git-clone [--template=<template_directory>] [-l [-s]] [-q] [-n] [--bare] [-o <name>] [-u <upload-pack>] [--reference <repository>] [--depth <depth>] <repository> [<directory>]


Clones a repository into a newly created directory, creates remote-tracking branches for each branch in the cloned repository (visible using git branch -r), and creates and checks out an initial branch equal to the cloned repository’s currently active branch.

After the clone, a plain git fetch without arguments will update all the remote-tracking branches, and a git pull without arguments will in addition merge the remote master branch into the current master branch, if any.

This default configuration is achieved by creating references to the remote branch heads under $GIT_DIR/refs/remotes/origin and by initializing remote.origin.url and remote.origin.fetch configuration variables.



When the repository to clone from is on a local machine, this flag bypasses normal "git aware" transport mechanism and clones the repository by making a copy of HEAD and everything under objects and refs directories. The files under .git/objects/ directory are hardlinked to save space when possible.


When the repository to clone is on the local machine, instead of using hard links, automatically setup .git/objects/info/alternates to share the objects with the source repository. The resulting repository starts out without any object of its own.

--reference <repository>

If the reference repository is on the local machine automatically setup .git/objects/info/alternates to obtain objects from the reference repository. Using an already existing repository as an alternate will require less objects to be copied from the repository being cloned, reducing network and local storage costs.


Operate quietly. This flag is passed to "rsync" and "git-fetch-pack" commands when given.


No checkout of HEAD is performed after the clone is complete.


Make a bare GIT repository. That is, instead of creating <directory> and placing the administrative files in <directory>/.git, make the <directory> itself the $GIT_DIR. This obviously implies the -n because there is nowhere to check out the working tree. Also the branch heads at the remote are copied directly to corresponding local branch heads, without mapping them to refs/remotes/origin/. When this option is used, neither remote-tracking branches nor the related configuration variables are created.

--origin <name>
-o <name>

Instead of using the remote name origin to keep track of the upstream repository, use <name> instead.

--upload-pack <upload-pack>
-u <upload-pack>

When given, and the repository to clone from is handled by git-fetch-pack, --exec=<upload-pack> is passed to the command to specify non-default path for the command run on the other end.


Specify the directory from which templates will be used; if unset the templates are taken from the installation defined default, typically /usr/share/git-core/templates.

--depth <depth>

Create a shallow clone with a history truncated to the specified number of revs. A shallow repository has number of limitations (you cannot clone or fetch from it, nor push from nor into it), but is adequate if you want to only look at near the tip of a large project with a long history, and would want to send in a fixes as patches.


The (possibly remote) repository to clone from. It can be any URL git-fetch supports.


The name of a new directory to clone into. The "humanish" part of the source repository is used if no directory is explicitly given ("repo" for "/path/to/repo.git" and "foo" for "host.xz:foo/.git"). Cloning into an existing directory is not allowed.


Clone from upstream
$ git clone git:// my2.6
$ cd my2.6
$ make
Make a local clone that borrows from the current directory, without checking things out
$ git clone -l -s -n . ../copy
$ cd copy
$ git show-branch
Clone from upstream while borrowing from an existing local directory
$ git clone --reference my2.6 \
        git:// \
$ cd my2.7
Create a bare repository to publish your changes to the public
$ git clone --bare -l /home/proj/.git /pub/scm/proj.git
Create a repository on the machine that borrows from Linus
$ git clone --bare -l -s /pub/scm/.../torvalds/linux-2.6.git \


Written by Linus Torvalds <>


Documentation by Junio C Hamano and the git-list <>.


Part of the gitlink:git[7] suite