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git-for-each-ref - Output information on each ref


git for-each-ref [--count=<count>] [--shell|--perl|--python|--tcl]
[(--sort=<key>)...] [--format=<format>] [<pattern>...]
[--points-at <object>] [(--merged | --no-merged) [<object>]]
[--contains [<object>]]


Iterate over all refs that match <pattern> and show them according to the given <format>,
after sorting them according to the given set of <key>. If <count> is given, stop after
showing that many refs. The interpolated values in <format> can optionally be quoted as
string literals in the specified host language allowing their direct evaluation in that


By default the command shows all refs that match <pattern>. This option makes it stop
after showing that many refs.

A field name to sort on. Prefix - to sort in descending order of the value. When
unspecified, refname is used. You may use the --sort=<key> option multiple times, in
which case the last key becomes the primary key.

A string that interpolates %(fieldname) from the object pointed at by a ref being
shown. If fieldname is prefixed with an asterisk (*) and the ref points at a tag
object, the value for the field in the object tag refers is used. When unspecified,
defaults to %(objectname) SPC %(objecttype) TAB %(refname). It also interpolates %% to
%, and %xx where xx are hex digits interpolates to character with hex code xx; for
example %00 interpolates to \0 (NUL), %09 to \t (TAB) and %0a to \n (LF).

If one or more patterns are given, only refs are shown that match against at least one
pattern, either using fnmatch(3) or literally, in the latter case matching completely
or from the beginning up to a slash.

--shell, --perl, --python, --tcl
If given, strings that substitute %(fieldname) placeholders are quoted as string
literals suitable for the specified host language. This is meant to produce a
scriptlet that can directly be `eval`ed.

--points-at <object>
Only list refs which points at the given object.

--merged [<object>]
Only list refs whose tips are reachable from the specified commit (HEAD if not

--no-merged [<object>]
Only list refs whose tips are not reachable from the specified commit (HEAD if not

--contains [<object>]
Only list tags which contain the specified commit (HEAD if not specified).


Various values from structured fields in referenced objects can be used to interpolate
into the resulting output, or as sort keys.

For all objects, the following names can be used:

The name of the ref (the part after $GIT_DIR/). For a non-ambiguous short name of the
ref append :short. The option core.warnAmbiguousRefs is used to select the strict
abbreviation mode. If strip=<N> is appended, strips <N> slash-separated path
components from the front of the refname (e.g., %(refname:strip=2) turns refs/tags/foo
into foo. <N> must be a positive integer. If a displayed ref has fewer components
than <N>, the command aborts with an error.

The type of the object (blob, tree, commit, tag).

The size of the object (the same as git cat-file -s reports).

The object name (aka SHA-1). For a non-ambiguous abbreviation of the object name
append :short.

The name of a local ref which can be considered “upstream” from the displayed ref.
Respects :short in the same way as refname above. Additionally respects :track to show
"[ahead N, behind M]" and :trackshort to show the terse version: ">" (ahead), "<"
(behind), "<>" (ahead and behind), or "=" (in sync). Has no effect if the ref does not
have tracking information associated with it.

The name of a local ref which represents the @{push} location for the displayed ref.
Respects :short, :track, and :trackshort options as upstream does. Produces an empty
string if no @{push} ref is configured.

* if HEAD matches current ref (the checked out branch), ' ' otherwise.

Change output color. Followed by :<colorname>, where names are described in

Left-, middle-, or right-align the content between %(align:...) and %(end). The
"align:" is followed by <width> and <position> in any order separated by a comma,
where the <position> is either left, right or middle, default being left and <width>
is the total length of the content with alignment. If the contents length is more than
the width then no alignment is performed. If used with --quote everything in between
%(align:...) and %(end) is quoted, but if nested then only the topmost level performs

In addition to the above, for commit and tag objects, the header field names (tree,
parent, object, type, and tag) can be used to specify the value in the header field.

For commit and tag objects, the special creatordate and creator fields will correspond to
the appropriate date or name-email-date tuple from the committer or tagger fields
depending on the object type. These are intended for working on a mix of annotated and
lightweight tags.

Fields that have name-email-date tuple as its value (author, committer, and tagger) can be
suffixed with name, email, and date to extract the named component.

The complete message in a commit and tag object is contents. Its first line is
contents:subject, where subject is the concatenation of all lines of the commit message up
to the first blank line. The next line is contents:body, where body is all of the lines
after the first blank line. The optional GPG signature is contents:signature. The first N
lines of the message is obtained using contents:lines=N.

For sorting purposes, fields with numeric values sort in numeric order (objectsize,
authordate, committerdate, creatordate, taggerdate). All other fields are used to sort in
their byte-value order.

There is also an option to sort by versions, this can be done by using the fieldname
version:refname or its alias v:refname.

In any case, a field name that refers to a field inapplicable to the object referred by
the ref does not cause an error. It returns an empty string instead.

As a special case for the date-type fields, you may specify a format for the date by
adding : followed by date format name (see the values the --date option to :git-rev-
list(1) takes).


An example directly producing formatted text. Show the most recent 3 tagged commits:


git for-each-ref --count=3 --sort='-*authordate' \
--format='From: %(*authorname) %(*authoremail)
Subject: %(*subject)
Date: %(*authordate)
Ref: %(*refname)

' 'refs/tags'

A simple example showing the use of shell eval on the output, demonstrating the use of
--shell. List the prefixes of all heads:


git for-each-ref --shell --format="ref=%(refname)" refs/heads | \
while read entry
eval "$entry"
echo `dirname $ref`

A bit more elaborate report on tags, demonstrating that the format may be an entire




if test "z$t" = z
# could be a lightweight tag
kind="Lightweight tag"
echo "$kind $T points at a $t object $o"
if test "z$t" = zcommit
echo "The commit was authored by $n $e
at $d, and titled


Its message reads as:
echo "$b" | sed -e "s/^/ /"

eval=`git for-each-ref --shell --format="$fmt" \
--sort='*objecttype' \
--sort=-taggerdate \
eval "$eval"

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