GIT-PACK-REFS(1)                 Git Manual                 GIT-PACK-REFS(1)

NAME         top

       git-pack-refs - Pack heads and tags for efficient repository access

SYNOPSIS         top

       git pack-refs [--all] [--no-prune]

DESCRIPTION         top

       Traditionally, tips of branches and tags (collectively known as refs)
       were stored one file per ref in a (sub)directory under $GIT_DIR/refs
       directory. While many branch tips tend to be updated often, most tags
       and some branch tips are never updated. When a repository has
       hundreds or thousands of tags, this one-file-per-ref format both
       wastes storage and hurts performance.

       This command is used to solve the storage and performance problem by
       storing the refs in a single file, $GIT_DIR/packed-refs. When a ref
       is missing from the traditional $GIT_DIR/refs directory hierarchy, it
       is looked up in this file and used if found.

       Subsequent updates to branches always create new files under
       $GIT_DIR/refs directory hierarchy.

       A recommended practice to deal with a repository with too many refs
       is to pack its refs with --all once, and occasionally run git
       pack-refs. Tags are by definition stationary and are not expected to
       change. Branch heads will be packed with the initial pack-refs --all,
       but only the currently active branch heads will become unpacked, and
       the next pack-refs (without --all) will leave them unpacked.

OPTIONS         top

           The command by default packs all tags and refs that are already
           packed, and leaves other refs alone. This is because branches are
           expected to be actively developed and packing their tips does not
           help performance. This option causes branch tips to be packed as
           well. Useful for a repository with many branches of historical

           The command usually removes loose refs under $GIT_DIR/refs
           hierarchy after packing them. This option tells it not to.

BUGS         top

       Older documentation written before the packed-refs mechanism was
       introduced may still say things like ".git/refs/heads/<branch> file
       exists" when it means "branch <branch> exists".

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 2.7.0.rc1.5.gf3a             12/17/2015                 GIT-PACK-REFS(1)

Pages that refer to this page: git(1)gitrepository-layout(5)gitglossary(7)