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The "remote" repository that is the source of a fetch
or pull operation, or the destination of a push operation.
One of the following notations can be used
to name the remote repository:
- Rsync URL: rsync://remote.machine/path/to/repo.git/
- HTTP(s) URL: http://remote.machine/path/to/repo.git/
- git URL: git://remote.machine/path/to/repo.git/
or remote.machine:/path/to/repo.git/
- Local directory: /path/to/repo.git/
In addition to the above, as a short-hand, the name of a
file in `$GIT_DIR/remotes` directory can be given; the
named file should be in the following format:
URL: one of the above URL format
Push: <refspec>
Pull: <refspec>
When such a short-hand is specified in place of
<repository> without <refspec> parameters on the command
line, <refspec> specified on `Push:` lines or `Pull:`
lines are used for `git-push` and `git-fetch`/`git-pull`,
respectively. Multiple `Push:` and and `Pull:` lines may
be specified for additional branch mappings.
The name of a file in `$GIT_DIR/branches` directory can be
specified as an older notation short-hand; the named
file should contain a single line, a URL in one of the
above formats, optionally followed by a hash `#` and the
name of remote head (URL fragment notation).
`$GIT_DIR/branches/<remote>` file that stores a <url>
without the fragment is equivalent to have this in the
corresponding file in the `$GIT_DIR/remotes/` directory.
URL: <url>
Pull: refs/heads/master:<remote>
while having `<url>#<head>` is equivalent to
URL: <url>
Pull: refs/heads/<head>:<remote>
The canonical format of a <refspec> parameter is
`+?<src>:<dst>`; that is, an optional plus `+`, followed
by the source ref, followed by a colon `:`, followed by
the destination ref.
When used in `git-push`, the <src> side can be an
arbitrary "SHA1 expression" that can be used as an
argument to `git-cat-file -t`. E.g. `master~4` (push
four parents before the current master head).
For `git-push`, the local ref that matches <src> is used
to fast forward the remote ref that matches <dst>. If
the optional plus `+` is used, the remote ref is updated
even if it does not result in a fast forward update.
For `git-fetch` and `git-pull`, the remote ref that matches <src>
is fetched, and if <dst> is not empty string, the local
ref that matches it is fast forwarded using <src>.
Again, if the optional plus `+` is used, the local ref
is updated even if it does not result in a fast forward
If the remote branch from which you want to pull is
modified in non-linear ways such as being rewound and
rebased frequently, then a pull will attempt a merge with
an older version of itself, likely conflict, and fail.
It is under these conditions that you would want to use
the `+` sign to indicate non-fast-forward updates will
be needed. There is currently no easy way to determine
or declare that a branch will be made available in a
repository with this behavior; the pulling user simply
must know this is the expected usage pattern for a branch.
You never do your own development on branches that appear
on the right hand side of a <refspec> colon on `Pull:` lines;
they are to be updated by `git-fetch`. If you intend to do
development derived from a remote branch `B`, have a `Pull:`
line to track it (i.e. `Pull: B:remote-B`), and have a separate
branch `my-B` to do your development on top of it. The latter
is created by `git branch my-B remote-B` (or its equivalent `git
checkout -b my-B remote-B`). Run `git fetch` to keep track of
the progress of the remote side, and when you see something new
on the remote branch, merge it into your development branch with
`git pull . remote-B`, while you are on `my-B` branch.
The common `Pull: master:origin` mapping of a remote `master`
branch to a local `origin` branch, which is then merged to a
ocal development branch, again typically named `master`, is made
when you run `git clone` for you to follow this pattern.
There is a difference between listing multiple <refspec>
directly on `git-pull` command line and having multiple
`Pull:` <refspec> lines for a <repository> and running
`git-pull` command without any explicit <refspec> parameters.
<refspec> listed explicitly on the command line are always
merged into the current branch after fetching. In other words,
if you list more than one remote refs, you would be making
an Octopus. While `git-pull` run without any explicit <refspec>
parameter takes default <refspec>s from `Pull:` lines, it
merges only the first <refspec> found into the current branch,
after fetching all the remote refs. This is because making an
Octopus from remote refs is rarely done, while keeping track
of multiple remote heads in one-go by fetching more than one
is often useful.
Some short-cut notations are also supported.
* For backward compatibility, `tag` is almost ignored;
it just makes the following parameter <tag> to mean a
refspec `refs/tags/<tag>:refs/tags/<tag>`.
* A parameter <ref> without a colon is equivalent to
<ref>: when pulling/fetching, and <ref>`:`<ref> when
pushing. That is, do not store it locally if
fetching, and update the same name if pushing.