gitglossary - A GIT Glossary
A bare repository is normally an appropriately named directory with a .git suffix that does not have a locally checked-out copy of any of the files under revision control. That is, all of the git administrative and control files that would normally be present in the hidden .git sub-directory are directly present in the repository.git directory instead, and no other files are present and checked out. Usually publishers of public repositories make bare repositories available.
Untyped object, e.g. the contents of a file.
A "branch" is an active line of development. The most recent commit on a branch is referred to as the tip of that branch. The tip of the branch is referenced by a branch head, which moves forward as additional development is done on the branch. A single git repository can track an arbitrary number of branches, but your working tree is associated with just one of them (the "current" or "checked out" branch), and HEAD points to that branch.
Obsolete for: index.
BitKeeper/cvsps speak for "commit". Since git does not store changes, but states, it really does not make sense to use the term "changesets" with git.
In SCM jargon, "cherry pick" means to choose a subset of changes out of a series of changes (typically commits) and record them as a new series of changes on top of a different codebase. In GIT, this is performed by the "git cherry-pick" command to extract the change introduced by an existing commit and to record it based on the tip of the current branch as a new commit.
As a noun: A single point in the git history; the entire history of a project is represented as a set of interrelated commits. The word "commit" is often used by git in the same places other revision control systems use the words "revision" or "version". Also used as a short hand for commit object.
Fundamental data structures and utilities of git. Exposes only limited source code management tools.
Directed acyclic graph. The commit objects form a directed acyclic graph, because they have parents (directed), and the graph of commit objects is acyclic (there is no chain which begins and ends with the same object).
Normally the HEAD stores the name of a branch. However, git also allows you to check out an arbitrary commit that isn’t necessarily the tip of any particular branch. In this case HEAD is said to be "detached".
You are waaaaay behind. See index.
The list you get with "ls" :-)
Favorite synonym to "tree-ish" by some total geeks. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ent_(Middle-earth) for an in-depth explanation. Avoid this term, not to confuse people.
A fast-forward is a special type of merge where you have a revision and you are "merging" another branch's changes that happen to be a descendant of what you have. In such these cases, you do not make a new merge commit but instead just update to his revision. This will happen frequently on a remote-tracking branch of a remote repository.
Linus Torvalds originally designed git to be a user space file system, i.e. the infrastructure to hold files and directories. That ensured the efficiency and speed of git.
Synonym for repository (for arch people).
Grafts enables two otherwise different lines of development to be joined together by recording fake ancestry information for commits. This way you can make git pretend the set of parents a commit has is different from what was recorded when the commit was created. Configured via the .git/info/grafts file.
In git’s context, synonym to object name.
The current branch. In more detail: Your working tree is normally derived from the state of the tree referred to by HEAD. HEAD is a reference to one of the heads in your repository, except when using a detached HEAD, in which case it directly references an arbitrary commit.
A synonym for head.
During the normal execution of several git commands, call-outs are made to optional scripts that allow a developer to add functionality or checking. Typically, the hooks allow for a command to be pre-verified and potentially aborted, and allow for a post-notification after the operation is done. The hook scripts are found in the $GIT_DIR/hooks/ directory, and are enabled by simply removing the .sample suffix from the filename. In earlier versions of git you had to make them executable.
A collection of files with stat information, whose contents are stored as objects. The index is a stored version of your working tree. Truth be told, it can also contain a second, and even a third version of a working tree, which are used when merging.
The information regarding a particular file, stored in the index. An index entry can be unmerged, if a merge was started, but not yet finished (i.e. if the index contains multiple versions of that file).
The default development branch. Whenever you create a git repository, a branch named "master" is created, and becomes the active branch. In most cases, this contains the local development, though that is purely by convention and is not required.
As a verb: To bring the contents of another branch (possibly from an external repository) into the current branch. In the case where the merged-in branch is from a different repository, this is done by first fetching the remote branch and then merging the result into the current branch. This combination of fetch and merge operations is called a pull. Merging is performed by an automatic process that identifies changes made since the branches diverged, and then applies all those changes together. In cases where changes conflict, manual intervention may be required to complete the merge.
The unit of storage in git. It is uniquely identified by the SHA1 of its contents. Consequently, an object can not be changed.
Synonym for object name.
The default upstream repository. Most projects have at least one upstream project which they track. By default origin is used for that purpose. New upstream updates will be fetched into remote remote-tracking branches named origin/name-of-upstream-branch, which you can see using git branch -r.
A set of objects which have been compressed into one file (to save space or to transmit them efficiently).
The list of identifiers, and other information, of the objects in a pack, to assist in efficiently accessing the contents of a pack.
Pattern used to specify paths.
Pathspecs are used on the command line of "git ls-files", "git ls-tree", "git add", "git grep", "git diff", "git checkout", and many other commands to limit the scope of operations to some subset of the tree or worktree. See the documentation of each command for whether paths are relative to the current directory or toplevel. The pathspec syntax is as follows:
any path matches itself
the pathspec up to the last slash represents a directory prefix. The scope of that pathspec is limited to that subtree.
the rest of the pathspec is a pattern for the remainder of the pathname. Paths relative to the directory prefix will be matched against that pattern using fnmatch(3); in particular, * and ? can match directory separators.
For example, Documentation/*.jpg will match all .jpg files in the Documentation subtree, including Documentation/chapter_1/figure_1.jpg.
A pathspec that begins with a colon : has special meaning. In the short form, the leading colon : is followed by zero or more "magic signature" letters (which optionally is terminated by another colon :), and the remainder is the pattern to match against the path. The optional colon that terminates the "magic signature" can be omitted if the pattern begins with a character that cannot be a "magic signature" and is not a colon.
In the long form, the leading colon : is followed by a open parenthesis (, a comma-separated list of zero or more "magic words", and a close parentheses ), and the remainder is the pattern to match against the path.
The "magic signature" consists of an ASCII symbol that is not alphanumeric.
The magic word top (mnemonic: /) makes the pattern match from the root of the working tree, even when you are running the command from inside a subdirectory.
Currently only the slash / is recognized as the "magic signature", but it is envisioned that we will support more types of magic in later versions of git.
A pathspec with only a colon means "there is no pathspec". This form should not be combined with other pathspec.
A commit object contains a (possibly empty) list of the logical predecessor(s) in the line of development, i.e. its parents.
The term pickaxe refers to an option to the diffcore routines that help select changes that add or delete a given text string. With the --pickaxe-all option, it can be used to view the full changeset that introduced or removed, say, a particular line of text. See git-diff(1).
Cute name for core git.
Pushing a branch means to get the branch’s head ref from a remote repository, find out if it is a direct ancestor to the branch’s local head ref, and in that case, putting all objects, which are reachable from the local head ref, and which are missing from the remote repository, into the remote object database, and updating the remote head ref. If the remote head is not an ancestor to the local head, the push fails.
All of the ancestors of a given commit are said to be "reachable" from that commit. More generally, one object is reachable from another if we can reach the one from the other by a chain that follows tags to whatever they tag, commits to their parents or trees, and trees to the trees or blobs that they contain.
A reflog shows the local "history" of a ref. In other words, it can tell you what the 3rd last revision in this repository was, and what was the current state in this repository, yesterday 9:14pm. See git-reflog(1) for details.
A "refspec" is used by fetch and push to describe the mapping between remote ref and local ref. They are combined with a colon in the format <src>:<dst>, preceded by an optional plus sign, +. For example: git fetch $URL refs/heads/master:refs/heads/origin means "grab the master branch head from the $URL and store it as my origin branch head". And git push $URL refs/heads/master:refs/heads/to-upstream means "publish my master branch head as to-upstream branch at $URL". See also git-push(1).
A regular git branch that is used to follow changes from another repository. A remote-tracking branch should not contain direct modifications or have local commits made to it. A remote-tracking branch can usually be identified as the right-hand-side ref in a Pull: refspec.
A collection of refs together with an object database containing all objects which are reachable from the refs, possibly accompanied by meta data from one or more porcelains. A repository can share an object database with other repositories via alternates mechanism.
The action of fixing up manually what a failed automatic merge left behind.
Source code management (tool).
Synonym for object name.
A shallow repository has an incomplete history some of whose commits have parents cauterized away (in other words, git is told to pretend that these commits do not have the parents, even though they are recorded in the commit object). This is sometimes useful when you are interested only in the recent history of a project even though the real history recorded in the upstream is much larger. A shallow repository is created by giving the --depth option to git-clone(1), and its history can be later deepened with git-fetch(1).
Symbolic reference: instead of containing the SHA1 id itself, it is of the format ref: refs/some/thing and when referenced, it recursively dereferences to this reference. HEAD is a prime example of a symref. Symbolic references are manipulated with the git-symbolic-ref(1) command.
A ref under refs/tags/ namespace that points to an object of an arbitrary type (typically a tag points to either a tag or a commit object). In contrast to a head, a tag is not updated by the commit command. A git tag has nothing to do with a Lisp tag (which would be called an object type in git’s context). A tag is most typically used to mark a particular point in the commit ancestry chain.
A regular git branch that is used by a developer to identify a conceptual line of development. Since branches are very easy and inexpensive, it is often desirable to have several small branches that each contain very well defined concepts or small incremental yet related changes.
The default branch that is merged into the branch in question (or the branch in question is rebased onto). It is configured via branch.<name>.remote and branch.<name>.merge. If the upstream branch of A is origin/B sometimes we say "A is tracking origin/B".
The tree of actual checked out files. The working tree normally contains the contents of the HEAD commit’s tree, plus any local changes that you have made but not yet committed.
Part of the git(1) suite.