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man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: Wednesday, February 9, 2022

git-bundle (1)


git-bundle - Move objects and refs by archive


git bundle create [-q | --quiet | --progress | --all-progress] [--all-progress-implied]
[--version=<version>] <file> <git-rev-list-args>
git bundle verify [-q | --quiet] <file>
git bundle list-heads <file> [<refname>...]
git bundle unbundle <file> [<refname>...]


GIT-BUNDLE(1)                     Git Manual                     GIT-BUNDLE(1)

       git-bundle - Move objects and refs by archive

       git bundle create [-q | --quiet | --progress | --all-progress] [--all-progress-implied]
                           [--version=<version>] <file> <git-rev-list-args>
       git bundle verify [-q | --quiet] <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, http) cannot be used.

       The git bundle command packages objects and references in an archive at
       the originating machine, which can then be imported into another
       repository using git fetch, git pull, or git clone, 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 [options] <file> <git-rev-list-args>
           Used to create a bundle named file. This requires the
           <git-rev-list-args> arguments to define the bundle contents.
           options contains the options specific to the git bundle create

       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

       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.

           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

           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.

           When --stdout is specified then progress report is displayed during
           the object count and compression phases but inhibited during the
           write-out phase. The reason is that in some cases the output stream
           is directly linked to another command which may wish to display
           progress status of its own as it processes incoming pack data. This
           flag is like --progress except that it forces progress report for
           the write-out phase as well even if --stdout is used.

           This is used to imply --all-progress whenever progress display is
           activated. Unlike --all-progress this flag doesn't actually force
           any progress display by itself.

           Specify the bundle version. Version 2 is the older format and can
           only be used with SHA-1 repositories; the newer version 3 contains
           capabilities that permit extensions. The default is the oldest
           supported format, based on the hash algorithm in use.

       -q, --quiet
           This flag makes the command not to report its progress on the
           standard error stream.

       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 destination.

       git clone can use any bundle created without negative refspecs (e.g.,
       new, but not old..new). If you want to match git clone --mirror, which
       would include your refs such as refs/remotes/*, use --all. If you want
       to provide the same set of refs that a clone directly from the source
       repository would get, use --branches --tags for 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 bundle:

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

       Then you transfer file.bundle to the target machine B. Because this
       bundle does not require any existing object to be extracted, you can
       create a new repository on machine B by cloning from it:

           machineB$ git clone -b master /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 examples:

       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 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

Git 2.31.1                        03/26/2021                     GIT-BUNDLE(1)