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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 linkgit:git-config[1].
The file contains one subsection per submodule, and the subsection value
is the name of the submodule. 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 an url from where the submodule repository can be cloned.
This may be either an absolute URL ready to be passed to
linkgit:git-clone[1] or (if it begins with ./ or ../) a location
relative to the superproject's origin repository.
Defines what to do when the submodule is updated by the superproject.
If 'checkout' (the default), the new commit specified in the
superproject will be checked out in the submodule on a detached HEAD.
If 'rebase', the current branch of the submodule will be rebased onto
the commit specified in the superproject. If 'merge', the commit
specified in the superproject will be merged into the current branch
in the submodule.
This config option is overridden if 'git submodule update' is given
the '--merge' or '--rebase' options.
Defines under what circumstances "git status" and the diff family show
a submodule as modified. When set to "all", it will never be considered
modified, "dirty" will ignore all changes to the submodules work tree and
takes only differences between the HEAD of the submodule and the commit
recorded in the superproject into account. "untracked" will additionally
let submodules with modified tracked files in their work tree show up.
Using "none" (the default when this option is not set) also shows
submodules that have untracked files in their work tree as changed.
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.
Consider the following .gitmodules file:
[submodule "libfoo"]
path = include/foo
url = git://
[submodule "libbar"]
path = include/bar
url = 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 an url is specified which can be used for cloning the submodules.
linkgit:git-submodule[1] linkgit:git-config[1]
Documentation by Lars Hjemli <>
Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite