GIT-FETCH(1) Git Manual GIT-FETCH(1)NAMEgit-fetch - Download objects and refs from another repository
git fetch [<options>] [<repository> [<refspec>...]]
git fetch [<options>] <group>
git fetch --multiple [<options>] [(<repository> | <group>)...]
git fetch --all [<options>]
Fetches named heads or tags from one or more other repositories, along
with the objects necessary to complete them.
The ref names and their object names of fetched refs are stored in
.git/FETCH_HEAD. This information is left for a later merge operation
done by git merge.
By default, tags are auto-followed. This means that when fetching from
a remote, any tags on the remote that point to objects that exist in
the local repository are fetched. The effect is to fetch tags that
point at branches that you are interested in. This default behavior can
be changed by using the --tags or --no-tags options, by configuring
remote.<name>.tagopt, or by using a refspec that fetches tags
git fetch can fetch from either a single named repository, or from
several repositories at once if <group> is given and there is a
remotes.<group> entry in the configuration file. (See git-config(1)).
When no remote is specified, by default the origin remote will be used,
unless there’s an upstream branch configured for the current branch.
Fetch all remotes.
Append ref names and object names of fetched refs to the existing
contents of .git/FETCH_HEAD. Without this option old data in
.git/FETCH_HEAD will be overwritten.
Deepen or shorten the history of a shallow repository created by
git clone with --depth=<depth> option (see git-clone(1)) to the
specified number of commits from the tip of each remote branch
history. Tags for the deepened commits are not fetched.
If the source repository is complete, convert a shallow repository
to a complete one, removing all the limitations imposed by shallow
If the source repository is shallow, fetch as much as possible so
that the current repository has the same history as the source
By default when fetching from a shallow repository, git fetch
refuses refs that require updating .git/shallow. This option
updates .git/shallow and accept such refs.
Show what would be done, without making any changes.
When git fetch is used with <rbranch>:<lbranch> refspec, it refuses
to update the local branch <lbranch> unless the remote branch
<rbranch> it fetches is a descendant of <lbranch>. This option
overrides that check.
Keep downloaded pack.
Allow several <repository> and <group> arguments to be specified.
No <refspec>s may be specified.
After fetching, remove any remote-tracking references that no
longer exist on the remote. Tags are not subject to pruning if they
are fetched only because of the default tag auto-following or due
to a --tags option. However, if tags are fetched due to an explicit
refspec (either on the command line or in the remote configuration,
for example if the remote was cloned with the --mirror option),
then they are also subject to pruning.
By default, tags that point at objects that are downloaded from the
remote repository are fetched and stored locally. This option
disables this automatic tag following. The default behavior for a
remote may be specified with the remote.<name>.tagopt setting. See
Fetch all tags from the remote (i.e., fetch remote tags refs/tags/*
into local tags with the same name), in addition to whatever else
would otherwise be fetched. Using this option alone does not
subject tags to pruning, even if --prune is used (though tags may
be pruned anyway if they are also the destination of an explicit
refspec; see --prune).
This option controls if and under what conditions new commits of
populated submodules should be fetched too. It can be used as a
boolean option to completely disable recursion when set to no or to
unconditionally recurse into all populated submodules when set to
yes, which is the default when this option is used without any
value. Use on-demand to only recurse into a populated submodule
when the superproject retrieves a commit that updates the
submodule’s reference to a commit that isn’t already in the local
Disable recursive fetching of submodules (this has the same effect
as using the --recurse-submodules=no option).
Prepend <path> to paths printed in informative messages such as
"Fetching submodule foo". This option is used internally when
recursing over submodules.
This option is used internally to temporarily provide a
non-negative default value for the --recurse-submodules option. All
other methods of configuring fetch’s submodule recursion (such as
settings in gitmodules(5) and git-config(1)) override this option,
as does specifying --[no-]recurse-submodules directly.
By default git fetch refuses to update the head which corresponds
to the current branch. This flag disables the check. This is purely
for the internal use for git pull to communicate with git fetch,
and unless you are implementing your own Porcelain you are not
supposed to use it.
When given, and the repository to fetch from is handled by git
fetch-pack, --exec=<upload-pack> is passed to the command to
specify non-default path for the command run on the other end.
Pass --quiet to git-fetch-pack and silence any other internally
used git commands. Progress is not reported to the standard error
Progress status is reported on the standard error stream by default
when it is attached to a terminal, unless -q is specified. This
flag forces progress status even if the standard error stream is
not directed to a terminal.
The "remote" repository that is the source of a fetch or pull
operation. This parameter can be either a URL (see the section GIT
URLS below) or the name of a remote (see the section REMOTES
A name referring to a list of repositories as the value of
remotes.<group> in the configuration file. (See git-config(1)).
The format of a <refspec> parameter is an optional plus +, followed
by the source ref <src>, followed by a colon :, followed by the
destination ref <dst>.
The remote ref that matches <src> is fetched, and if <dst> is not
empty string, the local ref that matches it is fast-forwarded using
<src>. If the optional plus + is used, the local ref is updated
even if it does not result in a fast-forward update.
If the remote branch from which you want to pull is modified in
non-linear ways such as being rewound and rebased frequently,
then a pull will attempt a merge with an older version of
itself, likely conflict, and fail. It is under these conditions
that you would want to use the + sign to indicate
non-fast-forward updates will be needed. There is currently no
easy way to determine or declare that a branch will be made
available in a repository with this behavior; the pulling user
simply must know this is the expected usage pattern for a
You never do your own development on branches that appear on
the right hand side of a <refspec> colon on Pull: lines; they
are to be updated by git fetch. If you intend to do development
derived from a remote branch B, have a Pull: line to track it
(i.e. Pull: B:remote-B), and have a separate branch my-B to do
your development on top of it. The latter is created by git
branch my-B remote-B (or its equivalent git checkout -b my-B
remote-B). Run git fetch to keep track of the progress of the
remote side, and when you see something new on the remote
branch, merge it into your development branch with git pull .
remote-B, while you are on my-B branch.
There is a difference between listing multiple <refspec>
directly on git pull command line and having multiple Pull:
<refspec> lines for a <repository> and running git pull command
without any explicit <refspec> parameters. <refspec> listed
explicitly on the command line are always merged into the
current branch after fetching. In other words, if you list more
than one remote refs, you would be making an Octopus. While git
pull run without any explicit <refspec> parameter takes default
<refspec>s from Pull: lines, it merges only the first <refspec>
found into the current branch, after fetching all the remote
refs. This is because making an Octopus from remote refs is
rarely done, while keeping track of multiple remote heads in
one-go by fetching more than one is often useful.
Some short-cut notations are also supported.
· tag <tag> means the same as refs/tags/<tag>:refs/tags/<tag>;
it requests fetching everything up to the given tag.
· A parameter <ref> without a colon fetches that ref into
FETCH_HEAD, and updates the remote-tracking branches (if any).
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 and rsync can be used for fetching and
pushing, but these are 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:
An alternative scp-like syntax may also be used with the ssh protocol:
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 expansion:
For local repositories, also supported by Git natively, the following
syntaxes may be used:
These two syntaxes are mostly equivalent, except when cloning, when the
former implies --local option. See git-clone(1) for details.
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:
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(1) 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:
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:
pushInsteadOf = git://example.org/
a URL like "git://example.org/path/to/repo.git" will be rewritten to
"ssh://example.org/path/to/repo.git" for pushes, but pulls will still
use the original URL.
The name of one of the following can be used instead of a URL as
· a remote in the Git configuration file: $GIT_DIR/config,
· a file in the $GIT_DIR/remotes directory, or
· a file in the $GIT_DIR/branches directory.
All of these also allow you to omit the refspec from the command line
because they each contain a refspec which git will use by default.
Named remote in configuration file
You can choose to provide the name of a remote which you had previously
configured using git-remote(1), git-config(1) or even by a manual edit
to the $GIT_DIR/config file. The URL of this remote will be used to
access the repository. The refspec of this remote will be used by
default when you do not provide a refspec on the command line. The
entry in the config file would appear like this:
url = <url>
pushurl = <pushurl>
push = <refspec>
fetch = <refspec>
The <pushurl> is used for pushes only. It is optional and defaults to
Named file in $GIT_DIR/remotes
You can choose to provide the name of a file in $GIT_DIR/remotes. The
URL in this file will be used to access the repository. The refspec in
this file will be used as default when you do not provide a refspec on
the command line. This file should have the following format:
URL: one of the above URL format
Push: lines are used by git push and Pull: lines are used by git pull
and git fetch. Multiple Push: and Pull: lines may be specified for
additional branch mappings.
Named file in $GIT_DIR/branches
You can choose to provide the name of a file in $GIT_DIR/branches. The
URL in this file will be used to access the repository. This file
should have the following format:
<url> is required; #<head> is optional.
Depending on the operation, git will use one of the following refspecs,
if you don’t provide one on the command line. <branch> is the name of
this file in $GIT_DIR/branches and <head> defaults to master.
git fetch uses:
git push uses:
· Update the remote-tracking branches:
$ git fetch origin
The above command copies all branches from the remote refs/heads/
namespace and stores them to the local refs/remotes/origin/
namespace, unless the branch.<name>.fetch option is used to specify
a non-default refspec.
· Using refspecs explicitly:
$ git fetch origin +pu:pu maint:tmp
This updates (or creates, as necessary) branches pu and tmp in the
local repository by fetching from the branches (respectively) pu
and maint from the remote repository.
The pu branch will be updated even if it is does not fast-forward,
because it is prefixed with a plus sign; tmp will not be.
Using --recurse-submodules can only fetch new commits in already
checked out submodules right now. When e.g. upstream added a new
submodule in the just fetched commits of the superproject the submodule
itself can not be fetched, making it impossible to check out that
submodule later without having to do a fetch again. This is expected to
be fixed in a future Git version.
Part of the git(1) suite
Git 1.9.0 04/22/2014 GIT-FETCH(1)