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GIT-DESCRIBE(1)                  Git Manual                  GIT-DESCRIBE(1)

NAME         top

       git-describe - Give an object a human readable name based on an
       available ref

SYNOPSIS         top

       git describe [--all] [--tags] [--contains] [--abbrev=<n>] [<commit-ish>...]
       git describe [--all] [--tags] [--contains] [--abbrev=<n>] --dirty[=<mark>]
       git describe <blob>

DESCRIPTION         top

       The command finds the most recent tag that is reachable from a
       commit. If the tag points to the commit, then only the tag is shown.
       Otherwise, it suffixes the tag name with the number of additional
       commits on top of the tagged object and the abbreviated object name
       of the most recent commit. The result is a "human-readable" object
       name which can also be used to identify the commit to other git
       commands.

       By default (without --all or --tags) git describe only shows
       annotated tags. For more information about creating annotated tags
       see the -a and -s options to git-tag(1).

       If the given object refers to a blob, it will be described as
       <commit-ish>:<path>, such that the blob can be found at <path> in the
       <commit-ish>, which itself describes the first commit in which this
       blob occurs in a reverse revision walk from HEAD.

OPTIONS         top

       <commit-ish>...
           Commit-ish object names to describe. Defaults to HEAD if omitted.

       --dirty[=<mark>], --broken[=<mark>]
           Describe the state of the working tree. When the working tree
           matches HEAD, the output is the same as "git describe HEAD". If
           the working tree has local modification "-dirty" is appended to
           it. If a repository is corrupt and Git cannot determine if there
           is local modification, Git will error out, unless ‘--broken’ is
           given, which appends the suffix "-broken" instead.

       --all
           Instead of using only the annotated tags, use any ref found in
           refs/ namespace. This option enables matching any known branch,
           remote-tracking branch, or lightweight tag.

       --tags
           Instead of using only the annotated tags, use any tag found in
           refs/tags namespace. This option enables matching a lightweight
           (non-annotated) tag.

       --contains
           Instead of finding the tag that predates the commit, find the tag
           that comes after the commit, and thus contains it. Automatically
           implies --tags.

       --abbrev=<n>
           Instead of using the default 7 hexadecimal digits as the
           abbreviated object name, use <n> digits, or as many digits as
           needed to form a unique object name. An <n> of 0 will suppress
           long format, only showing the closest tag.

       --candidates=<n>
           Instead of considering only the 10 most recent tags as candidates
           to describe the input commit-ish consider up to <n> candidates.
           Increasing <n> above 10 will take slightly longer but may produce
           a more accurate result. An <n> of 0 will cause only exact matches
           to be output.

       --exact-match
           Only output exact matches (a tag directly references the supplied
           commit). This is a synonym for --candidates=0.

       --debug
           Verbosely display information about the searching strategy being
           employed to standard error. The tag name will still be printed to
           standard out.

       --long
           Always output the long format (the tag, the number of commits and
           the abbreviated commit name) even when it matches a tag. This is
           useful when you want to see parts of the commit object name in
           "describe" output, even when the commit in question happens to be
           a tagged version. Instead of just emitting the tag name, it will
           describe such a commit as v1.2-0-gdeadbee (0th commit since tag
           v1.2 that points at object deadbee....).

       --match <pattern>
           Only consider tags matching the given glob(7) pattern, excluding
           the "refs/tags/" prefix. If used with --all, it also considers
           local branches and remote-tracking references matching the
           pattern, excluding respectively "refs/heads/" and "refs/remotes/"
           prefix; references of other types are never considered. If given
           multiple times, a list of patterns will be accumulated, and tags
           matching any of the patterns will be considered. Use --no-match
           to clear and reset the list of patterns.

       --exclude <pattern>
           Do not consider tags matching the given glob(7) pattern,
           excluding the "refs/tags/" prefix. If used with --all, it also
           does not consider local branches and remote-tracking references
           matching the pattern, excluding respectively "refs/heads/" and
           "refs/remotes/" prefix; references of other types are never
           considered. If given multiple times, a list of patterns will be
           accumulated and tags matching any of the patterns will be
           excluded. When combined with --match a tag will be considered
           when it matches at least one --match pattern and does not match
           any of the --exclude patterns. Use --no-exclude to clear and
           reset the list of patterns.

       --always
           Show uniquely abbreviated commit object as fallback.

       --first-parent
           Follow only the first parent commit upon seeing a merge commit.
           This is useful when you wish to not match tags on branches merged
           in the history of the target commit.

EXAMPLES         top

       With something like git.git current tree, I get:

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe parent
           v1.0.4-14-g2414721

       i.e. the current head of my "parent" branch is based on v1.0.4, but
       since it has a few commits on top of that, describe has added the
       number of additional commits ("14") and an abbreviated object name
       for the commit itself ("2414721") at the end.

       The number of additional commits is the number of commits which would
       be displayed by "git log v1.0.4..parent". The hash suffix is "-g" +
       7-char abbreviation for the tip commit of parent (which was
       2414721b194453f058079d897d13c4e377f92dc6). The "g" prefix stands for
       "git" and is used to allow describing the version of a software
       depending on the SCM the software is managed with. This is useful in
       an environment where people may use different SCMs.

       Doing a git describe on a tag-name will just show the tag name:

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe v1.0.4
           v1.0.4

       With --all, the command can use branch heads as references, so the
       output shows the reference path as well:

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe --all --abbrev=4 v1.0.5^2
           tags/v1.0.0-21-g975b

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe --all --abbrev=4 HEAD^
           heads/lt/describe-7-g975b

       With --abbrev set to 0, the command can be used to find the closest
       tagname without any suffix:

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe --abbrev=0 v1.0.5^2
           tags/v1.0.0

       Note that the suffix you get if you type these commands today may be
       longer than what Linus saw above when he ran these commands, as your
       Git repository may have new commits whose object names begin with
       975b that did not exist back then, and "-g975b" suffix alone may not
       be sufficient to disambiguate these commits.

SEARCH STRATEGY         top

       For each commit-ish supplied, git describe will first look for a tag
       which tags exactly that commit. Annotated tags will always be
       preferred over lightweight tags, and tags with newer dates will
       always be preferred over tags with older dates. If an exact match is
       found, its name will be output and searching will stop.

       If an exact match was not found, git describe will walk back through
       the commit history to locate an ancestor commit which has been
       tagged. The ancestor’s tag will be output along with an abbreviation
       of the input commit-ish’s SHA-1. If --first-parent was specified then
       the walk will only consider the first parent of each commit.

       If multiple tags were found during the walk then the tag which has
       the fewest commits different from the input commit-ish will be
       selected and output. Here fewest commits different is defined as the
       number of commits which would be shown by git log tag..input will be
       the smallest number of commits possible.

BUGS         top

       Tree objects as well as tag objects not pointing at commits, cannot
       be described. When describing blobs, the lightweight tags pointing at
       blobs are ignored, but the blob is still described as
       <committ-ish>:<path> despite the lightweight tag being favorable.

GIT         top

       Part of the git(1) suite

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the git (Git distributed version control system)
       project.  Information about the project can be found at 
       ⟨http://git-scm.com/⟩.  If you have a bug report for this manual page,
       see ⟨http://git-scm.com/community⟩.  This page was obtained from the
       project's upstream Git repository ⟨https://github.com/git/git.git⟩ on
       2018-10-29.  (At that time, the date of the most recent commit that
       was found in the repository was 2018-10-26.)  If you discover any
       rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe
       there is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
       corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to
       man-pages@man7.org

Git 2.19.1.593.gc670b1           10/28/2018                  GIT-DESCRIBE(1)

Pages that refer to this page: git(1)