GIT-UPDATE-INDEX(1)              Git Manual              GIT-UPDATE-INDEX(1)

NAME         top

       git-update-index - Register file contents in the working tree to the

SYNOPSIS         top

       git update-index
                    [--add] [--remove | --force-remove] [--replace]
                    [--refresh] [-q] [--unmerged] [--ignore-missing]
                    [(--cacheinfo <mode>,<object>,<file>)...]
                    [--really-refresh] [--unresolve] [--again | -g]
                    [--info-only] [--index-info]
                    [-z] [--stdin] [--index-version <n>]
                    [--] [<file>...]

DESCRIPTION         top

       Modifies the index or directory cache. Each file mentioned is updated
       into the index and any unmerged or needs updating state is cleared.

       See also git-add(1) for a more user-friendly way to do some of the
       most common operations on the index.

       The way git update-index handles files it is told about can be
       modified using the various options:

OPTIONS         top

           If a specified file isn’t in the index already then it’s added.
           Default behaviour is to ignore new files.

           If a specified file is in the index but is missing then it’s
           removed. Default behavior is to ignore removed file.

           Looks at the current index and checks to see if merges or updates
           are needed by checking stat() information.

           Quiet. If --refresh finds that the index needs an update, the
           default behavior is to error out. This option makes git
           update-index continue anyway.

           Do not try to update submodules. This option is only respected
           when passed before --refresh.

           If --refresh finds unmerged changes in the index, the default
           behavior is to error out. This option makes git update-index
           continue anyway.

           Ignores missing files during a --refresh

       --cacheinfo <mode>,<object>,<path>, --cacheinfo <mode> <object>
           Directly insert the specified info into the index. For backward
           compatibility, you can also give these three arguments as three
           separate parameters, but new users are encouraged to use a
           single-parameter form.

           Read index information from stdin.

           Set the execute permissions on the updated files.

           When this flag is specified, the object names recorded for the
           paths are not updated. Instead, this option sets/unsets the
           "assume unchanged" bit for the paths. When the "assume unchanged"
           bit is on, the user promises not to change the file and allows
           Git to assume that the working tree file matches what is recorded
           in the index. If you want to change the working tree file, you
           need to unset the bit to tell Git. This is sometimes helpful when
           working with a big project on a filesystem that has very slow
           lstat(2) system call (e.g. cifs).

           Git will fail (gracefully) in case it needs to modify this file
           in the index e.g. when merging in a commit; thus, in case the
           assumed-untracked file is changed upstream, you will need to
           handle the situation manually.

           Like --refresh, but checks stat information unconditionally,
           without regard to the "assume unchanged" setting.

           When one of these flags is specified, the object name recorded
           for the paths are not updated. Instead, these options set and
           unset the "skip-worktree" bit for the paths. See section
           "Skip-worktree bit" below for more information.

       -g, --again
           Runs git update-index itself on the paths whose index entries are
           different from those from the HEAD commit.

           Restores the unmerged or needs updating state of a file during a
           merge if it was cleared by accident.

           Do not create objects in the object database for all <file>
           arguments that follow this flag; just insert their object IDs
           into the index.

           Remove the file from the index even when the working directory
           still has such a file. (Implies --remove.)

           By default, when a file path exists in the index, git
           update-index refuses an attempt to add path/file. Similarly if a
           file path/file exists, a file path cannot be added. With
           --replace flag, existing entries that conflict with the entry
           being added are automatically removed with warning messages.

           Instead of taking list of paths from the command line, read list
           of paths from the standard input. Paths are separated by LF (i.e.
           one path per line) by default.

           Report what is being added and removed from index.

       --index-version <n>
           Write the resulting index out in the named on-disk format
           version. Supported versions are 2, 3 and 4. The current default
           version is 2 or 3, depending on whether extra features are used,
           such as git add -N.

           Version 4 performs a simple pathname compression that reduces
           index size by 30%-50% on large repositories, which results in
           faster load time. Version 4 is relatively young (first released
           in in 1.8.0 in October 2012). Other Git implementations such as
           JGit and libgit2 may not support it yet.

           Only meaningful with --stdin or --index-info; paths are separated
           with NUL character instead of LF.

       --split-index, --no-split-index
           Enable or disable split index mode. If split-index mode is
           already enabled and --split-index is given again, all changes in
           $GIT_DIR/index are pushed back to the shared index file.

           These options take effect whatever the value of the
           core.splitIndex configuration variable (see git-config(1)). But a
           warning is emitted when the change goes against the configured
           value, as the configured value will take effect next time the
           index is read and this will remove the intended effect of the

       --untracked-cache, --no-untracked-cache
           Enable or disable untracked cache feature. Please use
           --test-untracked-cache before enabling it.

           These options take effect whatever the value of the
           core.untrackedCache configuration variable (see git-config(1)).
           But a warning is emitted when the change goes against the
           configured value, as the configured value will take effect next
           time the index is read and this will remove the intended effect
           of the option.

           Only perform tests on the working directory to make sure
           untracked cache can be used. You have to manually enable
           untracked cache using --untracked-cache or
           --force-untracked-cache or the core.untrackedCache configuration
           variable afterwards if you really want to use it. If a test fails
           the exit code is 1 and a message explains what is not working as
           needed, otherwise the exit code is 0 and OK is printed.

           Same as --untracked-cache. Provided for backwards compatibility
           with older versions of Git where --untracked-cache used to imply
           --test-untracked-cache but this option would enable the extension

           Do not interpret any more arguments as options.

           Files to act on. Note that files beginning with .  are discarded.
           This includes ./file and dir/./file. If you don’t want this, then
           use cleaner names. The same applies to directories ending / and
           paths with //

USING --REFRESH         top

       --refresh does not calculate a new sha1 file or bring the index up to
       date for mode/content changes. But what it does do is to "re-match"
       the stat information of a file with the index, so that you can
       refresh the index for a file that hasn’t been changed but where the
       stat entry is out of date.

       For example, you’d want to do this after doing a git read-tree, to
       link up the stat index details with the proper files.


       --cacheinfo is used to register a file that is not in the current
       working directory. This is useful for minimum-checkout merging.

       To pretend you have a file with mode and sha1 at path, say:

           $ git update-index --cacheinfo <mode>,<sha1>,<path>

       --info-only is used to register files without placing them in the
       object database. This is useful for status-only repositories.

       Both --cacheinfo and --info-only behave similarly: the index is
       updated but the object database isn’t. --cacheinfo is useful when the
       object is in the database but the file isn’t available locally.
       --info-only is useful when the file is available, but you do not wish
       to update the object database.

USING --INDEX-INFO         top

       --index-info is a more powerful mechanism that lets you feed multiple
       entry definitions from the standard input, and designed specifically
       for scripts. It can take inputs of three formats:

        1. mode SP sha1 TAB path

           The first format is what "git-apply --index-info" reports, and
           used to reconstruct a partial tree that is used for phony merge
           base tree when falling back on 3-way merge.

        2. mode SP type SP sha1 TAB path

           The second format is to stuff git ls-tree output into the index

        3. mode SP sha1 SP stage TAB path

           This format is to put higher order stages into the index file and
           matches git ls-files --stage output.

       To place a higher stage entry to the index, the path should first be
       removed by feeding a mode=0 entry for the path, and then feeding
       necessary input lines in the third format.

       For example, starting with this index:

           $ git ls-files -s
           100644 8a1218a1024a212bb3db30becd860315f9f3ac52 0       frotz

       you can feed the following input to --index-info:

           $ git update-index --index-info
           0 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000      frotz
           100644 8a1218a1024a212bb3db30becd860315f9f3ac52 1       frotz
           100755 8a1218a1024a212bb3db30becd860315f9f3ac52 2       frotz

       The first line of the input feeds 0 as the mode to remove the path;
       the SHA-1 does not matter as long as it is well formatted. Then the
       second and third line feeds stage 1 and stage 2 entries for that
       path. After the above, we would end up with this:

           $ git ls-files -s
           100644 8a1218a1024a212bb3db30becd860315f9f3ac52 1       frotz
           100755 8a1218a1024a212bb3db30becd860315f9f3ac52 2       frotz


       Many operations in Git depend on your filesystem to have an efficient
       lstat(2) implementation, so that st_mtime information for working
       tree files can be cheaply checked to see if the file contents have
       changed from the version recorded in the index file. Unfortunately,
       some filesystems have inefficient lstat(2). If your filesystem is one
       of them, you can set "assume unchanged" bit to paths you have not
       changed to cause Git not to do this check. Note that setting this bit
       on a path does not mean Git will check the contents of the file to
       see if it has changed — it makes Git to omit any checking and assume
       it has not changed. When you make changes to working tree files, you
       have to explicitly tell Git about it by dropping "assume unchanged"
       bit, either before or after you modify them.

       In order to set "assume unchanged" bit, use --assume-unchanged
       option. To unset, use --no-assume-unchanged. To see which files have
       the "assume unchanged" bit set, use git ls-files -v (see

       The command looks at core.ignorestat configuration variable. When
       this is true, paths updated with git update-index paths... and paths
       updated with other Git commands that update both index and working
       tree (e.g. git apply --index, git checkout-index -u, and git
       read-tree -u) are automatically marked as "assume unchanged". Note
       that "assume unchanged" bit is not set if git update-index --refresh
       finds the working tree file matches the index (use git update-index
       --really-refresh if you want to mark them as "assume unchanged").

EXAMPLES         top

       To update and refresh only the files already checked out:

           $ git checkout-index -n -f -a && git update-index --ignore-missing --refresh

       On an inefficient filesystem with core.ignorestat set

               $ git update-index --really-refresh              (1)
               $ git update-index --no-assume-unchanged foo.c   (2)
               $ git diff --name-only                           (3)
               $ edit foo.c
               $ git diff --name-only                           (4)
               M foo.c
               $ git update-index foo.c                         (5)
               $ git diff --name-only                           (6)
               $ edit foo.c
               $ git diff --name-only                           (7)
               $ git update-index --no-assume-unchanged foo.c   (8)
               $ git diff --name-only                           (9)
               M foo.c

           1. forces lstat(2) to set "assume unchanged" bits for paths that
           match index.
           2. mark the path to be edited.
           3. this does lstat(2) and finds index matches the path.
           4. this does lstat(2) and finds index does not match the path.
           5. registering the new version to index sets "assume unchanged"
           6. and it is assumed unchanged.
           7. even after you edit it.
           8. you can tell about the change after the fact.
           9. now it checks with lstat(2) and finds it has been changed.


       Skip-worktree bit can be defined in one (long) sentence: When reading
       an entry, if it is marked as skip-worktree, then Git pretends its
       working directory version is up to date and read the index version

       To elaborate, "reading" means checking for file existence, reading
       file attributes or file content. The working directory version may be
       present or absent. If present, its content may match against the
       index version or not. Writing is not affected by this bit, content
       safety is still first priority. Note that Git can update working
       directory file, that is marked skip-worktree, if it is safe to do so
       (i.e. working directory version matches index version)

       Although this bit looks similar to assume-unchanged bit, its goal is
       different from assume-unchanged bit’s. Skip-worktree also takes
       precedence over assume-unchanged bit when both are set.

SPLIT INDEX         top

       This mode is designed for repositories with very large indexes, and
       aims at reducing the time it takes to repeatedly write these indexes.

       In this mode, the index is split into two files, $GIT_DIR/index and
       $GIT_DIR/sharedindex.<SHA-1>. Changes are accumulated in
       $GIT_DIR/index, the split index, while the shared index file contains
       all index entries and stays unchanged.

       All changes in the split index are pushed back to the shared index
       file when the number of entries in the split index reaches a level
       specified by the splitIndex.maxPercentChange config variable (see

       Each time a new shared index file is created, the old shared index
       files are deleted if their modification time is older than what is
       specified by the splitIndex.sharedIndexExpire config variable (see

       To avoid deleting a shared index file that is still used, its
       modification time is updated to the current time everytime a new
       split index based on the shared index file is either created or read


       This cache is meant to speed up commands that involve determining
       untracked files such as git status.

       This feature works by recording the mtime of the working tree
       directories and then omitting reading directories and stat calls
       against files in those directories whose mtime hasn’t changed. For
       this to work the underlying operating system and file system must
       change the st_mtime field of directories if files in the directory
       are added, modified or deleted.

       You can test whether the filesystem supports that with the
       --test-untracked-cache option. The --untracked-cache option used to
       implicitly perform that test in older versions of Git, but that’s no
       longer the case.

       If you want to enable (or disable) this feature, it is easier to use
       the core.untrackedCache configuration variable (see git-config(1))
       than using the --untracked-cache option to git update-index in each
       repository, especially if you want to do so across all repositories
       you use, because you can set the configuration variable to true (or
       false) in your $HOME/.gitconfig just once and have it affect all
       repositories you touch.

       When the core.untrackedCache configuration variable is changed, the
       untracked cache is added to or removed from the index the next time a
       command reads the index; while when --[no-|force-]untracked-cache are
       used, the untracked cache is immediately added to or removed from the


       The command honors core.filemode configuration variable. If your
       repository is on a filesystem whose executable bits are unreliable,
       this should be set to false (see git-config(1)). This causes the
       command to ignore differences in file modes recorded in the index and
       the file mode on the filesystem if they differ only on executable
       bit. On such an unfortunate filesystem, you may need to use git
       update-index --chmod=.

       Quite similarly, if core.symlinks configuration variable is set to
       false (see git-config(1)), symbolic links are checked out as plain
       files, and this command does not modify a recorded file mode from
       symbolic link to regular file.

       The command looks at core.ignorestat configuration variable. See
       Using "assume unchanged" bit section above.

       The command also looks at core.trustctime configuration variable. It
       can be useful when the inode change time is regularly modified by
       something outside Git (file system crawlers and backup systems use
       ctime for marking files processed) (see git-config(1)).

       The untracked cache extension can be enabled by the
       core.untrackedCache configuration variable (see git-config(1)).

SEE ALSO         top

       git-config(1), git-add(1), git-ls-files(1)

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
       2017-09-15.  If you discover any rendering problems in this HTML ver‐
       sion 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 man‐
       ual page), send a mail to

Git           09/14/2017              GIT-UPDATE-INDEX(1)

Pages that refer to this page: git(1)git-add(1)git-config(1)git-filter-branch(1)git-ls-files(1)git-read-tree(1)