GIT-SUBMODULE(1) Git Manual GIT-SUBMODULE(1)NAME
git-submodule - Initialize, update or inspect submodules
git submodule [--quiet] add [-b <branch>] [-f|--force] [--name <name>]
[--reference <repository>] [--depth <depth>] [--] <repository> [<path>]
git submodule [--quiet] status [--cached] [--recursive] [--] [<path>...]
git submodule [--quiet] init [--] [<path>...]
git submodule [--quiet] deinit [-f|--force] [--] <path>...
git submodule [--quiet] update [--init] [--remote] [-N|--no-fetch]
[-f|--force] [--rebase] [--reference <repository>] [--depth <depth>]
[--merge] [--recursive] [--] [<path>...]
git submodule [--quiet] summary [--cached|--files] [(-n|--summary-limit) <n>]
[commit] [--] [<path>...]
git submodule [--quiet] foreach [--recursive] <command>
git submodule [--quiet] sync [--] [<path>...]
Submodules allow foreign repositories to be embedded within a dedicated
subdirectory of the source tree, always pointed at a particular commit.
They are not to be confused with remotes, which are meant mainly for
branches of the same project; submodules are meant for different
projects you would like to make part of your source tree, while the
history of the two projects still stays completely independent and you
cannot modify the contents of the submodule from within the main
project. If you want to merge the project histories and want to treat
the aggregated whole as a single project from then on, you may want to
add a remote for the other project and use the subtree merge strategy,
instead of treating the other project as a submodule. Directories that
come from both projects can be cloned and checked out as a whole if you
choose to go that route.
Submodules are composed from a so-called gitlink tree entry in the main
repository that refers to a particular commit object within the inner
repository that is completely separate. A record in the .gitmodules
(see gitmodules(5)) file at the root of the source tree assigns a
logical name to the submodule and describes the default URL the
submodule shall be cloned from. The logical name can be used for
overriding this URL within your local repository configuration (see
This command will manage the tree entries and contents of the
gitmodules file for you, as well as inspect the status of your
submodules and update them. When adding a new submodule to the tree,
the add subcommand is to be used. However, when pulling a tree
containing submodules, these will not be checked out by default; the
init and update subcommands will maintain submodules checked out and at
appropriate revision in your working tree. You can briefly inspect the
up-to-date status of your submodules using the status subcommand and
get a detailed overview of the difference between the index and
checkouts using the summary subcommand.
Add the given repository as a submodule at the given path to the
changeset to be committed next to the current project: the current
project is termed the "superproject".
This requires at least one argument: <repository>. The optional
argument <path> is the relative location for the cloned submodule
to exist in the superproject. If <path> is not given, the
"humanish" part of the source repository is used ("repo" for
"/path/to/repo.git" and "foo" for "host.xz:foo/.git"). The <path>
is also used as the submodule’s logical name in its configuration
entries unless --name is used to specify a logical name.
<repository> is the URL of the new submodule’s origin repository.
This may be either an absolute URL, or (if it begins with ./ or
../), the location relative to the superproject’s origin repository
(Please note that to specify a repository foo.git which is located
right next to a superproject bar.git, you’ll have to use ../foo.git
instead of ./foo.git - as one might expect when following the rules
for relative URLs - because the evaluation of relative URLs in Git
is identical to that of relative directories). If the superproject
doesn’t have an origin configured the superproject is its own
authoritative upstream and the current working directory is used
<path> is the relative location for the cloned submodule to exist
in the superproject. If <path> does not exist, then the submodule
is created by cloning from the named URL. If <path> does exist and
is already a valid Git repository, then this is added to the
changeset without cloning. This second form is provided to ease
creating a new submodule from scratch, and presumes the user will
later push the submodule to the given URL.
In either case, the given URL is recorded into .gitmodules for use
by subsequent users cloning the superproject. If the URL is given
relative to the superproject’s repository, the presumption is the
superproject and submodule repositories will be kept together in
the same relative location, and only the superproject’s URL needs
to be provided: git-submodule will correctly locate the submodule
using the relative URL in .gitmodules.
Show the status of the submodules. This will print the SHA-1 of the
currently checked out commit for each submodule, along with the
submodule path and the output of git describe for the SHA-1. Each
SHA-1 will be prefixed with - if the submodule is not initialized,
+ if the currently checked out submodule commit does not match the
SHA-1 found in the index of the containing repository and U if the
submodule has merge conflicts.
If --recursive is specified, this command will recurse into nested
submodules, and show their status as well.
If you are only interested in changes of the currently initialized
submodules with respect to the commit recorded in the index or the
HEAD, git-status(1) and git-diff(1) will provide that information
too (and can also report changes to a submodule’s work tree).
Initialize the submodules recorded in the index (which were added
and committed elsewhere) by copying submodule names and urls from
.gitmodules to .git/config. Optional <path> arguments limit which
submodules will be initialized. It will also copy the value of
submodule.$name.update into .git/config. The key used in
.git/config is submodule.$name.url. This command does not alter
existing information in .git/config. You can then customize the
submodule clone URLs in .git/config for your local setup and
proceed to git submodule update; you can also just use git
submodule update --init without the explicit init step if you do
not intend to customize any submodule locations.
Unregister the given submodules, i.e. remove the whole
submodule.$name section from .git/config together with their work
tree. Further calls to git submodule update, git submodule foreach
and git submodule sync will skip any unregistered submodules until
they are initialized again, so use this command if you don’t want
to have a local checkout of the submodule in your work tree
anymore. If you really want to remove a submodule from the
repository and commit that use git-rm(1) instead.
If --force is specified, the submodule’s work tree will be removed
even if it contains local modifications.
Update the registered submodules, i.e. clone missing submodules and
checkout the commit specified in the index of the containing
repository. This will make the submodules HEAD be detached unless
--rebase or --merge is specified or the key submodule.$name.update
is set to rebase, merge or none. none can be overridden by
specifying --checkout. Setting the key submodule.$name.update to
!command will cause command to be run. command can be any
arbitrary shell command that takes a single argument, namely the
sha1 to update to.
If the submodule is not yet initialized, and you just want to use
the setting as stored in .gitmodules, you can automatically
initialize the submodule with the --init option.
If --recursive is specified, this command will recurse into the
registered submodules, and update any nested submodules within.
If --force is specified, the submodule will be checked out (using
git checkout --force if appropriate), even if the commit specified
in the index of the containing repository already matches the
commit checked out in the submodule.
Show commit summary between the given commit (defaults to HEAD) and
working tree/index. For a submodule in question, a series of
commits in the submodule between the given super project commit and
the index or working tree (switched by --cached) are shown. If the
option --files is given, show the series of commits in the
submodule between the index of the super project and the working
tree of the submodule (this option doesn’t allow to use the
--cached option or to provide an explicit commit).
Using the --submodule=log option with git-diff(1) will provide that
Evaluates an arbitrary shell command in each checked out submodule.
The command has access to the variables $name, $path, $sha1 and
$toplevel: $name is the name of the relevant submodule section in
.gitmodules, $path is the name of the submodule directory relative
to the superproject, $sha1 is the commit as recorded in the
superproject, and $toplevel is the absolute path to the top-level
of the superproject. Any submodules defined in the superproject but
not checked out are ignored by this command. Unless given --quiet,
foreach prints the name of each submodule before evaluating the
command. If --recursive is given, submodules are traversed
recursively (i.e. the given shell command is evaluated in nested
submodules as well). A non-zero return from the command in any
submodule causes the processing to terminate. This can be
overridden by adding || : to the end of the command.
As an example, git submodule foreach 'echo $path `git rev-parse
HEAD`' will show the path and currently checked out commit for each
Synchronizes submodules' remote URL configuration setting to the
value specified in .gitmodules. It will only affect those
submodules which already have a URL entry in .git/config (that is
the case when they are initialized or freshly added). This is
useful when submodule URLs change upstream and you need to update
your local repositories accordingly.
"git submodule sync" synchronizes all submodules while "git
submodule sync -- A" synchronizes submodule "A" only.
Only print error messages.
Branch of repository to add as submodule. The name of the branch is
recorded as submodule.<path>.branch in .gitmodules for update
This option is only valid for add, deinit and update commands. When
running add, allow adding an otherwise ignored submodule path. When
running deinit the submodule work trees will be removed even if
they contain local changes. When running update, throw away local
changes in submodules when switching to a different commit; and
always run a checkout operation in the submodule, even if the
commit listed in the index of the containing repository matches the
commit checked out in the submodule.
This option is only valid for status and summary commands. These
commands typically use the commit found in the submodule HEAD, but
with this option, the commit stored in the index is used instead.
This option is only valid for the summary command. This command
compares the commit in the index with that in the submodule HEAD
when this option is used.
This option is only valid for the summary command. Limit the
summary size (number of commits shown in total). Giving 0 will
disable the summary; a negative number means unlimited (the
default). This limit only applies to modified submodules. The size
is always limited to 1 for added/deleted/typechanged submodules.
This option is only valid for the update command. Instead of using
the superproject’s recorded SHA-1 to update the submodule, use the
status of the submodule’s remote-tracking branch. The remote used
is branch’s remote (branch.<name>.remote), defaulting to origin.
The remote branch used defaults to master, but the branch name may
be overridden by setting the submodule.<name>.branch option in
either .gitmodules or .git/config (with .git/config taking
This works for any of the supported update procedures (--checkout,
--rebase, etc.). The only change is the source of the target SHA-1.
For example, submodule update --remote --merge will merge upstream
submodule changes into the submodules, while submodule update
--merge will merge superproject gitlink changes into the
In order to ensure a current tracking branch state, update --remote
fetches the submodule’s remote repository before calculating the
SHA-1. If you don’t want to fetch, you should use submodule update
This option is only valid for the update command. Don’t fetch new
objects from the remote site.
This option is only valid for the update command. Merge the commit
recorded in the superproject into the current branch of the
submodule. If this option is given, the submodule’s HEAD will not
be detached. If a merge failure prevents this process, you will
have to resolve the resulting conflicts within the submodule with
the usual conflict resolution tools. If the key
submodule.$name.update is set to merge, this option is implicit.
This option is only valid for the update command. Rebase the
current branch onto the commit recorded in the superproject. If
this option is given, the submodule’s HEAD will not be detached. If
a merge failure prevents this process, you will have to resolve
these failures with git-rebase(1). If the key
submodule.$name.update is set to rebase, this option is implicit.
This option is only valid for the update command. Initialize all
submodules for which "git submodule init" has not been called so
far before updating.
This option is only valid for the add command. It sets the
submodule’s name to the given string instead of defaulting to its
path. The name must be valid as a directory name and may not end
with a /.
This option is only valid for add and update commands. These
commands sometimes need to clone a remote repository. In this case,
this option will be passed to the git-clone(1) command.
NOTE: Do not use this option unless you have read the note for git-
clone(1)'s --reference and --shared options carefully.
This option is only valid for foreach, update and status commands.
Traverse submodules recursively. The operation is performed not
only in the submodules of the current repo, but also in any nested
submodules inside those submodules (and so on).
This option is valid for add and update commands. Create a shallow
clone with a history truncated to the specified number of
revisions. See git-clone(1)
Paths to submodule(s). When specified this will restrict the
command to only operate on the submodules found at the specified
paths. (This argument is required with add).
When initializing submodules, a .gitmodules file in the top-level
directory of the containing repository is used to find the url of each
submodule. This file should be formatted in the same way as
$GIT_DIR/config. The key to each submodule url is
"submodule.$name.url". See gitmodules(5) for details.
Part of the git(1) suite
Git 1.9.0 04/22/2014 GIT-SUBMODULE(1)