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GITCLI(7)			  Git Manual			     GITCLI(7)

       gitcli -	Git command-line interface and conventions


       This manual describes the convention used throughout Git	CLI.

       Many commands take revisions (most often	"commits", but sometimes
       "tree-ish", depending on	the context and	command) and paths as their
       arguments. Here are the rules:

       o   Revisions come first	and then paths.	E.g. in	git diff v1.0 v2.0
	   arch/x86 include/asm-x86, v1.0 and v2.0 are revisions and arch/x86
	   and include/asm-x86 are paths.

       o   When	an argument can	be misunderstood as either a revision or a
	   path, they can be disambiguated by placing -- between them. E.g.
	   git diff -- HEAD is,	"I have	a file called HEAD in my work tree.
	   Please show changes between the version I staged in the index and
	   what	I have in the work tree	for that file",	not "show difference
	   between the HEAD commit and the work	tree as	a whole". You can say
	   git diff HEAD -- to ask for the latter.

       o   Without disambiguating --, Git makes	a reasonable guess, but	errors
	   out and asking you to disambiguate when ambiguous. E.g. if you have
	   a file called HEAD in your work tree, git diff HEAD is ambiguous,
	   and you have	to say either git diff HEAD -- or git diff -- HEAD to

       o   Because -- disambiguates revisions and paths	in some	commands, it
	   cannot be used for those commands to	separate options and
	   revisions. You can use --end-of-options for this (it	also works for
	   commands that do not	distinguish between revisions in paths,	in
	   which case it is simply an alias for	--).

	   When	writing	a script that is expected to handle random user-input,
	   it is a good	practice to make it explicit which arguments are which
	   by placing disambiguating --	at appropriate places.

       o   Many	commands allow wildcards in paths, but you need	to protect
	   them	from getting globbed by	the shell. These two mean different

	       $ git restore *.c
	       $ git restore \*.c

	   The former lets your	shell expand the fileglob, and you are asking
	   the dot-C files in your working tree	to be overwritten with the
	   version in the index. The latter passes the *.c to Git, and you are
	   asking the paths in the index that match the	pattern	to be checked
	   out to your working tree. After running git add hello.c; rm
	   hello.c, you	will not see hello.c in	your working tree with the
	   former, but with the	latter you will.

       o   Just	as the filesystem .  (period) refers to	the current directory,
	   using a .  as a repository name in Git (a dot-repository) is	a
	   relative path and means your	current	repository.

       Here are	the rules regarding the	"flags"	that you should	follow when
       you are scripting Git:

       o   it's	preferred to use the non-dashed	form of	Git commands, which
	   means that you should prefer	git foo	to git-foo.

       o   splitting short options to separate words (prefer git foo -a	-b to
	   git foo -ab,	the latter may not even	work).

       o   when	a command-line option takes an argument, use the stuck form.
	   In other words, write git foo -oArg instead of git foo -o Arg for
	   short options, and git foo --long-opt=Arg instead of	git foo
	   --long-opt Arg for long options. An option that takes optional
	   option-argument must	be written in the stuck	form.

       o   when	you give a revision parameter to a command, make sure the
	   parameter is	not ambiguous with a name of a file in the work	tree.
	   E.g.	do not write git log -1	HEAD but write git log -1 HEAD --; the
	   former will not work	if you happen to have a	file called HEAD in
	   the work tree.

       o   many	commands allow a long option --option to be abbreviated	only
	   to their unique prefix (e.g.	if there is no other option whose name
	   begins with opt, you	may be able to spell --opt to invoke the
	   --option flag), but you should fully	spell them out when writing
	   your	scripts; later versions	of Git may introduce a new option
	   whose name shares the same prefix, e.g.  --optimize,	to make	a
	   short prefix	that used to be	unique no longer unique.

       From the	Git 1.5.4 series and further, many Git commands	(not all of
       them at the time	of the writing though) come with an enhanced option

       Here is a list of the facilities	provided by this option	parser.

   Magic Options
       Commands	which have the enhanced	option parser activated	all understand
       a couple	of magic command-line options:

	   gives a pretty printed usage	of the command.

	       $ git describe -h
	       usage: git describe [<options>] <commit-ish>*
		  or: git describe [<options>] --dirty

		   --contains		 find the tag that comes after the commit
		   --debug		 debug search strategy on stderr
		   --all		 use any ref
		   --tags		 use any tag, even unannotated
		   --long		 always	use long format
		   --abbrev[=<n>]	 use <n> digits	to display SHA-1s

	   Note	that some subcommand (e.g.  git	grep) may behave differently
	   when	there are things on the	command	line other than	-h, but	git
	   subcmd -h without anything else on the command line is meant	to
	   consistently	give the usage.

	   Some	Git commands take options that are only	used for plumbing or
	   that	are deprecated,	and such options are hidden from the default
	   usage. This option gives the	full list of options.

   Negating options
       Options with long option	names can be negated by	prefixing --no-. For
       example,	git branch has the option --track which	is on by default. You
       can use --no-track to override that behaviour. The same goes for
       --color and --no-color.

   Aggregating short options
       Commands	that support the enhanced option parser	allow you to aggregate
       short options. This means that you can for example use git rm -rf or
       git clean -fdx.

   Abbreviating	long options
       Commands	that support the enhanced option parser	accepts	unique prefix
       of a long option	as if it is fully spelled out, but use this with a
       caution.	For example, git commit	--amen behaves as if you typed git
       commit --amend, but that	is true	only until a later version of Git
       introduces another option that shares the same prefix, e.g. git commit
       --amenity option.

   Separating argument from the	option
       You can write the mandatory option parameter to an option as a separate
       word on the command line. That means that all the following uses	work:

	   $ git foo --long-opt=Arg
	   $ git foo --long-opt	Arg
	   $ git foo -oArg
	   $ git foo -o	Arg

       However,	this is	NOT allowed for	switches with an optional value, where
       the stuck form must be used:

	   $ git describe --abbrev HEAD	    # correct
	   $ git describe --abbrev=10 HEAD  # correct
	   $ git describe --abbrev 10 HEAD  # NOT WHAT YOU MEANT

       Many commands that can work on files in the working tree	and/or in the
       index can take --cached and/or --index options. Sometimes people
       incorrectly think that, because the index was originally	called cache,
       these two are synonyms. They are	not -- these two options mean very
       different things.

       o   The --cached	option is used to ask a	command	that usually works on
	   files in the	working	tree to	only work with the index. For example,
	   git grep, when used without a commit	to specify from	which commit
	   to look for strings in, usually works on files in the working tree,
	   but with the	--cached option, it looks for strings in the index.

       o   The --index option is used to ask a command that usually works on
	   files in the	working	tree to	also affect the	index. For example,
	   git stash apply usually merges changes recorded in a	stash entry to
	   the working tree, but with the --index option, it also merges
	   changes to the index	as well.

       git apply command can be	used with --cached and --index (but not	at the
       same time). Usually the command only affects the	files in the working
       tree, but with --index, it patches both the files and their index
       entries,	and with --cached, it modifies only the	index entries.

       See also
       for further information.

       Some other commands that	also work on files in the working tree and/or
       in the index can	take --staged and/or --worktree.

       o   --staged is exactly like --cached, which is used to ask a command
	   to only work	on the index, not the working tree.

       o   --worktree is the opposite, to ask a	command	to work	on the working
	   tree	only, not the index.

       o   The two options can be specified together to	ask a command to work
	   on both the index and the working tree.

       Part of the git(1) suite

Git 2.32.0			  06/06/2021			     GITCLI(7)


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