GITMODULES(5) Git Manual GITMODULES(5)
gitmodules - defining submodule properties
The .gitmodules file, located in the top-level directory of a Git
working tree, is a text file with a syntax matching the requirements of
The file contains one subsection per submodule, and the subsection
value is the name of the submodule. The name is set to the path where
the submodule has been added unless it was customized with the --name
option of git submodule add. Each submodule section also contains the
following required keys:
Defines the path, relative to the top-level directory of the Git
working tree, where the submodule is expected to be checked out.
The path name must not end with a /. All submodule paths must be
unique within the .gitmodules file.
Defines a URL from which the submodule repository can be cloned.
This may be either an absolute URL ready to be passed to git-
clone(1) or (if it begins with ./ or ../) a location relative to
the superproject's origin repository.
In addition, there are a number of optional keys:
Defines the default update procedure for the named submodule, i.e.
how the submodule is updated by "git submodule update" command in
the superproject. This is only used by git submodule init to
initialize the configuration variable of the same name. Allowed
values here are checkout, rebase, merge or none. See description of
update command in git-submodule(1) for their meaning. For security
reasons, the !command form is not accepted here.
A remote branch name for tracking updates in the upstream
submodule. If the option is not specified, it defaults to master. A
special value of . is used to indicate that the name of the branch
in the submodule should be the same name as the current branch in
the current repository. See the --remote documentation in git-
submodule(1) for details.
This option can be used to control recursive fetching of this
submodule. If this option is also present in the submodules entry
in .git/config of the superproject, the setting there will override
the one found in .gitmodules. Both settings can be overridden on
the command line by using the "--[no-]recurse-submodules" option to
"git fetch" and "git pull".
Defines under what circumstances "git status" and the diff family
show a submodule as modified. The following values are supported:
The submodule will never be considered modified (but will
nonetheless show up in the output of status and commit when it
has been staged).
All changes to the submodule's work tree will be ignored, only
committed differences between the HEAD of the submodule and its
recorded state in the superproject are taken into account.
Only untracked files in submodules will be ignored. Committed
differences and modifications to tracked files will show up.
No modifiations to submodules are ignored, all of committed
differences, and modifications to tracked and untracked files
are shown. This is the default option.
If this option is also present in the submodules entry in .git/config
of the superproject, the setting there will override the one found in
Both settings can be overridden on the command line by using the
"--ignore-submodule" option. The 'git submodule' commands are not
affected by this setting.
When set to true, a clone of this submodule will be performed as a
shallow clone (with a history depth of 1) unless the user
explicitly asks for a non-shallow clone.
Consider the following .gitmodules file:
path = include/foo
url = git://foo.com/git/lib.git
path = include/bar
url = git://bar.com/git/lib.git
This defines two submodules, libfoo and libbar. These are expected to
be checked out in the paths include/foo and include/bar, and for both
submodules a URL is specified which can be used for cloning the
Part of the git(1) suite
Git 2.17.1 03/04/2021 GITMODULES(5)
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