The .gitmodules file, located in the top-level directory of a Git
working tree, is a text file with a syntax matching the requirements
The file contains one subsection per submodule, and the subsection
value is the name of the submodule. The name is set to the path where
the submodule has been added unless it was customized with the --name
option of git submodule add. Each submodule section also contains the
following required keys:
Defines the path, relative to the top-level directory of the Git
working tree, where the submodule is expected to be checked out.
The path name must not end with a /. All submodule paths must be
unique within the .gitmodules file.
Defines a URL from which the submodule repository can be cloned.
This may be either an absolute URL ready to be passed to
git-clone(1) or (if it begins with ./ or ../) a location relative
to the superproject’s origin repository.
In addition, there are a number of optional keys:
Defines the default update procedure for the named submodule,
i.e. how the submodule is updated by "git submodule update"
command in the superproject. This is only used by git submoduleinit to initialize the configuration variable of the same name.
Allowed values here are checkout, rebase, merge or none. See
description of update command in git-submodule(1) for their
meaning. Note that the !command form is intentionally ignored
here for security reasons.
A remote branch name for tracking updates in the upstream
submodule. If the option is not specified, it defaults to master.
A special value of . is used to indicate that the name of the
branch in the submodule should be the same name as the current
branch in the current repository. See the --remote documentation
in git-submodule(1) for details.
This option can be used to control recursive fetching of this
submodule. If this option is also present in the submodules entry
in .git/config of the superproject, the setting there will
override the one found in .gitmodules. Both settings can be
overridden on the command line by using the
"--[no-]recurse-submodules" option to "git fetch" and "git pull".
Defines under what circumstances "git status" and the diff family
show a submodule as modified. When set to "all", it will never be
considered modified (but will nonetheless show up in the output
of status and commit when it has been staged), "dirty" will
ignore all changes to the submodules work tree and takes only
differences between the HEAD of the submodule and the commit
recorded in the superproject into account. "untracked" will
additionally let submodules with modified tracked files in their
work tree show up. Using "none" (the default when this option is
not set) also shows submodules that have untracked files in their
work tree as changed. If this option is also present in the
submodules entry in .git/config of the superproject, the setting
there will override the one found in .gitmodules. Both settings
can be overridden on the command line by using the
"--ignore-submodule" option. The git submodule commands are not
affected by this setting.
When set to true, a clone of this submodule will be performed as
a shallow clone unless the user explicitly asks for a non-shallow
Consider the following .gitmodules file:
path = include/foo
url = git://foo.com/git/lib.git
path = include/bar
url = git://bar.com/git/lib.git
This defines two submodules, libfoo and libbar. These are expected to
be checked out in the paths include/foo and include/bar, and for both
submodules a URL is specified which can be used for cloning the
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
2017-03-13. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Git 18.104.22.168.g8d7a455 12/10/2016 GITMODULES(5)