[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 Git sends the remote helper a list of commands on standard input, one
42 per line. The first command is always the 'capabilities' command, in
43 response to which the remote helper must print a list of the
44 capabilities it supports (see below) followed by a blank line. The
45 response to the capabilities command determines what commands Git uses
46 in the remainder of the command stream.
48 The command stream is terminated by a blank line. In some cases
49 (indicated in the documentation of the relevant commands), this blank
50 line is followed by a payload in some other protocol (e.g., the pack
51 protocol), while in others it indicates the end of input.
53 Capabilities
54 ~~~~~~~~~~~~
56 Each remote helper is expected to support only a subset of commands.
57 The operations a helper supports are declared to git in the response
58 to the `capabilities` command (see COMMANDS, below).
60 'option'::
61 For specifying settings like `verbosity` (how much output to
62 write to stderr) and `depth` (how much history is wanted in the
63 case of a shallow clone) that affect how other commands are
64 carried out.
66 'connect'::
67 For fetching and pushing using git's native packfile protocol
68 that requires a bidirectional, full-duplex connection.
70 'push'::
71 For listing remote refs and pushing specified objects from the
72 local object store to remote refs.
74 'fetch'::
75 For listing remote refs and fetching the associated history to
76 the local object store.
78 'import'::
79 For listing remote refs and fetching the associated history as
80 a fast-import stream.
82 'refspec' <refspec>::
83 This modifies the 'import' capability, allowing the produced
84 fast-import stream to modify refs in a private namespace
85 instead of writing to refs/heads or refs/remotes directly.
86 It is recommended that all importers providing the 'import'
87 capability use this.
88 +
89 A helper advertising the capability
90 `refspec refs/heads/{asterisk}:refs/svn/origin/branches/{asterisk}`
91 is saying that, when it is asked to `import refs/heads/topic`, the
92 stream it outputs will update the `refs/svn/origin/branches/topic`
93 ref.
94 +
95 This capability can be advertised multiple times. The first
96 applicable refspec takes precedence. The left-hand of refspecs
97 advertised with this capability must cover all refs reported by
98 the list command. If no 'refspec' capability is advertised,
99 there is an implied `refspec {asterisk}:{asterisk}`.
101 Capabilities for Pushing
102 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
103 'connect'::
104 Can attempt to connect to 'git receive-pack' (for pushing),
105 'git upload-pack', etc for communication using the
106 packfile protocol.
107 +
108 Supported commands: 'connect'.
110 'push'::
111 Can discover remote refs and push local commits and the
112 history leading up to them to new or existing remote refs.
113 +
114 Supported commands: 'list for-push', 'push'.
116 If a helper advertises both 'connect' and 'push', git will use
117 'connect' if possible and fall back to 'push' if the helper requests
118 so when connecting (see the 'connect' command under COMMANDS).
120 Capabilities for Fetching
121 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
122 'connect'::
123 Can try to connect to 'git upload-pack' (for fetching),
124 'git receive-pack', etc for communication using the
125 packfile protocol.
126 +
127 Supported commands: 'connect'.
129 'fetch'::
130 Can discover remote refs and transfer objects reachable from
131 them to the local object store.
132 +
133 Supported commands: 'list', 'fetch'.
135 'import'::
136 Can discover remote refs and output objects reachable from
137 them as a stream in fast-import format.
138 +
139 Supported commands: 'list', 'import'.
141 If a helper advertises 'connect', git will use it if possible and
142 fall back to another capability if the helper requests so when
143 connecting (see the 'connect' command under COMMANDS).
144 When choosing between 'fetch' and 'import', git prefers 'fetch'.
145 Other frontends may have some other order of preference.
147 'refspec' <refspec>::
148 This modifies the 'import' capability.
149 +
150 A helper advertising
151 `refspec refs/heads/{asterisk}:refs/svn/origin/branches/{asterisk}`
152 in its capabilities is saying that, when it handles
153 `import refs/heads/topic`, the stream it outputs will update the
154 `refs/svn/origin/branches/topic` ref.
155 +
156 This capability can be advertised multiple times. The first
157 applicable refspec takes precedence. The left-hand of refspecs
158 advertised with this capability must cover all refs reported by
159 the list command. If no 'refspec' capability is advertised,
160 there is an implied `refspec {asterisk}:{asterisk}`.
163 ----------
165 Remote helper programs are invoked with one or (optionally) two
166 arguments. The first argument specifies a remote repository as in git;
167 it is either the name of a configured remote or a URL. The second
168 argument specifies a URL; it is usually of the form
169 '<transport>://<address>', but any arbitrary string is possible.
170 The 'GIT_DIR' environment variable is set up for the remote helper
171 and can be used to determine where to store additional data or from
172 which directory to invoke auxiliary git commands.
174 When git encounters a URL of the form '<transport>://<address>', where
175 '<transport>' is a protocol that it cannot handle natively, it
176 automatically invokes 'git remote-<transport>' with the full URL as
177 the second argument. If such a URL is encountered directly on the
178 command line, the first argument is the same as the second, and if it
179 is encountered in a configured remote, the first argument is the name
180 of that remote.
182 A URL of the form '<transport>::<address>' explicitly instructs git to
183 invoke 'git remote-<transport>' with '<address>' as the second
184 argument. If such a URL is encountered directly on the command line,
185 the first argument is '<address>', and if it is encountered in a
186 configured remote, the first argument is the name of that remote.
188 Additionally, when a configured remote has 'remote.<name>.vcs' set to
189 '<transport>', git explicitly invokes 'git remote-<transport>' with
190 '<name>' as the first argument. If set, the second argument is
191 'remote.<name>.url'; otherwise, the second argument is omitted.
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 +
246 Zero or more protocol options may be entered after the last 'push'
247 command, before the batch's terminating blank line.
248 +
249 When the push is complete, outputs one or more 'ok <dst>' or
250 'error <dst> <why>?' lines to indicate success or failure of
251 each pushed ref. The status report output is terminated by
252 a blank line. The option field <why> may be quoted in a C
253 style string if it contains an LF.
254 +
255 Supported if the helper has the "push" capability.
257 'import' <name>::
258 Produces a fast-import stream which imports the current value
259 of the named ref. It may additionally import other refs as
260 needed to construct the history efficiently. The script writes
261 to a helper-specific private namespace. The value of the named
262 ref should be written to a location in this namespace derived
263 by applying the refspecs from the "refspec" capability to the
264 name of the ref.
265 +
266 Especially useful for interoperability with a foreign versioning
267 system.
268 +
269 Supported if the helper has the "import" capability.
271 'connect' <service>::
272 Connects to given service. Standard input and standard output
273 of helper are connected to specified service (git prefix is
274 included in service name so e.g. fetching uses 'git-upload-pack'
275 as service) on remote side. Valid replies to this command are
276 empty line (connection established), 'fallback' (no smart
277 transport support, fall back to dumb transports) and just
278 exiting with error message printed (can't connect, don't
279 bother trying to fall back). After line feed terminating the
280 positive (empty) response, the output of service starts. After
281 the connection ends, the remote helper exits.
282 +
283 Supported if the helper has the "connect" capability.
285 If a fatal error occurs, the program writes the error message to
286 stderr and exits. The caller should expect that a suitable error
287 message has been printed if the child closes the connection without
288 completing a valid response for the current command.
290 Additional commands may be supported, as may be determined from
291 capabilities reported by the helper.
294 -------------------
296 'for-push'::
297 The caller wants to use the ref list to prepare push
298 commands. A helper might chose to acquire the ref list by
299 opening a different type of connection to the destination.
301 'unchanged'::
302 This ref is unchanged since the last import or fetch, although
303 the helper cannot necessarily determine what value that produced.
306 -------
307 'option verbosity' <n>::
308 Changes the verbosity of messages displayed by the helper.
309 A value of 0 for <n> means that processes operate
310 quietly, and the helper produces only error output.
311 1 is the default level of verbosity, and higher values
312 of <n> correspond to the number of -v flags passed on the
313 command line.
315 'option progress' \{'true'|'false'\}::
316 Enables (or disables) progress messages displayed by the
317 transport helper during a command.
319 'option depth' <depth>::
320 Deepens the history of a shallow repository.
322 'option followtags' \{'true'|'false'\}::
323 If enabled the helper should automatically fetch annotated
324 tag objects if the object the tag points at was transferred
325 during the fetch command. If the tag is not fetched by
326 the helper a second fetch command will usually be sent to
327 ask for the tag specifically. Some helpers may be able to
328 use this option to avoid a second network connection.
330 'option dry-run' \{'true'|'false'\}:
331 If true, pretend the operation completed successfully,
332 but don't actually change any repository data. For most
333 helpers this only applies to the 'push', if supported.
335 'option servpath <c-style-quoted-path>'::
336 Sets service path (--upload-pack, --receive-pack etc.) for
337 next connect. Remote helper may support this option, but
338 must not rely on this option being set before
339 connect request occurs.
342 --------
343 linkgit:git-remote[1]
345 GIT
346 ---
347 Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite