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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>]
[--dissociate] [--separate-git-dir <git dir>]
[--depth <depth>] [--[no-]single-branch]
[--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 is untrue when "--single-branch" is given;
see below).

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.

If the repository is specified as a local path (e.g., /path/to/repo), this is the
default, and --local is essentially a no-op. If the repository is specified as a URL,
then this flag is ignored (and we never use the local optimizations). Specifying
--no-local will override the default when /path/to/repo is given, using the regular
Git transport instead.

Force the cloning process from a repository on a local filesystem to copy the files
under the .git/objects directory instead of using hardlinks. This may be desirable if
you are trying to make a back-up of your repository.

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

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, and also the --dissociate option.

Borrow the objects from reference repositories specified with the --reference options
only to reduce network transfer, and stop borrowing from them after a clone is made by
making necessary local copies of borrowed objects. This option can also be used when
cloning locally from a repository that already borrows objects from another
repository—the new repository will borrow objects from the same repository, and this
option can be used to stop the borrowing.

--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

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.

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

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

--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. --branch can also take tags and detaches the
HEAD at that commit in the resulting repository.

--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. 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 commits.
Implies --single-branch unless --no-single-branch is given to fetch the histories near
the tips of all branches.

Clone only the history leading to the tip of a single branch, either specified by the
--branch option or the primary branch remote’s HEAD points at. Further fetches into
the resulting repository will only update the remote-tracking branch for the branch
this option was used for the initial cloning. If the HEAD at the remote did not point
at any branch when --single-branch clone was made, no remote-tracking branch is

--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 filesystem-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 repositories.

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 supports ssh, git, http, and https protocols (in addition, ftp, and ftps can be used
for fetching and rsync can be used for fetching and pushing, but these are inefficient and
deprecated; do not use them).

The native transport (i.e. git:// URL) does no authentication and should be used with
caution on unsecured networks.

The following syntaxes may be used with them:

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

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

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

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

· rsync://host.xz/path/to/repo.git/

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

· [user@]host.xz:path/to/repo.git/

This syntax is only recognized if there are no slashes before the first colon. This helps
differentiate a local path that contains a colon. For example the local path foo:bar could
be specified as an absolute path or ./foo:bar to avoid being misinterpreted as an ssh url.

The ssh and git protocols additionally support ~username expansion:

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

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

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

For local repositories, also supported by Git natively, the following syntaxes may be

· /path/to/repo.git/

· 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:

· <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 gitremote-helpers(1) for

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>

For example, with this:

[url "git://git.host.xz/"]
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://git.host.xz/repo.git".

If you want to rewrite URLs for push only, you can create a configuration section of the

[url "<actual url base>"]
pushInsteadOf = <other url base>

For example, with this:

[url "ssh://example.org/"]
pushInsteadOf = git://example.org/

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


· Clone from upstream:

$ git clone git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/.../linux.git my-linux
$ cd my-linux
$ make

· Make a local clone that borrows from the current directory, without checking things

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

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

$ git clone --reference /git/linux.git \
git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/.../linux.git \
$ cd my-linux

· Create a bare repository to publish your changes to the public:

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


Part of the git(1) suite

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