git-init(1) — Linux manual page


GIT-INIT(1)                    Git Manual                    GIT-INIT(1)

NAME         top

       git-init - Create an empty Git repository or reinitialize an
       existing one

SYNOPSIS         top

       git init [-q | --quiet] [--bare] [--template=<template-directory>]
                 [--separate-git-dir <git-dir>] [--object-format=<format>]
                 [-b <branch-name> | --initial-branch=<branch-name>]
                 [--shared[=<permissions>]] [<directory>]

DESCRIPTION         top

       This command creates an empty Git repository - basically a .git
       directory with subdirectories for objects, refs/heads, refs/tags,
       and template files. An initial branch without any commits will be
       created (see the --initial-branch option below for its name).

       If the $GIT_DIR environment variable is set then it specifies a
       path to use instead of ./.git for the base of the repository.

       If the object storage directory is specified via the
       $GIT_OBJECT_DIRECTORY environment variable then the sha1
       directories are created underneath; otherwise, the default
       $GIT_DIR/objects directory is used.

       Running git init in an existing repository is safe. It will not
       overwrite things that are already there. The primary reason for
       rerunning git init is to pick up newly added templates (or to
       move the repository to another place if --separate-git-dir is

OPTIONS         top

       -q, --quiet
           Only print error and warning messages; all other output will
           be suppressed.

           Create a bare repository. If GIT_DIR environment is not set,
           it is set to the current working directory.

           Specify the given object <format> (hash algorithm) for the
           repository. The valid values are sha1 and (if enabled)
           sha256.  sha1 is the default.

           Note: At present, there is no interoperability between
           SHA-256 repositories and SHA-1 repositories.

       Historically, we warned that SHA-256 repositories may later need
       backward incompatible changes when we introduce such
       interoperability features. Today, we only expect compatible
       changes. Furthermore, if such changes prove to be necessary, it
       can be expected that SHA-256 repositories created with today’s
       Git will be usable by future versions of Git without data loss.

           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.

           Specify the directory from which templates will be used. (See
           the "TEMPLATE DIRECTORY" section below.)

           Instead of initializing the repository as a directory to
           either $GIT_DIR or ./.git/, create a text file there
           containing the path to the actual repository. This file acts
           as a filesystem-agnostic Git symbolic link to the repository.

           If this is a reinitialization, the repository will be moved
           to the specified path.

       -b <branch-name>, --initial-branch=<branch-name>
           Use <branch-name> for the initial branch in the newly created
           repository. If not specified, fall back to the default name
           (currently master, but this is subject to change in the
           future; the name can be customized via the init.defaultBranch
           configuration variable).

           Specify that the Git repository is to be shared amongst
           several users. This allows users belonging to the same group
           to push into that repository. When specified, the config
           variable core.sharedRepository is set so that files and
           directories under $GIT_DIR are created with the requested
           permissions. When not specified, Git will use permissions
           reported by umask(2).

           The option can have the following values, defaulting to group
           if no value is given:

           umask, false
               Use permissions reported by umask(2). The default, when
               --shared is not specified.

           group, true
               Make the repository group-writable, (and g+sx, since the
               git group may not be the primary group of all users).
               This is used to loosen the permissions of an otherwise
               safe umask(2) value. Note that the umask still applies to
               the other permission bits (e.g. if umask is 0022, using
               group will not remove read privileges from other
               (non-group) users). See 0xxx for how to exactly specify
               the repository permissions.

           all, world, everybody
               Same as group, but make the repository readable by all

               <perm> is a 3-digit octal number prefixed with ‘0` and
               each file will have mode <perm>.  <perm> will override
               users’ umask(2) value (and not only loosen permissions as
               group and all do).  0640 will create a repository which
               is group-readable, but not group-writable or accessible
               to others.  0660 will create a repo that is readable and
               writable to the current user and group, but inaccessible
               to others (directories and executable files get their x
               bit from the r bit for corresponding classes of users).

       By default, the configuration flag receive.denyNonFastForwards is
       enabled in shared repositories, so that you cannot force a non
       fast-forwarding push into it.

       If you provide a <directory>, the command is run inside it. If
       this directory does not exist, it will be created.


       Files and directories in the template directory whose name do not
       start with a dot will be copied to the $GIT_DIR after it is

       The template directory will be one of the following (in order):

       •   the argument given with the --template option;

       •   the contents of the $GIT_TEMPLATE_DIR environment variable;

       •   the init.templateDir configuration variable; or

       •   the default template directory:

       The default template directory includes some directory structure,
       suggested "exclude patterns" (see gitignore(5)), and sample hook

       The sample hooks are all disabled by default. To enable one of
       the sample hooks rename it by removing its .sample suffix.

       See githooks(5) for more general info on hook execution.

EXAMPLES         top

       Start a new Git repository for an existing code base

               $ cd /path/to/my/codebase
               $ git init      (1)
               $ git add .     (2)
               $ git commit    (3)

            1. Create a /path/to/my/codebase/.git directory.
            2. Add all existing files to the index.
            3. Record the pristine state as the first commit in the


       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.

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

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-INIT(1)

Pages that refer to this page: git(1)git-clone(1)git-config(1)git-init-db(1)git-worktree(1)githooks(5)gitrepository-layout(5)giteveryday(7)