blob: 69715aa061bd3c5c746ac0e9a73f1f83c301a2bd [file] [log] [blame]
git-update-ref - update the object name stored in a ref safely
`git-update-ref` <ref> <newvalue> [<oldvalue>]
Given two arguments, stores the <newvalue> in the <ref>, possibly
dereferencing the symbolic refs. E.g. `git-update-ref HEAD
<newvalue>` updates the current branch head to the new object.
Given three arguments, stores the <newvalue> in the <ref>,
possibly dereferencing the symbolic refs, after verifying that
the current value of the <ref> matches <oldvalue>.
E.g. `git-update-ref refs/heads/master <newvalue> <oldvalue>`
updates the master branch head to <newvalue> only if its current
value is <oldvalue>.
It also allows a "ref" file to be a symbolic pointer to another
ref file by starting with the four-byte header sequence of
More importantly, it allows the update of a ref file to follow
these symbolic pointers, whether they are symlinks or these
"regular file symbolic refs". It follows *real* symlinks only
if they start with "refs/": otherwise it will just try to read
them and update them as a regular file (i.e. it will allow the
filesystem to follow them, but will overwrite such a symlink to
somewhere else with a regular filename).
In general, using
git-update-ref HEAD "$head"
should be a _lot_ safer than doing
echo "$head" > "$GIT_DIR/HEAD"
both from a symlink following standpoint *and* an error checking
standpoint. The "refs/" rule for symlinks means that symlinks
that point to "outside" the tree are safe: they'll be followed
for reading but not for writing (so we'll never write through a
ref symlink to some other tree, if you have copied a whole
archive by creating a symlink tree).
Written by Linus Torvalds <>.
Part of the gitlink:git[7] suite