[git/git.git] / Documentation / git-remote-helpers.txt
1 git-remote-helpers(1)
2 =====================
5 ----
6 git-remote-helpers - Helper programs to interact with remote repositories
9 --------
10 [verse]
11 'git remote-<transport>' <repository> [<URL>]
14 -----------
16 Remote helper programs are normally not used directly by end users,
17 but they are invoked by git when it needs to interact with remote
18 repositories git does not support natively. A given helper will
19 implement a subset of the capabilities documented here. When git
20 needs to interact with a repository using a remote helper, it spawns
21 the helper as an independent process, sends commands to the helper's
22 standard input, and expects results from the helper's standard
23 output. Because a remote helper runs as an independent process from
24 git, there is no need to re-link git to add a new helper, nor any
25 need to link the helper with the implementation of git.
27 Every helper must support the "capabilities" command, which git
28 uses to determine what other commands the helper will accept. Those
29 other commands can be used to discover and update remote refs,
30 transport objects between the object database and the remote repository,
31 and update the local object store.
33 Git comes with a "curl" family of remote helpers, that handle various
34 transport protocols, such as 'git-remote-http', 'git-remote-https',
35 'git-remote-ftp' and 'git-remote-ftps'. They implement the capabilities
36 'fetch', 'option', and 'push'.
39 ----------
41 Remote helper programs are invoked with one or (optionally) two
42 arguments. The first argument specifies a remote repository as in git;
43 it is either the name of a configured remote or a URL. The second
44 argument specifies a URL; it is usually of the form
45 '<transport>://<address>', but any arbitrary string is possible.
46 The 'GIT_DIR' environment variable is set up for the remote helper
47 and can be used to determine where to store additional data or from
48 which directory to invoke auxiliary git commands.
50 When git encounters a URL of the form '<transport>://<address>', where
51 '<transport>' is a protocol that it cannot handle natively, it
52 automatically invokes 'git remote-<transport>' with the full URL as
53 the second argument. If such a URL is encountered directly on the
54 command line, the first argument is the same as the second, and if it
55 is encountered in a configured remote, the first argument is the name
56 of that remote.
58 A URL of the form '<transport>::<address>' explicitly instructs git to
59 invoke 'git remote-<transport>' with '<address>' as the second
60 argument. If such a URL is encountered directly on the command line,
61 the first argument is '<address>', and if it is encountered in a
62 configured remote, the first argument is the name of that remote.
64 Additionally, when a configured remote has 'remote.<name>.vcs' set to
65 '<transport>', git explicitly invokes 'git remote-<transport>' with
66 '<name>' as the first argument. If set, the second argument is
67 'remote.<name>.url'; otherwise, the second argument is omitted.
70 ------------
72 Git sends the remote helper a list of commands on standard input, one
73 per line. The first command is always the 'capabilities' command, in
74 response to which the remote helper must print a list of the
75 capabilities it supports (see below) followed by a blank line. The
76 response to the capabilities command determines what commands Git uses
77 in the remainder of the command stream.
79 The command stream is terminated by a blank line. In some cases
80 (indicated in the documentation of the relevant commands), this blank
81 line is followed by a payload in some other protocol (e.g., the pack
82 protocol), while in others it indicates the end of input.
84 Capabilities
85 ~~~~~~~~~~~~
87 Each remote helper is expected to support only a subset of commands.
88 The operations a helper supports are declared to git in the response
89 to the `capabilities` command (see COMMANDS, below).
91 'option'::
92 For specifying settings like `verbosity` (how much output to
93 write to stderr) and `depth` (how much history is wanted in the
94 case of a shallow clone) that affect how other commands are
95 carried out.
97 'connect'::
98 For fetching and pushing using git's native packfile protocol
99 that requires a bidirectional, full-duplex connection.
101 'push'::
102 For listing remote refs and pushing specified objects from the
103 local object store to remote refs.
105 'fetch'::
106 For listing remote refs and fetching the associated history to
107 the local object store.
109 'import'::
110 For listing remote refs and fetching the associated history as
111 a fast-import stream.
113 'refspec' <refspec>::
114 This modifies the 'import' capability, allowing the produced
115 fast-import stream to modify refs in a private namespace
116 instead of writing to refs/heads or refs/remotes directly.
117 It is recommended that all importers providing the 'import'
118 capability use this.
119 +
120 A helper advertising the capability
121 `refspec refs/heads/*:refs/svn/origin/branches/*`
122 is saying that, when it is asked to `import refs/heads/topic`, the
123 stream it outputs will update the `refs/svn/origin/branches/topic`
124 ref.
125 +
126 This capability can be advertised multiple times. The first
127 applicable refspec takes precedence. The left-hand of refspecs
128 advertised with this capability must cover all refs reported by
129 the list command. If no 'refspec' capability is advertised,
130 there is an implied `refspec *:*`.
132 Capabilities for Pushing
133 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
134 'connect'::
135 Can attempt to connect to 'git receive-pack' (for pushing),
136 'git upload-pack', etc for communication using the
137 packfile protocol.
138 +
139 Supported commands: 'connect'.
141 'push'::
142 Can discover remote refs and push local commits and the
143 history leading up to them to new or existing remote refs.
144 +
145 Supported commands: 'list for-push', 'push'.
147 If a helper advertises both 'connect' and 'push', git will use
148 'connect' if possible and fall back to 'push' if the helper requests
149 so when connecting (see the 'connect' command under COMMANDS).
151 Capabilities for Fetching
152 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
153 'connect'::
154 Can try to connect to 'git upload-pack' (for fetching),
155 'git receive-pack', etc for communication using the
156 packfile protocol.
157 +
158 Supported commands: 'connect'.
160 'fetch'::
161 Can discover remote refs and transfer objects reachable from
162 them to the local object store.
163 +
164 Supported commands: 'list', 'fetch'.
166 'import'::
167 Can discover remote refs and output objects reachable from
168 them as a stream in fast-import format.
169 +
170 Supported commands: 'list', 'import'.
172 If a helper advertises 'connect', git will use it if possible and
173 fall back to another capability if the helper requests so when
174 connecting (see the 'connect' command under COMMANDS).
175 When choosing between 'fetch' and 'import', git prefers 'fetch'.
176 Other frontends may have some other order of preference.
178 'refspec' <refspec>::
179 This modifies the 'import' capability.
180 +
181 A helper advertising
182 `refspec refs/heads/*:refs/svn/origin/branches/*`
183 in its capabilities is saying that, when it handles
184 `import refs/heads/topic`, the stream it outputs will update the
185 `refs/svn/origin/branches/topic` ref.
186 +
187 This capability can be advertised multiple times. The first
188 applicable refspec takes precedence. The left-hand of refspecs
189 advertised with this capability must cover all refs reported by
190 the list command. If no 'refspec' capability is advertised,
191 there is an implied `refspec *:*`.
194 --------
196 Commands are given by the caller on the helper's standard input, one per line.
198 'capabilities'::
199 Lists the capabilities of the helper, one per line, ending
200 with a blank line. Each capability may be preceded with '*',
201 which marks them mandatory for git version using the remote
202 helper to understand (unknown mandatory capability is fatal
203 error).
205 'list'::
206 Lists the refs, one per line, in the format "<value> <name>
207 [<attr> ...]". The value may be a hex sha1 hash, "@<dest>" for
208 a symref, or "?" to indicate that the helper could not get the
209 value of the ref. A space-separated list of attributes follows
210 the name; unrecognized attributes are ignored. The list ends
211 with a blank line.
212 +
213 If 'push' is supported this may be called as 'list for-push'
214 to obtain the current refs prior to sending one or more 'push'
215 commands to the helper.
217 'option' <name> <value>::
218 Sets the transport helper option <name> to <value>. Outputs a
219 single line containing one of 'ok' (option successfully set),
220 'unsupported' (option not recognized) or 'error <msg>'
221 (option <name> is supported but <value> is not valid
222 for it). Options should be set before other commands,
223 and may influence the behavior of those commands.
224 +
225 Supported if the helper has the "option" capability.
227 'fetch' <sha1> <name>::
228 Fetches the given object, writing the necessary objects
229 to the database. Fetch commands are sent in a batch, one
230 per line, terminated with a blank line.
231 Outputs a single blank line when all fetch commands in the
232 same batch are complete. Only objects which were reported
233 in the ref list with a sha1 may be fetched this way.
234 +
235 Optionally may output a 'lock <file>' line indicating a file under
236 GIT_DIR/objects/pack which is keeping a pack until refs can be
237 suitably updated.
238 +
239 Supported if the helper has the "fetch" capability.
241 'push' +<src>:<dst>::
242 Pushes the given local <src> commit or branch to the
243 remote branch described by <dst>. A batch sequence of
244 one or more 'push' commands is terminated with a blank line
245 (if there is only one reference to push, a single 'push' command
246 is followed by a blank line). For example, the following would
247 be two batches of 'push', the first asking the remote-helper
248 to push the local ref 'master' to the remote ref 'master' and
249 the local 'HEAD' to the remote 'branch', and the second
250 asking to push ref 'foo' to ref 'bar' (forced update requested
251 by the '+').
252 +
253 ------------
254 push refs/heads/master:refs/heads/master
255 push HEAD:refs/heads/branch
256 \n
257 push +refs/heads/foo:refs/heads/bar
258 \n
259 ------------
260 +
261 Zero or more protocol options may be entered after the last 'push'
262 command, before the batch's terminating blank line.
263 +
264 When the push is complete, outputs one or more 'ok <dst>' or
265 'error <dst> <why>?' lines to indicate success or failure of
266 each pushed ref. The status report output is terminated by
267 a blank line. The option field <why> may be quoted in a C
268 style string if it contains an LF.
269 +
270 Supported if the helper has the "push" capability.
272 'import' <name>::
273 Produces a fast-import stream which imports the current value
274 of the named ref. It may additionally import other refs as
275 needed to construct the history efficiently. The script writes
276 to a helper-specific private namespace. The value of the named
277 ref should be written to a location in this namespace derived
278 by applying the refspecs from the "refspec" capability to the
279 name of the ref.
280 +
281 Especially useful for interoperability with a foreign versioning
282 system.
283 +
284 Just like 'push', a batch sequence of one or more 'import' is
285 terminated with a blank line. For each batch of 'import', the remote
286 helper should produce a fast-import stream terminated by a 'done'
287 command.
288 +
289 Supported if the helper has the "import" capability.
291 'connect' <service>::
292 Connects to given service. Standard input and standard output
293 of helper are connected to specified service (git prefix is
294 included in service name so e.g. fetching uses 'git-upload-pack'
295 as service) on remote side. Valid replies to this command are
296 empty line (connection established), 'fallback' (no smart
297 transport support, fall back to dumb transports) and just
298 exiting with error message printed (can't connect, don't
299 bother trying to fall back). After line feed terminating the
300 positive (empty) response, the output of service starts. After
301 the connection ends, the remote helper exits.
302 +
303 Supported if the helper has the "connect" capability.
305 If a fatal error occurs, the program writes the error message to
306 stderr and exits. The caller should expect that a suitable error
307 message has been printed if the child closes the connection without
308 completing a valid response for the current command.
310 Additional commands may be supported, as may be determined from
311 capabilities reported by the helper.
314 -------------------
316 'for-push'::
317 The caller wants to use the ref list to prepare push
318 commands. A helper might chose to acquire the ref list by
319 opening a different type of connection to the destination.
321 'unchanged'::
322 This ref is unchanged since the last import or fetch, although
323 the helper cannot necessarily determine what value that produced.
326 -------
327 'option verbosity' <n>::
328 Changes the verbosity of messages displayed by the helper.
329 A value of 0 for <n> means that processes operate
330 quietly, and the helper produces only error output.
331 1 is the default level of verbosity, and higher values
332 of <n> correspond to the number of -v flags passed on the
333 command line.
335 'option progress' \{'true'|'false'\}::
336 Enables (or disables) progress messages displayed by the
337 transport helper during a command.
339 'option depth' <depth>::
340 Deepens the history of a shallow repository.
342 'option followtags' \{'true'|'false'\}::
343 If enabled the helper should automatically fetch annotated
344 tag objects if the object the tag points at was transferred
345 during the fetch command. If the tag is not fetched by
346 the helper a second fetch command will usually be sent to
347 ask for the tag specifically. Some helpers may be able to
348 use this option to avoid a second network connection.
350 'option dry-run' \{'true'|'false'\}:
351 If true, pretend the operation completed successfully,
352 but don't actually change any repository data. For most
353 helpers this only applies to the 'push', if supported.
355 'option servpath <c-style-quoted-path>'::
356 Sets service path (--upload-pack, --receive-pack etc.) for
357 next connect. Remote helper may support this option, but
358 must not rely on this option being set before
359 connect request occurs.
362 --------
363 linkgit:git-remote[1]
365 linkgit:git-remote-testgit[1]
367 GIT
368 ---
369 Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite