Given one argument, reads which branch head the given symbolic ref
refers to and outputs its path, relative to the .git/ directory.
Typically you would give HEAD as the <name> argument to see which
branch your working tree is on.
Given two arguments, creates or updates a symbolic ref <name> to
point at the given branch <ref>.
Given --delete and an additional argument, deletes the given symbolic
A symbolic ref is a regular file that stores a string that begins
with ref: refs/. For example, your .git/HEAD is a regular file whose
contents is ref: refs/heads/master.
Delete the symbolic ref <name>.
Do not issue an error message if the <name> is not a symbolic ref
but a detached HEAD; instead exit with non-zero status silently.
When showing the value of <name> as a symbolic ref, try to
shorten the value, e.g. from refs/heads/master to master.
Update the reflog for <name> with <reason>. This is valid only
when creating or updating a symbolic ref.
In the past, .git/HEAD was a symbolic link pointing at
refs/heads/master. When we wanted to switch to another branch, we did
ln -sf refs/heads/newbranch .git/HEAD, and when we wanted to find out
which branch we are on, we did readlink .git/HEAD. But symbolic links
are not entirely portable, so they are now deprecated and symbolic
refs (as described above) are used by default.
git symbolic-ref will exit with status 0 if the contents of the
symbolic ref were printed correctly, with status 1 if the requested
name is not a symbolic ref, or 128 if another error occurs.
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⟨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
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2017-03-13. If you discover any rendering problems in this HTML ver‐
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Git 2.7.0.rc1.5.gf3a 12/17/2015 GIT-SYMBOLIC-REF(1)