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Updated: July 2014

git-clone (1)


git-clone - Clone a repository into a new directory


git clone [--template=<template_directory>]
[-l] [-s] [--no-hardlinks] [-q] [-n] [--bare] [--mirror]
[-o <name>] [-b <name>] [-u <upload-pack>] [--reference <repository>]
[--separate-git-dir <git dir>]
[--depth <depth>] [--recursive|--recurse-submodules] [--] <repository>


Git Manual                                           GIT-CLONE(1)

     git-clone - Clone a repository into a new directory

     git clone [--template=<template_directory>]
               [-l] [-s] [--no-hardlinks] [-q] [-n] [--bare] [--mirror]
               [-o <name>] [-b <name>] [-u <upload-pack>] [--reference <repository>]
               [--separate-git-dir <git dir>]
               [--depth <depth>] [--recursive|--recurse-submodules] [--] <repository>

     Clones a repository into a newly created directory, creates
     remote-tracking branches for each branch in the cloned
     repository (visible using git branch -r), and creates and
     checks out an initial branch that is forked from the cloned
     repository's currently active branch.

     After the clone, a plain git fetch without arguments will
     update all the remote-tracking branches, and a git pull
     without arguments will in addition merge the remote master
     branch into the current master branch, if any.

     This default configuration is achieved by creating
     references to the remote branch heads under
     refs/remotes/origin and by initializing remote.origin.url
     and remote.origin.fetch configuration variables.

     --local, -l
         When the repository to clone from is on a local machine,
         this flag bypasses the normal "git aware" transport
         mechanism and clones the repository by making a copy of
         HEAD and everything under objects and refs directories.
         The files under .git/objects/ directory are hardlinked
         to save space when possible. This is now the default
         when the source repository is specified with
         /path/to/repo syntax, so it essentially is a no-op
         option. To force copying instead of hardlinking (which
         may be desirable if you are trying to make a back-up of
         your repository), but still avoid the usual "git aware"
         transport mechanism, --no-hardlinks can be used.

         Optimize the cloning process from a repository on a
         local filesystem by copying files under .git/objects

     --shared, -s
         When the repository to clone is on the local machine,
         instead of using hard links, automatically setup

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         .git/objects/info/alternates to share the objects with
         the source repository. The resulting repository starts
         out without any object of its own.

         NOTE: this is a possibly dangerous operation; do not use
         it unless you understand what it does. If you clone your
         repository using this option and then delete branches
         (or use any other git command that makes any existing
         commit unreferenced) in the source repository, some
         objects may become unreferenced (or dangling). These
         objects may be removed by normal git operations (such as
         git commit) which automatically call git gc --auto. (See
         git-gc(1).) If these objects are removed and were
         referenced by the cloned repository, then the cloned
         repository will become corrupt.

         Note that running git repack without the -l option in a
         repository cloned with -s will copy objects from the
         source repository into a pack in the cloned repository,
         removing the disk space savings of clone -s. It is safe,
         however, to run git gc, which uses the -l option by

         If you want to break the dependency of a repository
         cloned with -s on its source repository, you can simply
         run git repack -a to copy all objects from the source
         repository into a pack in the cloned repository.

     --reference <repository>
         If the reference repository is on the local machine,
         automatically setup .git/objects/info/alternates to
         obtain objects from the reference repository. Using an
         already existing repository as an alternate will require
         fewer objects to be copied from the repository being
         cloned, reducing network and local storage costs.

         NOTE: see the NOTE for the --shared option.

     --quiet, -q
         Operate quietly. Progress is not reported to the
         standard error stream. This flag is also passed to the
         `rsync' command when given.

     --verbose, -v
         Run verbosely. Does not affect the reporting of progress
         status to the standard error stream.

         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.

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     --no-checkout, -n
         No checkout of HEAD is performed after the clone is

         Make a bare GIT repository. That is, instead of creating
         <directory> and placing the administrative files in
         <directory>/.git, make the <directory> itself the
         $GIT_DIR. This obviously implies the -n because there is
         nowhere to check out the working tree. Also the branch
         heads at the remote are copied directly to corresponding
         local branch heads, without mapping them to
         refs/remotes/origin/. When this option is used, neither
         remote-tracking branches nor the related configuration
         variables are created.

         Set up a mirror of the source repository. This implies
         --bare. Compared to --bare, --mirror not only maps local
         branches of the source to local branches of the target,
         it maps all refs (including remote-tracking branches,
         notes etc.) and sets up a refspec configuration such
         that all these refs are overwritten by a git remote
         update in the target repository.

     --origin <name>, -o <name>
         Instead of using the remote name origin to keep track of
         the upstream repository, use <name>.

     --branch <name>, -b <name>
         Instead of pointing the newly created HEAD to the branch
         pointed to by the cloned repository's HEAD, point to
         <name> branch instead. In a non-bare repository, this is
         the branch that will be checked out.

     --upload-pack <upload-pack>, -u <upload-pack>
         When given, and the repository to clone from is accessed
         via ssh, this specifies a non-default path for the
         command run on the other end.

         Specify the directory from which templates will be used;
         (See the "TEMPLATE DIRECTORY" section of git-init(1).)

     --config <key>=<value>, -c <key>=<value>
         Set a configuration variable in the newly-created
         repository; this takes effect immediately after the
         repository is initialized, but before the remote history
         is fetched or any files checked out. The key is in the
         same format as expected by git-config(1) (e.g.,
         core.eol=true). If multiple values are given for the
         same key, each value will be written to the config file.

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Git Manual                                           GIT-CLONE(1)

         This makes it safe, for example, to add additional fetch
         refspecs to the origin remote.

     --depth <depth>
         Create a shallow clone with a history truncated to the
         specified number of revisions. A shallow repository has
         a number of limitations (you cannot clone or fetch from
         it, nor push from nor into it), but is adequate if you
         are only interested in the recent history of a large
         project with a long history, and would want to send in
         fixes as patches.

     --recursive, --recurse-submodules
         After the clone is created, initialize all submodules
         within, using their default settings. This is equivalent
         to running git submodule update --init --recursive
         immediately after the clone is finished. This option is
         ignored if the cloned repository does not have a
         worktree/checkout (i.e. if any of --no-checkout/-n,
         --bare, or --mirror is given)

     --separate-git-dir=<git dir>
         Instead of placing the cloned repository where it is
         supposed to be, place the cloned repository at the
         specified directory, then make a filesytem-agnostic git
         symbolic link to there. The result is git repository can
         be separated from working tree.

         The (possibly remote) repository to clone from. See the
         URLS section below for more information on specifying

         The name of a new directory to clone into. The
         "humanish" part of the source repository is used if no
         directory is explicitly given (repo for
         /path/to/repo.git and foo for host.xz:foo/.git). Cloning
         into an existing directory is only allowed if the
         directory is empty.

     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 natively supports ssh, git, http, https, ftp, ftps, and
     rsync protocols. The following syntaxes may be used with

     o   ssh://[user@]host.xz[:port]/path/to/repo.git/

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     o   git://host.xz[:port]/path/to/repo.git/

     o   http[s]://host.xz[:port]/path/to/repo.git/

     o   ftp[s]://host.xz[:port]/path/to/repo.git/

     o   rsync://host.xz/path/to/repo.git/

     An alternative scp-like syntax may also be used with the ssh

     o   [user@]host.xz:path/to/repo.git/

     The ssh and git protocols additionally support ~username

     o   ssh://[user@]host.xz[:port]/~[user]/path/to/repo.git/

     o   git://host.xz[:port]/~[user]/path/to/repo.git/

     o   [user@]host.xz:/~[user]/path/to/repo.git/

     For local repositories, also supported by git natively, the
     following syntaxes may be used:

     o   /path/to/repo.git/

     o    file:///path/to/repo.git/

     These two syntaxes are mostly equivalent, except the former
     implies --local option.

     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:

     o   <transport>::<address>

     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 git-remote-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>

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Git Manual                                           GIT-CLONE(1)

     For example, with this:

                 [url "git://"]
                         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 "git://".

     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:

                 [url "ssh://"]
                         pushInsteadOf = git://

     a URL like "git://" will be
     rewritten to "ssh://" for
     pushes, but pulls will still use the original URL.

     o   Clone from upstream:

             $ git clone git:// my2.6
             $ cd my2.6
             $ make

     o   Make a local clone that borrows from the current
         directory, without checking things out:

             $ git clone -l -s -n . ../copy
             $ cd ../copy
             $ git show-branch

     o   Clone from upstream while borrowing from an existing
         local directory:

             $ git clone --reference my2.6 \
                     git:// \
             $ cd my2.7

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Git Manual                                           GIT-CLONE(1)

     o   Create a bare repository to publish your changes to the

             $ git clone --bare -l /home/proj/.git /pub/scm/proj.git

     o   Create a repository on the machine that
         borrows from Linus:

             $ git clone --bare -l -s /pub/scm/.../torvalds/linux-2.6.git \

     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-

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

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