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>]
Fetch branches and/or tags (collectively, "refs") from one or more
other repositories, along with the objects necessary to complete their
histories. Remote-tracking branches are updated (see the description of
<refspec> below for ways to control this behavior).
By default, any tag that points into the histories being fetched is also
fetched; the effect is to fetch tags that point at branches that you are
interested in. This default behavior can be changed by using the --tags or
--no-tags options or by configuring remote.<name>.tagOpt. By using a
refspec that fetches tags explicitly, you can fetch tags that do not point
into branches you are interested in as well.
can fetch from either a single named repository or URL, or from
several repositories at once if <group> is given and there is a
remotes.<group> entry in the configuration file. (See
When no remote is specified, by default the origin
remote will be used,
unless there’s an upstream branch configured for the current branch.
The names of refs that are fetched, together with the object names they point
at, are written to .git/FETCH_HEAD
. This information may be used by
scripts or other git commands, such as git-pull
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.
Limit fetching to the specified number of
commits from the tip of each remote branch history. If fetching to a
shallow repository created by git clone with
--depth=<depth> option (see git-clone(1)), deepen or
shorten the history to the specified number of commits. Tags for the deepened
commits are not fetched.
Similar to --depth, except it specifies the
number of commits from the current shallow boundary instead of from the tip of
each remote branch history.
Deepen or shorten the history of a shallow
repository to include all reachable commits after <date>.
Deepen or shorten the history of a shallow
repository to exclude commits reachable from a specified remote branch or tag.
This option can be specified multiple times.
If the source repository is complete, convert
a shallow repository to a complete one, removing all the limitations imposed
by shallow repositories.
If the source repository is shallow, fetch as much as possible so that the
current repository has the same history as the source repository.
By default when fetching from a shallow
repository, git fetch refuses refs that require updating .git/shallow.
This option updates .git/shallow and accept such refs.
Show what would be done, without making any
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
Keep downloaded pack.
Allow several <repository> and
<group> arguments to be specified. No <refspec>s may be
Before fetching, remove any remote-tracking
references that no longer exist on the remote. Tags are not subject to pruning
if they are fetched only because of the default tag auto-following or due to a
--tags option. However, if tags are fetched due to an explicit refspec (either
on the command line or in the remote configuration, for example if the remote
was cloned with the --mirror option), then they are also subject to
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
When fetching refs listed on the command line,
use the specified refspec (can be given more than once) to map the refs to
remote-tracking branches, instead of the values of remote.*.fetch
configuration variables for the remote repository. See section on
"Configured Remote-tracking Branches" for details.
Fetch all tags from the remote (i.e., fetch
remote tags refs/tags/* into local tags with the same name), in
addition to whatever else would otherwise be fetched. Using this option alone
does not subject tags to pruning, even if --prune is used (though tags may be
pruned anyway if they are also the destination of an explicit refspec; see
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
Number of parallel children to be used for
fetching submodules. Each will fetch from different submodules, such that
fetching many submodules will be faster. By default submodules will be fetched
one at a time.
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 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
Pass --quiet to git-fetch-pack and silence any
other internally used git commands. Progress is not reported to the standard
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.
Use IPv4 addresses only, ignoring IPv6
Use IPv6 addresses only, ignoring IPv4
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
A name referring to a list of repositories as
the value of remotes.<group> in the configuration file. (See
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
instead (see CONFIGURED REMOTE-TRACKING BRANCHES below).
The format of a <refspec> parameter is an optional plus +
by the source ref <src>, followed by a colon :
, followed by the
destination ref <dst>. The colon can be omitted when <dst> is
means the same as
; it requests fetching
everything up to the given tag.
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.
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.
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, but this is inefficient and deprecated; do not use it).
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
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
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
(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
[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 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
•a remote in the Git configuration
•a file in the $GIT_DIR/remotes
•a file in the $GIT_DIR/branches
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.
You can choose to provide the name of a remote which you had previously
configured using git-remote
(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>
is used for pushes only. It is optional and defaults
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
lines are used by git push
lines are used
by git pull
and git fetch
. Multiple Push:
lines may be specified for additional branch mappings.
You can choose to provide the name of a file in $GIT_DIR/branches
URL in this file will be used to access the repository. This file should have
the following format:
is required; #<head>
Depending on the operation, git will use one of the following refspecs, if you
don’t provide one on the command line. <branch>
name of this file in $GIT_DIR/branches
git fetch uses:
git push uses:
You often interact with the same remote repository by regularly and repeatedly
fetching from it. In order to keep track of the progress of such a remote
repository, git fetch
allows you to configure
Typically such a variable may look like this:
fetch = +refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/origin/*
This configuration is used in two ways:
•When git fetch is run without
specifying what branches and/or tags to fetch on the command line, e.g. git
fetch origin or git fetch, remote.<repository>.fetch
values are used as the refspecs—they specify which refs to fetch and
which local refs to update. The example above will fetch all branches that
exist in the origin (i.e. any ref that matches the left-hand side of
the value, refs/heads/*) and update the corresponding remote-tracking
branches in the refs/remotes/origin/* hierarchy.
•When git fetch is run with
explicit branches and/or tags to fetch on the command line, e.g. git fetch
origin master, the <refspec>s given on the command line determine
what are to be fetched (e.g. master in the example, which is a
short-hand for master:, which in turn means "fetch the
master branch but I do not explicitly say what remote-tracking branch
to update with it from the command line"), and the example command will
fetch only the master branch. The
remote.<repository>.fetch values determine which remote-tracking
branch, if any, is updated. When used in this way, the
remote.<repository>.fetch values do not have any effect in
deciding what gets fetched (i.e. the values are not used as refspecs
when the command-line lists refspecs); they are only used to decide
where the refs that are fetched are stored by acting as a
The latter use of the remote.<repository>.fetch
values can be
overridden by giving the --refmap=<refspec>
parameter(s) on the
The output of "git fetch" depends on the transport method used; this
section describes the output when fetching over the Git protocol (either
locally or via ssh) and Smart HTTP protocol.
The status of the fetch is output in tabular form, with each line representing
the status of a single ref. Each line is of the form:
<flag> <summary> <from> -> <to> [<reason>]
The status of up-to-date refs is shown only if the --verbose option is used.
In compact output mode, specified with configuration variable fetch.output, if
either entire <from>
is found in the other
string, it will be substituted with *
in the other string. For example,
master -> origin/master
becomes master -> origin/*
A single character indicating the status of
for a successfully fetched fast-forward;
for a successful forced update;
for a successfully pruned ref;
for a successful tag update;
for a successfully fetched new ref;
for a ref that was rejected or failed to
for a ref that was up to date and did not need
For a successfully fetched ref, the summary
shows the old and new values of the ref in a form suitable for using as an
argument to git log (this is <old>..<new> in most
cases, and <old>...<new> for forced non-fast-forward
The name of the remote ref being fetched from,
minus its refs/<type>/ prefix. In the case of deletion, the name
of the remote ref is "(none)".
The name of the local ref being updated, minus
its refs/<type>/ prefix.
A human-readable explanation. In the case of
successfully fetched refs, no explanation is needed. For a failed ref, the
reason for failure is described.
•Update the remote-tracking branches:
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
•Using refspecs explicitly:
$ git fetch origin +pu:pu maint:tmp
This updates (or creates, as necessary) branches pu
local repository by fetching from the branches (respectively) pu
from the remote repository.
branch will be updated even if it is does not fast-forward,
because it is prefixed with a plus sign; tmp
will not be.
•Peek at a remote’s branch,
without configuring the remote in your local repository:
$ git fetch git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/git/git.git maint
$ git log FETCH_HEAD
The first command fetches the maint
branch from the repository at
and the second command uses
to examine the branch with git-log
(1). The fetched
objects will eventually be removed by git’s built-in housekeeping (see
The fetch and push protocols are not designed to prevent one side from stealing
data from the other repository that was not intended to be shared. If you have
private data that you need to protect from a malicious peer, your best option
is to store it in another repository. This applies to both clients and
servers. In particular, namespaces on a server are not effective for read
access control; you should only grant read access to a namespace to clients
that you would trust with read access to the entire repository.
The known attack vectors are as follows:
1.The victim sends "have" lines
advertising the IDs of objects it has that are not explicitly intended to be
shared but can be used to optimize the transfer if the peer also has them. The
attacker chooses an object ID X to steal and sends a ref to X, but
isn’t required to send the content of X because the victim already has
it. Now the victim believes that the attacker has X, and it sends the content
of X back to the attacker later. (This attack is most straightforward for a
client to perform on a server, by creating a ref to X in the namespace the
client has access to and then fetching it. The most likely way for a server to
perform it on a client is to "merge" X into a public branch and hope
that the user does additional work on this branch and pushes it back to the
server without noticing the merge.)
2.As in #1, the attacker chooses an object ID
X to steal. The victim sends an object Y that the attacker already has, and
the attacker falsely claims to have X and not Y, so the victim sends Y as a
delta against X. The delta reveals regions of X that are similar to Y to the
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