Provided by: git-core_22.214.171.124-1ubuntu2_i386
gitcli - git command line interface and conventions
This manual describes best practice in how to use git CLI. Here are the
rules that you should follow when you are scripting git:
· it´s preferred to use the non dashed form of git commands, which
means that you should prefer "git foo" to "git-foo".
· splitting short options to separate words (prefer "git foo -a -b"
to "git foo -ab", the latter may not even work).
· when a command line option takes an argument, use the sticked form.
In other words, write "git foo -oArg" instead of "git foo -o Arg"
for short options, and "git foo --long-opt=Arg" instead of "git foo
--long-opt Arg" for long options. An option that takes optional
option-argument must be written in the sticked form.
· when you give a revision parameter to a command, make sure the
parameter is not ambiguous with a name of a file in the work tree.
E.g. do not write "git log -1 HEAD" but write "git log -1 HEAD --";
the former will not work if you happen to have a file called HEAD
in the work tree.
From the git 1.5.4 series and further, many git commands (not all of
them at the time of the writing though) come with an enhanced option
Here is an exhaustive list of the facilities provided by this option
Commands which have the enhanced option parser activated all understand
a couple of magic command line options:
gives a pretty printed usage of the command.
$ git describe -h
usage: git-describe [options] <committish>*
--contains find the tag that comes after the commit
--debug debug search strategy on stderr
--all use any ref in .git/refs
--tags use any tag in .git/refs/tags
--abbrev [<n>] use <n> digits to display SHA-1s
--candidates <n> consider <n> most recent tags (default: 10)
Some git commands take options that are only used for plumbing or
that are deprecated, and such options are hidden from the default
usage. This option gives the full list of options.
Options with long option names can be negated by prefixing "--no-". For
example, "git branch" has the option "--track" which is on by default.
You can use "--no-track" to override that behaviour. The same goes for
"--color" and "--no-color".
Aggregating short options
Commands that support the enhanced option parser allow you to aggregate
short options. This means that you can for example use "git rm -rf" or
"git clean -fdx".
Separating argument from the option
You can write the mandatory option parameter to an option as a separate
word on the command line. That means that all the following uses work:
$ git foo --long-opt=Arg
$ git foo --long-opt Arg
$ git foo -oArg
$ git foo -o Arg
However, this is NOT allowed for switches with an optional value, where
the sticked form must be used:
$ git describe --abbrev HEAD # correct
$ git describe --abbrev=10 HEAD # correct
$ git describe --abbrev 10 HEAD # NOT WHAT YOU MEANT
Documentation by Pierre Habouzit.
Part of the git(7) suite