1 will be prefixed with - if the submodule is not
initialized, + if the currently checked out submodule commit does not match the SHA-1
found in the index of the containing repository and U if the submodule has merge
If --recursive is specified, this command will recurse into nested submodules, and
show their status as well.
If you are only interested in changes of the currently initialized submodules with
respect to the commit recorded in the index or the HEAD, git-status(1) and git-diff(1)
will provide that information too (and can also report changes to a submodule's work
Initialize the submodules recorded in the index (which were added and committed
elsewhere) by copying submodule names and urls from .gitmodules to .git/config.
Optional <path> arguments limit which submodules will be initialized. It will also
copy the value of submodule.$name.update into .git/config. The key used in .git/config
is submodule.$name.url. This command does not alter existing information in
.git/config. You can then customize the submodule clone URLs in .git/config for your
local setup and proceed to git submodule update; you can also just use git submodule
update --init without the explicit init step if you do not intend to customize any
Unregister the given submodules, i.e. remove the whole submodule.$name section from
.git/config together with their work tree. Further calls to git submodule update, git
submodule foreach and git submodule sync will skip any unregistered submodules until
they are initialized again, so use this command if you don't want to have a local
checkout of the submodule in your work tree anymore. If you really want to remove a
submodule from the repository and commit that use git-rm(1) instead.
If --force is specified, the submodule's work tree will be removed even if it contains
Update the registered submodules, i.e. clone missing submodules and checkout the
commit specified in the index of the containing repository. This will make the
submodules HEAD be detached unless --rebase or --merge is specified or the key
submodule.$name.update is set to rebase, merge or none. none can be overridden by
specifying --checkout. Setting the key submodule.$name.update to !command will cause
command to be run. command can be any arbitrary shell command that takes a single
argument, namely the sha1 to update to.
If the submodule is not yet initialized, and you just want to use the setting as
stored in .gitmodules, you can automatically initialize the submodule with the --init
If --recursive is specified, this command will recurse into the registered submodules,
and update any nested submodules within.
If --force is specified, the submodule will be checked out (using git checkout --force
if appropriate), even if the commit specified in the index of the containing
repository already matches the commit checked out in the submodule.
Show commit summary between the given commit (defaults to HEAD) and working
tree/index. For a submodule in question, a series of commits in the submodule between
the given super project commit and the index or working tree (switched by --cached)
are shown. If the option --files is given, show the series of commits in the submodule
between the index of the super project and the working tree of the submodule (this
option doesn't allow to use the --cached option or to provide an explicit commit).
Using the --submodule=log option with git-diff(1) will provide that information too.
Evaluates an arbitrary shell command in each checked out submodule. The command has
access to the variables $name, $path, $sha1 and $toplevel: $name is the name of the
relevant submodule section in .gitmodules, $path is the name of the submodule
directory relative to the superproject, $sha1 is the commit as recorded in the
superproject, and $toplevel is the absolute path to the top-level of the superproject.
Any submodules defined in the superproject but not checked out are ignored by this
command. Unless given --quiet, foreach prints the name of each submodule before
evaluating the command. If --recursive is given, submodules are traversed recursively
(i.e. the given shell command is evaluated in nested submodules as well). A non-zero
return from the command in any submodule causes the processing to terminate. This can
be overridden by adding || : to the end of the command.
As an example, git submodule foreach 'echo $path `git rev-parse HEAD`' will show the
path and currently checked out commit for each submodule.
Synchronizes submodules' remote URL configuration setting to the value specified in
.gitmodules. It will only affect those submodules which already have a URL entry in
.git/config (that is the case when they are initialized or freshly added). This is
useful when submodule URLs change upstream and you need to update your local
"git submodule sync" synchronizes all submodules while "git submodule sync -- A"
synchronizes submodule "A" only.
Only print error messages.
Branch of repository to add as submodule. The name of the branch is recorded as
submodule.<path>.branch in .gitmodules for update --remote.
This option is only valid for add, deinit and update commands. When running add, allow
adding an otherwise ignored submodule path. When running deinit the submodule work
trees will be removed even if they contain local changes. When running update, throw
away local changes in submodules when switching to a different commit; and always run
a checkout operation in the submodule, even if the commit listed in the index of the
containing repository matches the commit checked out in the submodule.
This option is only valid for status and summary commands. These commands typically
use the commit found in the submodule HEAD, but with this option, the commit stored in
the index is used instead.
This option is only valid for the summary command. This command compares the commit in
the index with that in the submodule HEAD when this option is used.
This option is only valid for the summary command. Limit the summary size (number of
commits shown in total). Giving 0 will disable the summary; a negative number means
unlimited (the default). This limit only applies to modified submodules. The size is
always limited to 1 for added/deleted/typechanged submodules.
This option is only valid for the update command. Instead of using the superproject's
recorded SHA-1 to update the submodule, use the status of the submodule's
remote-tracking branch. The remote used is branch's remote (branch.<name>.remote),
defaulting to origin. The remote branch used defaults to master, but the branch name
may be overridden by setting the submodule.<name>.branch option in either .gitmodules
or .git/config (with .git/config taking precedence).
This works for any of the supported update procedures (--checkout, --rebase, etc.).
The only change is the source of the target SHA-1. For example, submodule update
--remote --merge will merge upstream submodule changes into the submodules, while
submodule update --merge will merge superproject gitlink changes into the submodules.
In order to ensure a current tracking branch state, update --remote fetches the
submodule's remote repository before calculating the SHA-1. If you don't want to
fetch, you should use submodule update --remote --no-fetch.
This option is only valid for the update command. Don't fetch new objects from the
This option is only valid for the update command. Merge the commit recorded in the
superproject into the current branch of the submodule. If this option is given, the
submodule's HEAD will not be detached. If a merge failure prevents this process, you
will have to resolve the resulting conflicts within the submodule with the usual
conflict resolution tools. If the key submodule.$name.update is set to merge, this
option is implicit.
This option is only valid for the update command. Rebase the current branch onto the
commit recorded in the superproject. If this option is given, the submodule's HEAD
will not be detached. If a merge failure prevents this process, you will have to
resolve these failures with git-rebase(1). If the key submodule.$name.update is set to
rebase, this option is implicit.
This option is only valid for the update command. Initialize all submodules for which
"git submodule init" has not been called so far before updating.
This option is only valid for the add command. It sets the submodule's name to the
given string instead of defaulting to its path. The name must be valid as a directory
name and may not end with a /.
This option is only valid for add and update commands. These commands sometimes need
to clone a remote repository. In this case, this option will be passed to the git-
NOTE: Do not use this option unless you have read the note for git-clone(1)'s
--reference and --shared options carefully.
This option is only valid for foreach, update and status commands. Traverse submodules
recursively. The operation is performed not only in the submodules of the current
repo, but also in any nested submodules inside those submodules (and so on).
This option is valid for add and update commands. Create a shallow clone with a
history truncated to the specified number of revisions. See git-clone(1)
Paths to submodule(s). When specified this will restrict the command to only operate
on the submodules found at the specified paths. (This argument is required with add).
When initializing submodules, a .gitmodules file in the top-level directory of the
containing repository is used to find the url of each submodule. This file should be
formatted in the same way as $GIT_DIR/config. The key to each submodule url is
"submodule.$name.url". See gitmodules(5) for details.
Part of the git(1) suite
Git 22.214.171.124 01/14/2014 GIT-SUBMODULE(1)