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git-rev-parse (1)


git-rev-parse - Pick out and massage parameters


git rev-parse [ --option ] <args>...


Git Manual                                       GIT-REV-PARSE(1)

     git-rev-parse - Pick out and massage parameters

     git rev-parse [ --option ] <args>...

     Many git porcelainish commands take mixture of flags (i.e.
     parameters that begin with a dash -) and parameters meant
     for the underlying git rev-list command they use internally
     and flags and parameters for the other commands they use
     downstream of git rev-list. This command is used to
     distinguish between them.

         Use git rev-parse in option parsing mode (see PARSEOPT
         section below).

         Only meaningful in --parseopt mode. Tells the option
         parser to echo out the first -- met instead of skipping

         Only meaningful in --parseopt mode. Lets the option
         parser stop at the first non-option argument. This can
         be used to parse sub-commands that take options

         Use git rev-parse in shell quoting mode (see SQ-QUOTE
         section below). In contrast to the --sq option below,
         this mode does only quoting. Nothing else is done to
         command input.

         Do not output flags and parameters not meant for git
         rev-list command.

         Do not output flags and parameters meant for git
         rev-list command.

         Do not output non-flag parameters.

         Do not output flag parameters.

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Git Manual                                       GIT-REV-PARSE(1)

     --default <arg>
         If there is no parameter given by the user, use <arg>

         The parameter given must be usable as a single, valid
         object name. Otherwise barf and abort.

     -q, --quiet
         Only meaningful in --verify mode. Do not output an error
         message if the first argument is not a valid object
         name; instead exit with non-zero status silently.

         Usually the output is made one line per flag and
         parameter. This option makes output a single line,
         properly quoted for consumption by shell. Useful when
         you expect your parameter to contain whitespaces and
         newlines (e.g. when using pickaxe -S with git diff-*).
         In contrast to the --sq-quote option, the command input
         is still interpreted as usual.

         When showing object names, prefix them with ^ and strip
         ^ prefix from the object names that already have one.

         Usually the object names are output in SHA1 form (with
         possible ^ prefix); this option makes them output in a
         form as close to the original input as possible.

         This is similar to --symbolic, but it omits input that
         are not refs (i.e. branch or tag names; or more
         explicitly disambiguating "heads/master" form, when you
         want to name the "master" branch when there is an
         unfortunately named tag "master"), and show them as full
         refnames (e.g. "refs/heads/master").

         A non-ambiguous short name of the objects name. The
         option core.warnAmbiguousRefs is used to select the
         strict abbreviation mode.

         Show all refs found in refs/.

     --branches[=pattern], --tags[=pattern], --remotes[=pattern]
         Show all branches, tags, or remote-tracking branches,
         respectively (i.e., refs found in refs/heads, refs/tags,
         or refs/remotes, respectively).

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Git Manual                                       GIT-REV-PARSE(1)

         If a pattern is given, only refs matching the given
         shell glob are shown. If the pattern does not contain a
         globbing character (?, *, or [), it is turned into a
         prefix match by appending /*.

         Show all refs matching the shell glob pattern pattern.
         If the pattern does not start with refs/, this is
         automatically prepended. If the pattern does not contain
         a globbing character (?, *, or [), it is turned into a
         prefix match by appending /*.

         Show the absolute path of the top-level directory.

         When the command is invoked from a subdirectory, show
         the path of the current directory relative to the
         top-level directory.

         When the command is invoked from a subdirectory, show
         the path of the top-level directory relative to the
         current directory (typically a sequence of "../", or an
         empty string).

         Show $GIT_DIR if defined. Otherwise show the path to the
         .git directory, relative to the current directory.

         If $GIT_DIR is not defined and the current directory is
         not detected to lie in a git repository or work tree
         print a message to stderr and exit with nonzero status.

         When the current working directory is below the
         repository directory print "true", otherwise "false".

         When the current working directory is inside the work
         tree of the repository print "true", otherwise "false".

         When the repository is bare print "true", otherwise

         List the GIT_* environment variables that are local to
         the repository (e.g. GIT_DIR or GIT_WORK_TREE, but not
         GIT_EDITOR). Only the names of the variables are listed,
         not their value, even if they are set.

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Git Manual                                       GIT-REV-PARSE(1)

     --short, --short=number
         Instead of outputting the full SHA1 values of object
         names try to abbreviate them to a shorter unique name.
         When no length is specified 7 is used. The minimum
         length is 4.

     --since=datestring, --after=datestring
         Parse the date string, and output the corresponding
         --max-age= parameter for git rev-list.

     --until=datestring, --before=datestring
         Parse the date string, and output the corresponding
         --min-age= parameter for git rev-list.

         Flags and parameters to be parsed.

     --resolve-git-dir <path>
         Check if <path> is a valid git-dir or a git-file
         pointing to a valid git-dir. If <path> is a valid
         git-dir the resolved path to git-dir will be printed.

     A revision parameter <rev> typically, but not necessarily,
     names a commit object. It uses what is called an extended
     SHA1 syntax. Here are various ways to spell object names.
     The ones listed near the end of this list name trees and
     blobs contained in a commit.

     <sha1>, e.g. dae86e1950b1277e545cee180551750029cfe735,
         The full SHA1 object name (40-byte hexadecimal string),
         or a leading substring that is unique within the
         repository. E.g.
         dae86e1950b1277e545cee180551750029cfe735 and dae86e both
         name the same commit object if there is no other object
         in your repository whose object name starts with dae86e.

     <describeOutput>, e.g. v1.7.4.2-679-g3bee7fb
         Output from git describe; i.e. a closest tag, optionally
         followed by a dash and a number of commits, followed by
         a dash, a g, and an abbreviated object name.

     <refname>, e.g. master, heads/master, refs/heads/master
         A symbolic ref name. E.g.  master typically means the
         commit object referenced by refs/heads/master. If you
         happen to have both heads/master and tags/master, you
         can explicitly say heads/master to tell git which one
         you mean. When ambiguous, a <name> is disambiguated by
         taking the first match in the following rules:

          1. If $GIT_DIR/<name> exists, that is what you mean

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Git Manual                                       GIT-REV-PARSE(1)

             (this is usually useful only for HEAD, FETCH_HEAD,

          2. otherwise, refs/<name> if it exists;

          3. otherwise, refs/tags/<refname> if it exists;

          4. otherwise, refs/heads/<name> if it exists;

          5. otherwise, refs/remotes/<name> if it exists;

          6. otherwise, refs/remotes/<name>/HEAD if it exists.

             HEAD names the commit on which you based the changes
             in the working tree.  FETCH_HEAD records the branch
             which you fetched from a remote repository with your
             last git fetch invocation.  ORIG_HEAD is created by
             commands that move your HEAD in a drastic way, to
             record the position of the HEAD before their
             operation, so that you can easily change the tip of
             the branch back to the state before you ran them.
             MERGE_HEAD records the commit(s) which you are
             merging into your branch when you run git merge.
             CHERRY_PICK_HEAD records the commit which you are
             cherry-picking when you run git cherry-pick.

             Note that any of the refs/* cases above may come
             either from the $GIT_DIR/refs directory or from the
             $GIT_DIR/packed-refs file.

     <refname>@{<date>}, e.g. master@{yesterday}, HEAD@{5 minutes
         A ref followed by the suffix @ with a date specification
         enclosed in a brace pair (e.g.  {yesterday}, {1 month 2
         weeks 3 days 1 hour 1 second ago} or {1979-02-26
         18:30:00}) specifies the value of the ref at a prior
         point in time. This suffix may only be used immediately
         following a ref name and the ref must have an existing
         log ($GIT_DIR/logs/<ref>). Note that this looks up the
         state of your local ref at a given time; e.g., what was
         in your local master branch last week. If you want to
         look at commits made during certain times, see --since
         and --until.

     <refname>@{<n>}, e.g. master@{1}
         A ref followed by the suffix @ with an ordinal
         specification enclosed in a brace pair (e.g.  {1}, {15})
         specifies the n-th prior value of that ref. For example
         master@{1} is the immediate prior value of master while
         master@{5} is the 5th prior value of master. This suffix
         may only be used immediately following a ref name and
         the ref must have an existing log

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Git Manual                                       GIT-REV-PARSE(1)


     @{<n>}, e.g. @{1}
         You can use the @ construct with an empty ref part to
         get at a reflog entry of the current branch. For
         example, if you are on branch blabla then @{1} means the
         same as blabla@{1}.

     @{-<n>}, e.g. @{-1}
         The construct @{-<n>} means the <n>th branch checked out
         before the current one.

     <refname>@{upstream}, e.g. master@{upstream}, @{u}
         The suffix @{upstream} to a ref (short form
         <refname>@{u}) refers to the branch the ref is set to
         build on top of. A missing ref defaults to the current

     <rev>^, e.g. HEAD^, v1.5.1^0
         A suffix ^ to a revision parameter means the first
         parent of that commit object.  ^<n> means the <n>th
         parent (i.e.  <rev>^ is equivalent to <rev>^1). As a
         special rule, <rev>^0 means the commit itself and is
         used when <rev> is the object name of a tag object that
         refers to a commit object.

     <rev>~<n>, e.g. master~3
         A suffix ~<n> to a revision parameter means the commit
         object that is the <n>th generation grand-parent of the
         named commit object, following only the first parents.
         I.e.  <rev>~3 is equivalent to <rev>^^^ which is
         equivalent to <rev>^1^1^1. See below for an illustration
         of the usage of this form.

     <rev>^{<type>}, e.g. v0.99.8^{commit}
         A suffix ^ followed by an object type name enclosed in
         brace pair means the object could be a tag, and
         dereference the tag recursively until an object of that
         type is found or the object cannot be dereferenced
         anymore (in which case, barf).  <rev>^0 is a short-hand
         for <rev>^{commit}.

     <rev>^{}, e.g. v0.99.8^{}
         A suffix ^ followed by an empty brace pair means the
         object could be a tag, and dereference the tag
         recursively until a non-tag object is found.

     <rev>^{/<text>}, e.g. HEAD^{/fix nasty bug}
         A suffix ^ to a revision parameter, followed by a brace
         pair that contains a text led by a slash, is the same as
         the :/fix nasty bug syntax below except that it returns
         the youngest matching commit which is reachable from the

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Git Manual                                       GIT-REV-PARSE(1)

         <rev> before ^.

     :/<text>, e.g. :/fix nasty bug
         A colon, followed by a slash, followed by a text, names
         a commit whose commit message matches the specified
         regular expression. This name returns the youngest
         matching commit which is reachable from any ref. If the
         commit message starts with a !  you have to repeat that;
         the special sequence :/!, followed by something else
         than !, is reserved for now. The regular expression can
         match any part of the commit message. To match messages
         starting with a string, one can use e.g.  :/^foo.

     <rev>:<path>, e.g. HEAD:README, :README, master:./README
         A suffix : followed by a path names the blob or tree at
         the given path in the tree-ish object named by the part
         before the colon.  :path (with an empty part before the
         colon) is a special case of the syntax described next:
         content recorded in the index at the given path. A path
         starting with ./ or ../ is relative to the current
         working directory. The given path will be converted to
         be relative to the working tree's root directory. This
         is most useful to address a blob or tree from a commit
         or tree that has the same tree structure as the working

     :<n>:<path>, e.g. :0:README, :README
         A colon, optionally followed by a stage number (0 to 3)
         and a colon, followed by a path, names a blob object in
         the index at the given path. A missing stage number (and
         the colon that follows it) names a stage 0 entry. During
         a merge, stage 1 is the common ancestor, stage 2 is the
         target branch's version (typically the current branch),
         and stage 3 is the version from the branch which is
         being merged.

     Here is an illustration, by Jon Loeliger. Both commit nodes
     B and C are parents of commit node A. Parent commits are
     ordered left-to-right.

         G   H   I   J
          \ /     \ /
           D   E   F
            \  |  / \
             \ | /   |
              \|/    |
               B     C
                \   /
                 \ /

         A =      = A^0

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Git Manual                                       GIT-REV-PARSE(1)

         B = A^   = A^1     = A~1
         C = A^2  = A^2
         D = A^^  = A^1^1   = A~2
         E = B^2  = A^^2
         F = B^3  = A^^3
         G = A^^^ = A^1^1^1 = A~3
         H = D^2  = B^^2    = A^^^2  = A~2^2
         I = F^   = B^3^    = A^^3^
         J = F^2  = B^3^2   = A^^3^2

     History traversing commands such as git log operate on a set
     of commits, not just a single commit. To these commands,
     specifying a single revision with the notation described in
     the previous section means the set of commits reachable from
     that commit, following the commit ancestry chain.

     To exclude commits reachable from a commit, a prefix ^
     notation is used. E.g. ^r1 r2 means commits reachable from
     r2 but exclude the ones reachable from r1.

     This set operation appears so often that there is a
     shorthand for it. When you have two commits r1 and r2 (named
     according to the syntax explained in SPECIFYING REVISIONS
     above), you can ask for commits that are reachable from r2
     excluding those that are reachable from r1 by ^r1 r2 and it
     can be written as r1..r2.

     A similar notation r1...r2 is called symmetric difference of
     r1 and r2 and is defined as r1 r2 --not $(git merge-base
     --all r1 r2). It is the set of commits that are reachable
     from either one of r1 or r2 but not from both.

     Two other shorthands for naming a set that is formed by a
     commit and its parent commits exist. The r1^@ notation means
     all parents of r1. r1^! includes commit r1 but excludes all
     of its parents.

     Here are a handful of examples:

         D                G H D
         D F              G H I J D F
         ^G D             H D
         ^D B             E I J F B
         B...C            G H D E B C
         ^D B C           E I J F B C
         C^@              I J F
         F^! D            G H D F

     In --parseopt mode, git rev-parse helps massaging options to
     bring to shell scripts the same facilities C builtins have.

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Git Manual                                       GIT-REV-PARSE(1)

     It works as an option normalizer (e.g. splits single
     switches aggregate values), a bit like getopt(1) does.

     It takes on the standard input the specification of the
     options to parse and understand, and echoes on the standard
     output a string suitable for sh(1) eval to replace the
     arguments with normalized ones. In case of error, it outputs
     usage on the standard error stream, and exits with code 129.

     Note: Make sure you quote the result when passing it to
     eval. See below for an example.

  Input Format
     git rev-parse --parseopt input format is fully text based.
     It has two parts, separated by a line that contains only --.
     The lines before the separator (should be more than one) are
     used for the usage. The lines after the separator describe
     the options.

     Each line of options has this format:

         <opt_spec><flags>* SP+ help LF

         its format is the short option character, then the long
         option name separated by a comma. Both parts are not
         required, though at least one is necessary.  h,help,
         dry-run and f are all three correct <opt_spec>.


         <flags> are of *, =, ?  or !.

         o   Use = if the option takes an argument.

         o   Use ?  to mean that the option is optional (though
             its use is discouraged).

         o   Use * to mean that this option should not be listed
             in the usage generated for the -h argument. It's
             shown for --help-all as documented in gitcli(5).

         o   Use !  to not make the corresponding negated long
             option available.

     The remainder of the line, after stripping the spaces, is
     used as the help associated to the option.

     Blank lines are ignored, and lines that don't match this
     specification are used as option group headers (start the
     line with a space to create such lines on purpose).

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Git Manual                                       GIT-REV-PARSE(1)

         some-command [options] <args>...

         some-command does foo and bar!
         h,help    show the help

         foo       some nifty option --foo
         bar=      some cool option --bar with an argument

           An option group Header
         C?        option C with an optional argument"

         eval "$(echo "$OPTS_SPEC" | git rev-parse --parseopt -- "$@" || echo exit $?)"

     In --sq-quote mode, git rev-parse echoes on the standard
     output a single line suitable for sh(1) eval. This line is
     made by normalizing the arguments following --sq-quote.
     Nothing other than quoting the arguments is done.

     If you want command input to still be interpreted as usual
     by git rev-parse before the output is shell quoted, see the
     --sq option.

         $ cat > <<\EOF
         args=$(git rev-parse --sq-quote "$@")   # quote user-supplied arguments
         command="git frotz -n24 $args"          # and use it inside a handcrafted
                                                 # command line
         eval "$command"

         $ sh "a b'c"

     o   Print the object name of the current commit:

             $ git rev-parse --verify HEAD

     o   Print the commit object name from the revision in the
         $REV shell variable:

             $ git rev-parse --verify $REV

         This will error out if $REV is empty or not a valid

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Git Manual                                       GIT-REV-PARSE(1)

     o   Same as above:

             $ git rev-parse --default master --verify $REV

         but if $REV is empty, the commit object name from master
         will be printed.

     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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