GIT-CLONE(1) 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>]
[--dissociate] [--separate-git-dir <git dir>]
[--depth <depth>] [--[no-]single-branch] [--no-tags]
[--jobs <n>] [--] <repository> [<directory>]
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
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.
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.
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
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.
When using the --reference-if-able, a non existing directory is
skipped with a warning instead of aborting the clone.
NOTE: see the NOTE for the --shared option, and also the
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.
Operate quietly. Progress is not reported to the standard error
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.
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
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.
--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
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.
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. If you want to clone submodules shallowly, also pass
Create a shallow clone with a history after the specified time.
Create a shallow clone with a history, excluding commits reachable
from a specified remote branch or tag. This option can be specified
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 created.
Don't clone any tags, and set remote.<remote>.tagOpt=--no-tags in
the config, ensuring that future git pull and git fetch operations
won't follow any tags. Subsequent explicit tag fetches will still
work, (see git-fetch(1)).
Can be used in conjunction with --single-branch to clone and
maintain a branch with no references other than a single cloned
branch. This is useful e.g. to maintain minimal clones of the
default branch of some repository for search indexing.
After the clone is created, initialize and clone submodules within
based on the provided pathspec. If no pathspec is provided, all
submodules are initialized and cloned. This option can be given
multiple times for pathspecs consisting of multiple entries. The
resulting clone has submodule.active set to the provided pathspec,
or "." (meaning all submodules) if no pathspec is provided.
Submodules are initialized and cloned using their default settings.
This is equivalent to running git submodule update --init
--recursive <pathspec> 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)
All submodules which are cloned will be shallow with a depth of 1.
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.
-j <n>, --jobs <n>
The number of submodules fetched at the same time. Defaults to the
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
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, but this is inefficient and deprecated;
do not use it).
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:
An alternative scp-like syntax may also be used with the ssh protocol:
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:
For local repositories, also supported by Git natively, the following
syntaxes may be used:
These two syntaxes are mostly equivalent, except the former implies
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:
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 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>
For example, with this:
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
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:
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 URL.
o Clone from upstream:
$ git clone git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/.../linux.git my-linux
$ cd my-linux
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
$ git clone --reference /git/linux.git \
$ cd my-linux
o Create a bare repository to publish your changes to the public:
$ git clone --bare -l /home/proj/.git /pub/scm/proj.git
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Git 2.17.1 09/09/2021 GIT-CLONE(1)
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