GIT-FETCH(1)                     Git Manual                     GIT-FETCH(1)

NAME         top

       git-fetch - Download objects and refs from another repository

SYNOPSIS         top

       git fetch [<options>] [<repository> [<refspec>...]]
       git fetch [<options>] <group>
       git fetch --multiple [<options>] [(<repository> | <group>)...]
       git fetch --all [<options>]

DESCRIPTION         top

       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.

       git fetch 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 git-config(1)).

       When no remote is specified, by default the origin remote will be
       used, unless there’s an upstream branch configured for the current

       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(1).

OPTIONS         top

           Fetch all remotes.

       -a, --append
           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

           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.

           By default, Git will report, to the server, commits reachable
           from all local refs to find common commits in an attempt to
           reduce the size of the to-be-received packfile. If specified, Git
           will only report commits reachable from the given tips. This is
           useful to speed up fetches when the user knows which local ref is
           likely to have commits in common with the upstream ref being

           This option may be specified more than once; if so, Git will
           report commits reachable from any of the given commits.

           The argument to this option may be a glob on ref names, a ref, or
           the (possibly abbreviated) SHA-1 of a commit. Specifying a glob
           is equivalent to specifying this option multiple times, one for
           each matching ref name.

           See also the fetch.negotiationAlgorithm configuration variable
           documented in git-config(1).

           Show what would be done, without making any changes.

       -f, --force
           When git fetch is used with <src>:<dst> refspec it may refuse to
           update the local branch as discussed in the <refspec> part below.
           This option overrides that check.

       -k, --keep
           Keep downloaded pack.

           Allow several <repository> and <group> arguments to be specified.
           No <refspec>s may be specified.

       -p, --prune
           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 pruning.
           Supplying --prune-tags is a shorthand for providing the tag

           See the PRUNING section below for more details.

       -P, --prune-tags
           Before fetching, remove any local tags that no longer exist on
           the remote if --prune is enabled. This option should be used more
           carefully, unlike --prune it will remove any local references
           (local tags) that have been created. This option is a shorthand
           for providing the explicit tag refspec along with --prune, see
           the discussion about that in its documentation.

           See the PRUNING section below for more details.

       -n, --no-tags
           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 git-config(1).

           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.

       -t, --tags
           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 --prune).

           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.

       -j, --jobs=<n>
           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

       -u, --update-head-ok
           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.

       --upload-pack <upload-pack>
           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.

       -q, --quiet
           Pass --quiet to git-fetch-pack and silence any other internally
           used git commands. Progress is not reported to the standard error

       -v, --verbose
           Be verbose.

           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.

       -o <option>, --server-option=<option>
           Transmit the given string to the server when communicating using
           protocol version 2. The given string must not contain a NUL or LF
           character. When multiple --server-option=<option> are given, they
           are all sent to the other side in the order listed on the command

       -4, --ipv4
           Use IPv4 addresses only, ignoring IPv6 addresses.

       -6, --ipv6
           Use IPv6 addresses only, ignoring IPv4 addresses.

           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 git-config(1)).

           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 variables instead (see

           The format of a <refspec> parameter is an optional plus +,
           followed by the source <src>, followed by a colon :, followed by
           the destination ref <dst>. The colon can be omitted when <dst> is
           empty. <src> is typically a ref, but it can also be a fully
           spelled hex object name.

           tag <tag> means the same as refs/tags/<tag>:refs/tags/<tag>; it
           requests fetching everything up to the given tag.

           The remote ref that matches <src> is fetched, and if <dst> is not
           an empty string, an attempt is made to update the local ref that
           matches it.

           Whether that update is allowed without --force depends on the ref
           namespace it’s being fetched to, the type of object being
           fetched, and whether the update is considered to be a
           fast-forward. Generally, the same rules apply for fetching as
           when pushing, see the <refspec>...  section of git-push(1) for
           what those are. Exceptions to those rules particular to git fetch
           are noted below.

           Until Git version 2.20, and unlike when pushing with git-push(1),
           any updates to refs/tags/* would be accepted without + in the
           refspec (or --force). When fetching, we promiscuously considered
           all tag updates from a remote to be forced fetches. Since Git
           version 2.20, fetching to update refs/tags/* works the same way
           as when pushing. I.e. any updates will be rejected without + in
           the refspec (or --force).

           Unlike when pushing with git-push(1), any updates outside of
           refs/{tags,heads}/* will be accepted without + in the refspec (or
           --force), whether that’s swapping e.g. a tree object for a blob,
           or a commit for another commit that’s doesn’t have the previous
           commit as an ancestor etc.

           Unlike when pushing with git-push(1), there is no configuration
           which’ll amend these rules, and nothing like a pre-fetch hook
           analogous to the pre-receive hook.

           As with pushing with git-push(1), all of the rules described
           above about what’s not allowed as an update can be overridden by
           adding an the optional leading + to a refspec (or using --force
           command line option). The only exception to this is that no
           amount of forcing will make the refs/heads/* namespace accept a
           non-commit object.

               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.

GIT URLS         top

       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

       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:

       ·   ssh://[user@]host.xz[:port]/path/to/repo.git/

       ·   git://host.xz[:port]/path/to/repo.git/

       ·   http[s]://host.xz[:port]/path/to/repo.git/

       ·   ftp[s]://host.xz[:port]/path/to/repo.git/

       An alternative scp-like syntax may also be used with the ssh

       ·   [user@]host.xz:path/to/repo.git/

       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

       The ssh and git protocols additionally support ~username expansion:

       ·   ssh://[user@]host.xz[:port]/~[user]/path/to/repo.git/

       ·   git://host.xz[:port]/~[user]/path/to/repo.git/

       ·   [user@]host.xz:/~[user]/path/to/repo.git/

       For local repositories, also supported by Git natively, the following
       syntaxes may be used:

       ·   /path/to/repo.git/

       ·   file:///path/to/repo.git/

       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

       ·   <transport>::<address>

       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:

                   [url "git://"]
                           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:

                   [url "ssh://"]
                           pushInsteadOf = git://

       a URL like "git://" will be rewritten to
       "ssh://" for pushes, but pulls will still
       use the original URL.

REMOTES         top

       The name of one of the following can be used instead of a URL as
       <repository> argument:

       ·   a remote in the Git configuration file: $GIT_DIR/config,

       ·   a file in the $GIT_DIR/remotes directory, or

       ·   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:

                   [remote "<name>"]
                           url = <url>
                           pushurl = <pushurl>
                           push = <refspec>
                           fetch = <refspec>

       The <pushurl> is used for pushes only. It is optional and defaults to

   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: <refspec>
                   Pull: <refspec>

       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

       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
       remote.<repository>.fetch configuration variables.

       Typically such a variable may look like this:

           [remote "origin"]
                   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 mapping.

       The latter use of the remote.<repository>.fetch values can be
       overridden by giving the --refmap=<refspec> parameter(s) on the
       command line.

PRUNING         top

       Git has a default disposition of keeping data unless it’s explicitly
       thrown away; this extends to holding onto local references to
       branches on remotes that have themselves deleted those branches.

       If left to accumulate, these stale references might make performance
       worse on big and busy repos that have a lot of branch churn, and e.g.
       make the output of commands like git branch -a --contains <commit>
       needlessly verbose, as well as impacting anything else that’ll work
       with the complete set of known references.

       These remote-tracking references can be deleted as a one-off with
       either of:

           # While fetching
           $ git fetch --prune <name>

           # Only prune, don't fetch
           $ git remote prune <name>

       To prune references as part of your normal workflow without needing
       to remember to run that, set fetch.prune globally, or
       remote.<name>.prune per-remote in the config. See git-config(1).

       Here’s where things get tricky and more specific. The pruning feature
       doesn’t actually care about branches, instead it’ll prune local <→
       remote-references as a function of the refspec of the remote (see
       <refspec> and CONFIGURED REMOTE-TRACKING BRANCHES above).

       Therefore if the refspec for the remote includes e.g.
       refs/tags/*:refs/tags/*, or you manually run e.g. git fetch --prune
       <name> "refs/tags/*:refs/tags/*" it won’t be stale remote tracking
       branches that are deleted, but any local tag that doesn’t exist on
       the remote.

       This might not be what you expect, i.e. you want to prune remote
       <name>, but also explicitly fetch tags from it, so when you fetch
       from it you delete all your local tags, most of which may not have
       come from the <name> remote in the first place.

       So be careful when using this with a refspec like
       refs/tags/*:refs/tags/*, or any other refspec which might map
       references from multiple remotes to the same local namespace.

       Since keeping up-to-date with both branches and tags on the remote is
       a common use-case the --prune-tags option can be supplied along with
       --prune to prune local tags that don’t exist on the remote, and
       force-update those tags that differ. Tag pruning can also be enabled
       with fetch.pruneTags or remote.<name>.pruneTags in the config. See

       The --prune-tags option is equivalent to having
       refs/tags/*:refs/tags/* declared in the refspecs of the remote. This
       can lead to some seemingly strange interactions:

           # These both fetch tags
           $ git fetch --no-tags origin 'refs/tags/*:refs/tags/*'
           $ git fetch --no-tags --prune-tags origin

       The reason it doesn’t error out when provided without --prune or its
       config versions is for flexibility of the configured versions, and to
       maintain a 1=1 mapping between what the command line flags do, and
       what the configuration versions do.

       It’s reasonable to e.g. configure fetch.pruneTags=true in
       ~/.gitconfig to have tags pruned whenever git fetch --prune is run,
       without making every invocation of git fetch without --prune an

       Pruning tags with --prune-tags also works when fetching a URL instead
       of a named remote. These will all prune tags not found on origin:

           $ git fetch origin --prune --prune-tags
           $ git fetch origin --prune 'refs/tags/*:refs/tags/*'
           $ git fetch <url of origin> --prune --prune-tags
           $ git fetch <url of origin> --prune 'refs/tags/*:refs/tags/*'

OUTPUT         top

       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> or <to> 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 the ref:

               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 update; and

               for a ref that was up to date and did not need fetching.

           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 updates).

           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>/

           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.

EXAMPLES         top

       ·   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.

       ·   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.

       ·   Peek at a remote’s branch, without configuring the remote in your
           local repository:

               $ git fetch git:// maint
               $ git log FETCH_HEAD

           The first command fetches the maint branch from the repository at
           git:// and the second command
           uses FETCH_HEAD to examine the branch with git-log(1). The
           fetched objects will eventually be removed by git’s built-in
           housekeeping (see git-gc(1)).

SECURITY         top

       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 attacker.

BUGS         top

       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.

SEE ALSO         top


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 
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug report for this manual page,
       see ⟨⟩.  This page was obtained from the
       project's upstream Git repository ⟨⟩ 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

Git           10/28/2018                     GIT-FETCH(1)

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