git-clone(1) — Linux manual page


GIT-CLONE(1)                   Git Manual                   GIT-CLONE(1)

NAME         top

       git-clone - Clone a repository into a new directory

SYNOPSIS         top

       git clone [--template=<template-directory>]
                 [-l] [-s] [--no-hardlinks] [-q] [-n] [--bare] [--mirror]
                 [-o <name>] [-b <name>] [-u <upload-pack>] [--reference <repository>]
                 [--dissociate] [--separate-git-dir <git-dir>]
                 [--depth <depth>] [--[no-]single-branch] [--no-tags]
                 [--recurse-submodules[=<pathspec>]] [--[no-]shallow-submodules]
                 [--[no-]remote-submodules] [--jobs <n>] [--sparse] [--[no-]reject-shallow]
                 [--filter=<filter-spec>] [--also-filter-submodules]] [--] <repository>

DESCRIPTION         top

       Clones a repository into a newly created directory, creates
       remote-tracking branches for each branch in the cloned repository
       (visible using git branch --remotes), and creates and checks out
       an initial branch that is forked from the cloned repository’s
       currently active branch.

       After the clone, a plain git fetch without arguments will update
       all the remote-tracking branches, and a git pull without
       arguments will in addition merge the remote master branch into
       the current master branch, if any (this is untrue when
       --single-branch is given; see below).

       This default configuration is achieved by creating references to
       the remote branch heads under refs/remotes/origin and by
       initializing remote.origin.url and remote.origin.fetch
       configuration variables.

OPTIONS         top

       -l, --local
           When the repository to clone from is on a local machine, this
           flag bypasses the normal "Git aware" transport mechanism and
           clones the repository by making a copy of HEAD and everything
           under objects and refs directories. The files under
           .git/objects/ directory are hardlinked to save space when

           If the repository is specified as a local path (e.g.,
           /path/to/repo), this is the default, and --local is
           essentially a no-op. If the repository is specified as a URL,
           then this flag is ignored (and we never use the local
           optimizations). Specifying --no-local will override the
           default when /path/to/repo is given, using the regular Git
           transport instead.

           If the repository’s $GIT_DIR/objects has symbolic links or is
           a symbolic link, the clone will fail. This is a security
           measure to prevent the unintentional copying of files by
           dereferencing the symbolic links.

           NOTE: this operation can race with concurrent modification to
           the source repository, similar to running cp -r src dst while
           modifying src.

           Force the cloning process from a repository on a local
           filesystem to copy the files under the .git/objects directory
           instead of using hardlinks. This may be desirable if you are
           trying to make a back-up of your repository.

       -s, --shared
           When the repository to clone is on the local machine, instead
           of using hard links, automatically setup
           .git/objects/info/alternates to share the objects with the
           source repository. The resulting repository starts out
           without any object of its own.

           NOTE: this is a possibly dangerous operation; do not use it
           unless you understand what it does. If you clone your
           repository using this option and then delete branches (or use
           any other Git command that makes any existing commit
           unreferenced) in the source repository, some objects may
           become unreferenced (or dangling). These objects may be
           removed by normal Git operations (such as git commit) which
           automatically call git maintenance run --auto. (See
           git-maintenance(1).) If these objects are removed and were
           referenced by the cloned repository, then the cloned
           repository will become corrupt.

           Note that running git repack without the --local option in a
           repository cloned with --shared will copy objects from the
           source repository into a pack in the cloned repository,
           removing the disk space savings of clone --shared. It is
           safe, however, to run git gc, which uses the --local option
           by default.

           If you want to break the dependency of a repository cloned
           with --shared on its source repository, you can simply run
           git repack -a to copy all objects from the source repository
           into a pack in the cloned repository.

       --reference[-if-able] <repository>
           If the reference <repository> is on the local machine,
           automatically setup .git/objects/info/alternates to obtain
           objects from the reference <repository>. Using an already
           existing repository as an alternate will require fewer
           objects to be copied from the repository being cloned,
           reducing network and local storage costs. When using the
           --reference-if-able, a non existing directory is skipped with
           a warning instead of aborting the clone.

           NOTE: see the NOTE for the --shared option, and also the
           --dissociate option.

           Borrow the objects from reference repositories specified with
           the --reference options only to reduce network transfer, and
           stop borrowing from them after a clone is made by making
           necessary local copies of borrowed objects. This option can
           also be used when cloning locally from a repository that
           already borrows objects from another repository—the new
           repository will borrow objects from the same repository, and
           this option can be used to stop the borrowing.

       -q, --quiet
           Operate quietly. Progress is not reported to the standard
           error stream.

       -v, --verbose
           Run verbosely. Does not affect the reporting of progress
           status to the standard error stream.

           Progress status is reported on the standard error stream by
           default when it is attached to a terminal, unless --quiet is
           specified. This flag forces progress status even if the
           standard error stream is not directed to a terminal.

           Transmit the given string to the server when communicating
           using protocol version 2. The given string must not contain a
           NUL or LF character. The server’s handling of server options,
           including unknown ones, is server-specific. When multiple
           --server-option=<option> are given, they are all sent to the
           other side in the order listed on the command line.

       -n, --no-checkout
           No checkout of HEAD is performed after the clone is complete.

           Fail if the source repository is a shallow repository. The
           clone.rejectShallow configuration variable can be used to
           specify the default.

           Make a bare Git repository. That is, instead of creating
           <directory> and placing the administrative files in
           <directory>/.git, make the <directory> itself the $GIT_DIR.
           This obviously implies the --no-checkout because there is
           nowhere to check out the working tree. Also the branch heads
           at the remote are copied directly to corresponding local
           branch heads, without mapping them to refs/remotes/origin/.
           When this option is used, neither remote-tracking branches
           nor the related configuration variables are created.

           Employ a sparse-checkout, with only files in the toplevel
           directory initially being present. The git-sparse-checkout(1)
           command can be used to grow the working directory as needed.

           Use the partial clone feature and request that the server
           sends a subset of reachable objects according to a given
           object filter. When using --filter, the supplied
           <filter-spec> is used for the partial clone filter. For
           example, --filter=blob:none will filter out all blobs (file
           contents) until needed by Git. Also,
           --filter=blob:limit=<size> will filter out all blobs of size
           at least <size>. For more details on filter specifications,
           see the --filter option in git-rev-list(1).

           Also apply the partial clone filter to any submodules in the
           repository. Requires --filter and --recurse-submodules. This
           can be turned on by default by setting the
           clone.filterSubmodules config option.

           Set up a mirror of the source repository. This implies
           --bare. Compared to --bare, --mirror not only maps local
           branches of the source to local branches of the target, it
           maps all refs (including remote-tracking branches, notes
           etc.) and sets up a refspec configuration such that all these
           refs are overwritten by a git remote update in the target

       -o <name>, --origin <name>
           Instead of using the remote name origin to keep track of the
           upstream repository, use <name>. Overrides
           clone.defaultRemoteName from the config.

       -b <name>, --branch <name>
           Instead of pointing the newly created HEAD to the branch
           pointed to by the cloned repository’s HEAD, point to <name>
           branch instead. In a non-bare repository, this is the branch
           that will be checked out.  --branch can also take tags and
           detaches the HEAD at that commit in the resulting repository.

       -u <upload-pack>, --upload-pack <upload-pack>
           When given, and the repository to clone from is accessed via
           ssh, this specifies a non-default path for the command run on
           the other end.

           Specify the directory from which templates will be used; (See
           the "TEMPLATE DIRECTORY" section of git-init(1).)

       -c <key>=<value>, --config <key>=<value>
           Set a configuration variable in the newly-created repository;
           this takes effect immediately after the repository is
           initialized, but before the remote history is fetched or any
           files checked out. The <key> is in the same format as
           expected by git-config(1) (e.g., core.eol=true). If multiple
           values are given for the same key, each value will be written
           to the config file. This makes it safe, for example, to add
           additional fetch refspecs to the origin remote.

           Due to limitations of the current implementation, some
           configuration variables do not take effect until after the
           initial fetch and checkout. Configuration variables known to
           not take effect are: remote.<name>.mirror and
           remote.<name>.tagOpt. Use the corresponding --mirror and
           --no-tags options instead.

       --depth <depth>
           Create a shallow clone with a history truncated to the
           specified number of commits. Implies --single-branch unless
           --no-single-branch is given to fetch the histories near the
           tips of all branches. If you want to clone submodules
           shallowly, also pass --shallow-submodules.

           Create a shallow clone with a history after the specified

           Create a shallow clone with a history, excluding commits
           reachable from a specified remote branch or tag. This option
           can be specified multiple times.

           Clone only the history leading to the tip of a single branch,
           either specified by the --branch option or the primary branch
           remote’s HEAD points at. Further fetches into the resulting
           repository will only update the remote-tracking branch for
           the branch this option was used for the initial cloning. If
           the HEAD at the remote did not point at any branch when
           --single-branch clone was made, no remote-tracking branch is

           Don’t clone any tags, and set
           remote.<remote>.tagOpt=--no-tags in the config, ensuring that
           future git pull and git fetch operations won’t follow any
           tags. Subsequent explicit tag fetches will still work, (see

           Can be used in conjunction with --single-branch to clone and
           maintain a branch with no references other than a single
           cloned branch. This is useful e.g. to maintain minimal clones
           of the default branch of some repository for search indexing.

           After the clone is created, initialize and clone submodules
           within based on the provided <pathspec>. If no =<pathspec> is
           provided, all submodules are initialized and cloned. This
           option can be given multiple times for pathspecs consisting
           of multiple entries. The resulting clone has
           set to the provided pathspec, or "." (meaning all submodules)
           if no pathspec is provided.

           Submodules are initialized and cloned using their default
           settings. This is equivalent to running git submodule update
           --init --recursive <pathspec> immediately after the clone is
           finished. This option is ignored if the cloned repository
           does not have a worktree/checkout (i.e. if any of
           --no-checkout/-n, --bare, or --mirror is given)

           All submodules which are cloned will be shallow with a depth
           of 1.

           All submodules which are cloned will use the status of the
           submodule’s remote-tracking branch to update the submodule,
           rather than the superproject’s recorded SHA-1. Equivalent to
           passing --remote to git submodule update.

           Instead of placing the cloned repository where it is supposed
           to be, place the cloned repository at the specified
           directory, then make a filesystem-agnostic Git symbolic link
           to there. The result is Git repository can be separated from
           working tree.

           Specify the given ref storage format for the repository. The
           valid values are:

           •   files for loose files with packed-refs. This is the

           •   reftable for the reftable format. This format is
               experimental and its internals are subject to change.

       -j <n>, --jobs <n>
           The number of submodules fetched at the same time. Defaults
           to the submodule.fetchJobs option.

           The (possibly remote) <repository> to clone from. See the GIT
           URLS section below for more information on specifying

           The name of a new directory to clone into. The "humanish"
           part of the source repository is used if no <directory> is
           explicitly given (repo for /path/to/repo.git and foo for
           host.xz:foo/.git). Cloning into an existing directory is only
           allowed if the directory is empty.

           Before fetching from the remote, fetch a bundle from the
           given <uri> and unbundle the data into the local repository.
           The refs in the bundle will be stored under the hidden
           refs/bundle/* namespace. This option is incompatible with
           --depth, --shallow-since, and --shallow-exclude.

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 absent.

       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 them).

       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>[:<port>]/<path-to-git-repo>git://<host>[:<port>]/<path-to-git-repo>http[s]://<host>[:<port>]/<path-to-git-repo>ftp[s]://<host>[:<port>]/<path-to-git-repo>

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

       •   [<user>@]<host>:/<path-to-git-repo>

       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 url.

       The ssh and git protocols additionally support ~<username>

       •   ssh://[<user>@]<host>[:<port>]/~<user>/<path-to-git-repo>git://<host>[:<port>]/~<user>/<path-to-git-repo>

       •   [<user>@]<host>:~<user>/<path-to-git-repo>

       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 the former
       implies --local option.

       git clone, git fetch and git pull, but not git push, will also
       accept a suitable bundle file. See git-bundle(1).

       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 used:

       •   <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(7) 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.

EXAMPLES         top

       •   Clone from upstream:

               $ git clone git:// my-linux
               $ cd my-linux
               $ make

       •   Make a local clone that borrows from the current directory,
           without checking things out:

               $ git clone -l -s -n . ../copy
               $ cd ../copy
               $ git show-branch

       •   Clone from upstream while borrowing from an existing local

               $ git clone --reference /git/linux.git \
                       git:// \
               $ cd my-linux

       •   Create a bare repository to publish your changes to the

               $ git clone --bare -l /home/proj/.git /pub/scm/proj.git


       Everything below this line in this section is selectively
       included from the git-config(1) documentation. The content is the
       same as what’s found there:

           Specify the directory from which templates will be copied.
           (See the "TEMPLATE DIRECTORY" section of git-init(1).)

           Allows overriding the default branch name e.g. when
           initializing a new repository.

           The name of the remote to create when cloning a repository.
           Defaults to origin. It can be overridden by passing the
           --origin command-line option.

           Reject cloning a repository if it is a shallow one; this can
           be overridden by passing the --reject-shallow option on the
           command line.

           If a partial clone filter is provided (see --filter in
           git-rev-list(1)) and --recurse-submodules is used, also apply
           the filter to submodules.

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 2024-06-14.  (At that time,
       the date of the most recent commit that was found in the
       repository was 2024-06-12.)  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         2024-06-12                   GIT-CLONE(1)

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