man pages section 1: User Commands

Exit Print View

Updated: July 2014

git-bundle (1)


git-bundle - Move objects and refs by archive


git bundle create <file> <git-rev-list-args>
git bundle verify <file>
git bundle list-heads <file> [<refname>...]
git bundle unbundle <file> [<refname>...]


Git Manual                                          GIT-BUNDLE(1)

     git-bundle - Move objects and refs by archive

     git bundle create <file> <git-rev-list-args>
     git bundle verify <file>
     git bundle list-heads <file> [<refname>...]
     git bundle unbundle <file> [<refname>...]

     Some workflows require that one or more branches of
     development on one machine be replicated on another machine,
     but the two machines cannot be directly connected, and
     therefore the interactive git protocols (git, ssh, rsync,
     http) cannot be used. This command provides support for git
     fetch and git pull to operate by packaging objects and
     references in an archive at the originating machine, then
     importing those into another repository using git fetch and
     git pull after moving the archive by some means (e.g., by
     sneakernet). As no direct connection between the
     repositories exists, the user must specify a basis for the
     bundle that is held by the destination repository: the
     bundle assumes that all objects in the basis are already in
     the destination repository.

     create <file>
         Used to create a bundle named file. This requires the
         git-rev-list-args arguments to define the bundle

     verify <file>
         Used to check that a bundle file is valid and will apply
         cleanly to the current repository. This includes checks
         on the bundle format itself as well as checking that the
         prerequisite commits exist and are fully linked in the
         current repository.  git bundle prints a list of missing
         commits, if any, and exits with a non-zero status.

     list-heads <file>
         Lists the references defined in the bundle. If followed
         by a list of references, only references matching those
         given are printed out.

     unbundle <file>
         Passes the objects in the bundle to git index-pack for
         storage in the repository, then prints the names of all
         defined references. If a list of references is given,
         only references matching those in the list are printed.
         This command is really plumbing, intended to be called
         only by git fetch.

Git          Last change: 02/22/2012                    1

Git Manual                                          GIT-BUNDLE(1)

         A list of arguments, acceptable to git rev-parse and git
         rev-list (and containing a named ref, see SPECIFYING
         REFERENCES below), that specifies the specific objects
         and references to transport. For example,
         master~10..master causes the current master reference to
         be packaged along with all objects added since its 10th
         ancestor commit. There is no explicit limit to the
         number of references and objects that may be packaged.

         A list of references used to limit the references
         reported as available. This is principally of use to git
         fetch, which expects to receive only those references
         asked for and not necessarily everything in the pack (in
         this case, git bundle acts like git fetch-pack).

     git bundle will only package references that are shown by
     git show-ref: this includes heads, tags, and remote heads.
     References such as master~1 cannot be packaged, but are
     perfectly suitable for defining the basis. More than one
     reference may be packaged, and more than one basis can be
     specified. The objects packaged are those not contained in
     the union of the given bases. Each basis can be specified
     explicitly (e.g. ^master~10), or implicitly (e.g.
     master~10..master, --since=10.days.ago master).

     It is very important that the basis used be held by the
     destination. It is okay to err on the side of caution,
     causing the bundle file to contain objects already in the
     destination, as these are ignored when unpacking at the

     Assume you want to transfer the history from a repository R1
     on machine A to another repository R2 on machine B. For
     whatever reason, direct connection between A and B is not
     allowed, but we can move data from A to B via some mechanism
     (CD, email, etc.). We want to update R2 with development
     made on the branch master in R1.

     To bootstrap the process, you can first create a bundle that
     does not have any basis. You can use a tag to remember up to
     what commit you last processed, in order to make it easy to
     later update the other repository with an incremental

         machineA$ cd R1
         machineA$ git bundle create file.bundle master
         machineA$ git tag -f lastR2bundle master

Git          Last change: 02/22/2012                    2

Git Manual                                          GIT-BUNDLE(1)

     Then you transfer file.bundle to the target machine B. If
     you are creating the repository on machine B, then you can
     clone from the bundle as if it were a remote repository
     instead of creating an empty repository and then pulling or
     fetching objects from the bundle:

         machineB$ git clone /home/me/tmp/file.bundle R2

     This will define a remote called "origin" in the resulting
     repository that lets you fetch and pull from the bundle. The
     $GIT_DIR/config file in R2 will have an entry like this:

         [remote "origin"]
             url = /home/me/tmp/file.bundle
             fetch = refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/origin/*

     To update the resulting mine.git repository, you can fetch
     or pull after replacing the bundle stored at
     /home/me/tmp/file.bundle with incremental updates.

     After working some more in the original repository, you can
     create an incremental bundle to update the other repository:

         machineA$ cd R1
         machineA$ git bundle create file.bundle lastR2bundle..master
         machineA$ git tag -f lastR2bundle master

     You then transfer the bundle to the other machine to replace
     /home/me/tmp/file.bundle, and pull from it.

         machineB$ cd R2
         machineB$ git pull

     If you know up to what commit the intended recipient
     repository should have the necessary objects, you can use
     that knowledge to specify the basis, giving a cut-off point
     to limit the revisions and objects that go in the resulting
     bundle. The previous example used the lastR2bundle tag for
     this purpose, but you can use any other options that you
     would give to the git-log(1) command. Here are more

     You can use a tag that is present in both:

         $ git bundle create mybundle v1.0.0..master

     You can use a basis based on time:

Git          Last change: 02/22/2012                    3

Git Manual                                          GIT-BUNDLE(1)

         $ git bundle create mybundle --since=10.days master

     You can use the number of commits:

         $ git bundle create mybundle -10 master

     You can run git-bundle verify to see if you can extract from
     a bundle that was created with a basis:

         $ git bundle verify mybundle

     This will list what commits you must have in order to
     extract from the bundle and will error out if you do not
     have them.

     A bundle from a recipient repository's point of view is just
     like a regular repository which it fetches or pulls from.
     You can, for example, map references when fetching:

         $ git fetch mybundle master:localRef

     You can also see what references it offers:

         $ git ls-remote mybundle

     Part of the git(1) suite

     See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following

     |Availability   | developer/versioning/git |
     |Stability      | Uncommitted              |
     This software was built from source available at  The original
     community source was downloaded from  http://git-

Git          Last change: 02/22/2012                    4

Git Manual                                          GIT-BUNDLE(1)

     Further information about this software can be found on the
     open source community website at

Git          Last change: 02/22/2012                    5