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git-init - Create an empty git repository or reinitialize an existing one
'git init' [-q | --quiet] [--bare] [--template=<template_directory>] [--shared[=<permissions>]] [directory]
Only print error and warning messages, all other output will be suppressed.
Create a bare repository. If GIT_DIR environment is not set, it is set to the
current working directory.
Specify the directory from which templates will be used. (See the "TEMPLATE
DIRECTORY" section below.)
Specify that the git repository is to be shared amongst several users. This
allows users belonging to the same group to push into that
repository. When specified, the config variable "core.sharedRepository" is
set so that files and directories under `$GIT_DIR` are created with the
requested permissions. When not specified, git will use permissions reported
by umask(2).
The option can have the following values, defaulting to 'group' if no value
is given:
- 'umask' (or 'false'): Use permissions reported by umask(2). The default,
when `--shared` is not specified.
- 'group' (or 'true'): Make the repository group-writable, (and g+sx, since
the git group may be not the primary group of all users).
This is used to loosen the permissions of an otherwise safe umask(2) value.
Note that the umask still applies to the other permission bits (e.g. if
umask is '0022', using 'group' will not remove read privileges from other
(non-group) users). See '0xxx' for how to exactly specify the repository
- 'all' (or 'world' or 'everybody'): Same as 'group', but make the repository
readable by all users.
- '0xxx': '0xxx' is an octal number and each file will have mode '0xxx'.
'0xxx' will override users' umask(2) value (and not only loosen permissions
as 'group' and 'all' does). '0640' will create a repository which is
group-readable, but not group-writable or accessible to others. '0660' will
create a repo that is readable and writable to the current user and group,
but inaccessible to others.
By default, the configuration flag receive.denyNonFastForwards is enabled
in shared repositories, so that you cannot force a non fast-forwarding push
into it.
If you name a (possibly non-existent) directory at the end of the command
line, the command is run inside the directory (possibly after creating it).
This command creates an empty git repository - basically a `.git` directory
with subdirectories for `objects`, `refs/heads`, `refs/tags`, and
template files.
An initial `HEAD` file that references the HEAD of the master branch
is also created.
If the `$GIT_DIR` environment variable is set then it specifies a path
to use instead of `./.git` for the base of the repository.
If the object storage directory is specified via the `$GIT_OBJECT_DIRECTORY`
environment variable then the sha1 directories are created underneath -
otherwise the default `$GIT_DIR/objects` directory is used.
Running 'git init' in an existing repository is safe. It will not overwrite
things that are already there. The primary reason for rerunning 'git init'
is to pick up newly added templates.
Note that 'git init' is the same as 'git init-db'. The command
was primarily meant to initialize the object database, but over
time it has become responsible for setting up the other aspects
of the repository, such as installing the default hooks and
setting the configuration variables. The old name is retained
for backward compatibility reasons.
The template directory contains files and directories that will be copied to
the `$GIT_DIR` after it is created.
The template directory used will (in order):
- The argument given with the `--template` option.
- The contents of the `$GIT_TEMPLATE_DIR` environment variable.
- The `init.templatedir` configuration variable.
- The default template directory: `/usr/share/git-core/templates`.
The default template directory includes some directory structure, some
suggested "exclude patterns", and copies of sample "hook" files.
The suggested patterns and hook files are all modifiable and extensible.
Start a new git repository for an existing code base::
$ cd /path/to/my/codebase
$ git init <1>
$ git add . <2>
<1> prepare /path/to/my/codebase/.git directory
<2> add all existing file to the index
Written by Linus Torvalds <>
Documentation by David Greaves, Junio C Hamano and the git-list <>.
Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite