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NAME

       git-describe - Give an object a human readable name based on an available ref

SYNOPSIS

       git describe [--all] [--tags] [--contains] [--abbrev=<n>] [<commit-ish>...]
       git describe [--all] [--tags] [--contains] [--abbrev=<n>] --dirty[=<mark>]
       git describe <blob>

DESCRIPTION

       The command finds the most recent tag that is reachable from a commit. If the tag points
       to the commit, then only the tag is shown. Otherwise, it suffixes the tag name with the
       number of additional commits on top of the tagged object and the abbreviated object name
       of the most recent commit. The result is a "human-readable" object name which can also be
       used to identify the commit to other git commands.

       By default (without --all or --tags) git describe only shows annotated tags. For more
       information about creating annotated tags see the -a and -s options to git-tag(1).

       If the given object refers to a blob, it will be described as <commit-ish>:<path>, such
       that the blob can be found at <path> in the <commit-ish>, which itself describes the first
       commit in which this blob occurs in a reverse revision walk from HEAD.

OPTIONS

       <commit-ish>...
           Commit-ish object names to describe. Defaults to HEAD if omitted.

       --dirty[=<mark>], --broken[=<mark>]
           Describe the state of the working tree. When the working tree matches HEAD, the output
           is the same as "git describe HEAD". If the working tree has local modification
           "-dirty" is appended to it. If a repository is corrupt and Git cannot determine if
           there is local modification, Git will error out, unless ‘--broken’ is given, which
           appends the suffix "-broken" instead.

       --all
           Instead of using only the annotated tags, use any ref found in refs/ namespace. This
           option enables matching any known branch, remote-tracking branch, or lightweight tag.

       --tags
           Instead of using only the annotated tags, use any tag found in refs/tags namespace.
           This option enables matching a lightweight (non-annotated) tag.

       --contains
           Instead of finding the tag that predates the commit, find the tag that comes after the
           commit, and thus contains it. Automatically implies --tags.

       --abbrev=<n>
           Instead of using the default 7 hexadecimal digits as the abbreviated object name, use
           <n> digits, or as many digits as needed to form a unique object name. An <n> of 0 will
           suppress long format, only showing the closest tag.

       --candidates=<n>
           Instead of considering only the 10 most recent tags as candidates to describe the
           input commit-ish consider up to <n> candidates. Increasing <n> above 10 will take
           slightly longer but may produce a more accurate result. An <n> of 0 will cause only
           exact matches to be output.

       --exact-match
           Only output exact matches (a tag directly references the supplied commit). This is a
           synonym for --candidates=0.

       --debug
           Verbosely display information about the searching strategy being employed to standard
           error. The tag name will still be printed to standard out.

       --long
           Always output the long format (the tag, the number of commits and the abbreviated
           commit name) even when it matches a tag. This is useful when you want to see parts of
           the commit object name in "describe" output, even when the commit in question happens
           to be a tagged version. Instead of just emitting the tag name, it will describe such a
           commit as v1.2-0-gdeadbee (0th commit since tag v1.2 that points at object
           deadbee....).

       --match <pattern>
           Only consider tags matching the given glob(7) pattern, excluding the "refs/tags/"
           prefix. If used with --all, it also considers local branches and remote-tracking
           references matching the pattern, excluding respectively "refs/heads/" and
           "refs/remotes/" prefix; references of other types are never considered. If given
           multiple times, a list of patterns will be accumulated, and tags matching any of the
           patterns will be considered. Use --no-match to clear and reset the list of patterns.

       --exclude <pattern>
           Do not consider tags matching the given glob(7) pattern, excluding the "refs/tags/"
           prefix. If used with --all, it also does not consider local branches and
           remote-tracking references matching the pattern, excluding respectively "refs/heads/"
           and "refs/remotes/" prefix; references of other types are never considered. If given
           multiple times, a list of patterns will be accumulated and tags matching any of the
           patterns will be excluded. When combined with --match a tag will be considered when it
           matches at least one --match pattern and does not match any of the --exclude patterns.
           Use --no-exclude to clear and reset the list of patterns.

       --always
           Show uniquely abbreviated commit object as fallback.

       --first-parent
           Follow only the first parent commit upon seeing a merge commit. This is useful when
           you wish to not match tags on branches merged in the history of the target commit.

EXAMPLES

       With something like git.git current tree, I get:

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe parent
           v1.0.4-14-g2414721

       i.e. the current head of my "parent" branch is based on v1.0.4, but since it has a few
       commits on top of that, describe has added the number of additional commits ("14") and an
       abbreviated object name for the commit itself ("2414721") at the end.

       The number of additional commits is the number of commits which would be displayed by "git
       log v1.0.4..parent". The hash suffix is "-g" + 7-char abbreviation for the tip commit of
       parent (which was 2414721b194453f058079d897d13c4e377f92dc6). The "g" prefix stands for
       "git" and is used to allow describing the version of a software depending on the SCM the
       software is managed with. This is useful in an environment where people may use different
       SCMs.

       Doing a git describe on a tag-name will just show the tag name:

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe v1.0.4
           v1.0.4

       With --all, the command can use branch heads as references, so the output shows the
       reference path as well:

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe --all --abbrev=4 v1.0.5^2
           tags/v1.0.0-21-g975b

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe --all --abbrev=4 HEAD^
           heads/lt/describe-7-g975b

       With --abbrev set to 0, the command can be used to find the closest tagname without any
       suffix:

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe --abbrev=0 v1.0.5^2
           tags/v1.0.0

       Note that the suffix you get if you type these commands today may be longer than what
       Linus saw above when he ran these commands, as your Git repository may have new commits
       whose object names begin with 975b that did not exist back then, and "-g975b" suffix alone
       may not be sufficient to disambiguate these commits.

SEARCH STRATEGY

       For each commit-ish supplied, git describe will first look for a tag which tags exactly
       that commit. Annotated tags will always be preferred over lightweight tags, and tags with
       newer dates will always be preferred over tags with older dates. If an exact match is
       found, its name will be output and searching will stop.

       If an exact match was not found, git describe will walk back through the commit history to
       locate an ancestor commit which has been tagged. The ancestor’s tag will be output along
       with an abbreviation of the input commit-ish’s SHA-1. If --first-parent was specified then
       the walk will only consider the first parent of each commit.

       If multiple tags were found during the walk then the tag which has the fewest commits
       different from the input commit-ish will be selected and output. Here fewest commits
       different is defined as the number of commits which would be shown by git log tag..input
       will be the smallest number of commits possible.

BUGS

       Tree objects as well as tag objects not pointing at commits, cannot be described. When
       describing blobs, the lightweight tags pointing at blobs are ignored, but the blob is
       still described as <committ-ish>:<path> despite the lightweight tag being favorable.

GIT

       Part of the git(1) suite