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gitrepository-layout - Git Repository Layout
You may find these things in your git repository (.git directory for a
repository associated with your working tree, or <project>.git
directory for a public bare repository. It is also possible to have a
working tree where .git is a plain ASCII file containing gitdir:
<path>, i.e. the path to the real git repository).
Object store associated with this repository. Usually an object
store is self sufficient (i.e. all the objects that are referred to
by an object found in it are also found in it), but there are
couple of ways to violate it.
1. You could populate the repository by running a commit walker
without -a option. Depending on which options are given, you
could have only commit objects without associated blobs and
trees this way, for example. A repository with this kind of
incomplete object store is not suitable to be published to the
outside world but sometimes useful for private repository.
2. You also could have an incomplete but locally usable repository
by cloning shallowly. See git-clone(1).
3. You can be using objects/info/alternates mechanism, or
$GIT_ALTERNATE_OBJECT_DIRECTORIES mechanism to borrow objects
from other object stores. A repository with this kind of
incomplete object store is not suitable to be published for use
with dumb transports but otherwise is OK as long as
objects/info/alternates points at the right object stores it
Traditionally, each object is stored in its own file. They are
split into 256 subdirectories using the first two letters from its
object name to keep the number of directory entries objects
directory itself needs to hold. Objects found here are often called
unpacked (or loose) objects.
Packs (files that store many object in compressed form, along with
index files to allow them to be randomly accessed) are found in
Additional information about the object store is recorded in this
This file is to help dumb transports discover what packs are
available in this object store. Whenever a pack is added or
removed, git update-server-info should be run to keep this file
up-to-date if the repository is published for dumb transports. git
repack does this by default.
This file records paths to alternate object stores that this object
store borrows objects from, one pathname per line. Note that not
only native Git tools use it locally, but the HTTP fetcher also
tries to use it remotely; this will usually work if you have
relative paths (relative to the object database, not to the
repository!) in your alternates file, but it will not work if you
use absolute paths unless the absolute path in filesystem and web
URL is the same. See also objects/info/http-alternates.
This file records URLs to alternate object stores that this object
store borrows objects from, to be used when the repository is
fetched over HTTP.
References are stored in subdirectories of this directory. The git
prune command knows to keep objects reachable from refs found in
this directory and its subdirectories.
records tip-of-the-tree commit objects of branch name
records any object name (not necessarily a commit object, or a tag
object that points at a commit object).
records tip-of-the-tree commit objects of branches copied from a
records the same information as refs/heads/, refs/tags/, and
friends record in a more efficient way. See git-pack-refs(1).
A symref (see glossary) to the refs/heads/ namespace describing the
currently active branch. It does not mean much if the repository is
not associated with any working tree (i.e. a bare repository), but
a valid git repository must have the HEAD file; some porcelains may
use it to guess the designated "default" branch of the repository
(usually master). It is legal if the named branch name does not
(yet) exist. In some legacy setups, it is a symbolic link instead
of a symref that points at the current branch.
HEAD can also record a specific commit directly, instead of being a
symref to point at the current branch. Such a state is often called
detached HEAD, and almost all commands work identically as normal.
See git-checkout(1) for details.
A slightly deprecated way to store shorthands to be used to specify
URL to git fetch, git pull and git push commands is to store a file
in branches/<name> and give name to these commands in place of
Hooks are customization scripts used by various git commands. A
handful of sample hooks are installed when git init is run, but all
of them are disabled by default. To enable, the .sample suffix has
to be removed from the filename by renaming. Read githooks(5) for
more details about each hook.
The current index file for the repository. It is usually not found
in a bare repository.
Additional information about the repository is recorded in this
This file helps dumb transports discover what refs are available in
this repository. If the repository is published for dumb
transports, this file should be regenerated by git
update-server-info every time a tag or branch is created or
modified. This is normally done from the hooks/update hook, which
is run by the git-receive-pack command when you git push into the
This file records fake commit ancestry information, to pretend the
set of parents a commit has is different from how the commit was
actually created. One record per line describes a commit and its
fake parents by listing their 40-byte hexadecimal object names
separated by a space and terminated by a newline.
This file, by convention among Porcelains, stores the exclude
pattern list. .gitignore is the per-directory ignore file. git
status, git add, git rm and git clean look at it but the core git
commands do not look at it. See also: gitignore(5).
Stores shorthands to be used to give URL and default refnames to
interact with remote repository to git fetch, git pull and git push
Records of changes made to refs are stored in this directory. See
git-update-ref(1) for more information.
Records all changes made to the branch tip named name.
Records all changes made to the tag named name.
This is similar to info/grafts but is internally used and
maintained by shallow clone mechanism. See --depth option to git-
clone(1) and git-fetch(1).
git-init(1), git-clone(1), git-fetch(1), git-pack-refs(1), git-gc(1),
git-checkout(1), gitglossary(7), The Git User's Manual
Part of the git(1) suite.
1. The Git User's Manual