git-submodule [--quiet] [-b branch] add <repository> [<path>] git-submodule [--quiet] [--cached] [status|init|update] [--] [<path>…]



Add the given repository as a submodule at the given path to the changeset to be committed next. In particular, the repository is cloned at the specified path, added to the changeset and registered in .gitmodules. If no path is specified, the path is deduced from the repository specification.


Show the status of the submodules. This will print the SHA-1 of the currently checked out commit for each submodule, along with the submodule path and the output of gitlink:git-describe[1] for the SHA-1. Each SHA-1 will be prefixed with - if the submodule is not initialized and + if the currently checked out submodule commit does not match the SHA-1 found in the index of the containing repository. This command is the default command for git-submodule.


Initialize the submodules, i.e. register in .git/config each submodule name and url found in .gitmodules. The key used in .git/config is submodule.$name.url. This command does not alter existing information in .git/config.


Update the registered submodules, i.e. clone missing submodules and checkout the commit specified in the index of the containing repository. This will make the submodules HEAD be detached.


-q, --quiet

Only print error messages.

-b, --branch

Branch of repository to add as submodule.


Display the SHA-1 stored in the index, not the SHA-1 of the currently checked out submodule commit. This option is only valid for the status command.


Path to submodule(s). When specified this will restrict the command to only operate on the submodules found at the specified paths.


When initializing submodules, a .gitmodules file in the top-level directory of the containing repository is used to find the url of each submodule. This file should be formatted in the same way as $GIR_DIR/config. The key to each submodule url is "submodule.$name.url".


Written by Lars Hjemli <>


Part of the gitlink:git[7] suite