git-push – Update remote refs along with associated objects


git push [–all | –mirror | –tags] [–follow-tags] [–atomic] [-n | –dry-run] [–receive-pack=<git-receive-pack>]
[–repo=<repository>] [-f | –force] [–prune] [-v | –verbose]

[-u | –set-upstream]



[–no-verify] [<repository> [<refspec>…]]


Updates remote refs using local refs, while sending objects necessary to complete the given


You can make interesting things happen to a repository every time you push into it, by setting

up hooks there. See documentation for git-receive-pack(1).

When the command line does not specify where to push with the <repository> argument,

branch.*.remote configuration for the current branch is consulted to determine where to push.

If the configuration is missing, it defaults to origin.

When the command line does not specify what to push with <refspec>… arguments or –all,

–mirror, –tags options, the command finds the default <refspec> by consulting remote.*.push

configuration, and if it is not found, honors push.default configuration to decide what to push

(See git-config(1) for the meaning of push.default).

When neither the command-line nor the configuration specify what to push, the default behavior

is used, which corresponds to the simple value for push.default: the current branch is pushed

to the corresponding upstream branch, but as a safety measure, the push is aborted if the

upstream branch does not have the same name as the local one.


The “remote” repository that is destination of a push operation. This parameter can be

either a URL (see the section GIT URLS below) or the name of a remote (see the section

REMOTES below).

Specify what destination ref to update with what source object. The format of a <refspec>

parameter is an optional plus +, followed by the source object <src>, followed by a colon

:, followed by the destination ref <dst>.

The <src> is often the name of the branch you would want to push, but it can be any

arbitrary “SHA-1 expression”, such as master~4 or HEAD (see gitrevisions(7)).

The <dst> tells which ref on the remote side is updated with this push. Arbitrary

expressions cannot be used here, an actual ref must be named. If git push [<repository>]

without any <refspec> argument is set to update some ref at the destination with <src> with

remote.<repository>.push configuration variable, :<dst> part can be omitted—such a push

will update a ref that <src> normally updates without any <refspec> on the command line.

Otherwise, missing :<dst> means to update the same ref as the <src>.

The object referenced by <src> is used to update the <dst> reference on the remote side. By

default this is only allowed if <dst> is not a tag (annotated or lightweight), and then

only if it can fast-forward <dst>. By having the optional leading +, you can tell Git to

update the <dst> ref even if it is not allowed by default (e.g., it is not a fast-forward.)

This does not attempt to merge <src> into <dst>. See EXAMPLES below for details.

tag <tag> means the same as refs/tags/<tag>:refs/tags/<tag>.

Pushing an empty <src> allows you to delete the <dst> ref from the remote repository.

The special refspec : (or +: to allow non-fast-forward updates) directs Git to push

“matching” branches: for every branch that exists on the local side, the remote side is

updated if a branch of the same name already exists on the remote side.

Push all branches (i.e. refs under refs/heads/); cannot be used with other <refspec>.

Remove remote branches that don’t have a local counterpart. For example a remote branch tmp

will be removed if a local branch with the same name doesn’t exist any more. This also

respects refspecs, e.g. git push –prune remote refs/heads/*:refs/tmp/* would make sure

that remote refs/tmp/foo will be removed if refs/heads/foo doesn’t exist.

Instead of naming each ref to push, specifies that all refs under refs/ (which includes but

is not limited to refs/heads/, refs/remotes/, and refs/tags/) be mirrored to the remote

repository. Newly created local refs will be pushed to the remote end, locally updated refs

will be force updated on the remote end, and deleted refs will be removed from the remote

end. This is the default if the configuration option remote.<remote>.mirror is set.

-n, –dry-run
Do everything except actually send the updates.

Produce machine-readable output. The output status line for each ref will be tab-separated

and sent to stdout instead of stderr. The full symbolic names of the refs will be given.

All listed refs are deleted from the remote repository. This is the same as prefixing all

refs with a colon.

All refs under refs/tags are pushed, in addition to refspecs explicitly listed on the

command line.

Push all the refs that would be pushed without this option, and also push annotated tags in

refs/tags that are missing from the remote but are pointing at commit-ish that are

reachable from the refs being pushed. This can also be specified with configuration

variable push.followTags. For more information, see push.followTags in git-config(1).

–[no-]signed, –sign=(true|false|if-asked)
GPG-sign the push request to update refs on the receiving side, to allow it to be checked

by the hooks and/or be logged. If false or –no-signed, no signing will be attempted. If

true or –signed, the push will fail if the server does not support signed pushes. If set

to if-asked, sign if and only if the server supports signed pushes. The push will also fail

if the actual call to gpg –sign fails. See git-receive-pack(1) for the details on the

receiving end.

Use an atomic transaction on the remote side if available. Either all refs are updated, or

on error, no refs are updated. If the server does not support atomic pushes the push will


–receive-pack=<git-receive-pack>, –exec=<git-receive-pack>
Path to the git-receive-pack program on the remote end. Sometimes useful when pushing to a

remote repository over ssh, and you do not have the program in a directory on the default


–[no-]force-with-lease, –force-with-lease=<refname>, –force-with-lease=<refname>:<expect>
Usually, “git push” refuses to update a remote ref that is not an ancestor of the local ref

used to overwrite it.

This option overrides this restriction if the current value of the remote ref is the

expected value. “git push” fails otherwise.

Imagine that you have to rebase what you have already published. You will have to bypass

the “must fast-forward” rule in order to replace the history you originally published with

the rebased history. If somebody else built on top of your original history while you are

rebasing, the tip of the branch at the remote may advance with her commit, and blindly

pushing with –force will lose her work.

This option allows you to say that you expect the history you are updating is what you

rebased and want to replace. If the remote ref still points at the commit you specified,

you can be sure that no other people did anything to the ref. It is like taking a “lease”

on the ref without explicitly locking it, and the remote ref is updated only if the “lease”

is still valid.

–force-with-lease alone, without specifying the details, will protect all remote refs that

are going to be updated by requiring their current value to be the same as the

remote-tracking branch we have for them.

–force-with-lease=<refname>, without specifying the expected value, will protect the named

ref (alone), if it is going to be updated, by requiring its current value to be the same as

the remote-tracking branch we have for it.

–force-with-lease=<refname>:<expect> will protect the named ref (alone), if it is going to

be updated, by requiring its current value to be the same as the specified value <expect>

(which is allowed to be different from the remote-tracking branch we have for the refname,

or we do not even have to have such a remote-tracking branch when this form is used).

Note that all forms other than –force-with-lease=<refname>:<expect> that specifies the

expected current value of the ref explicitly are still experimental and their semantics may

change as we gain experience with this feature.

“–no-force-with-lease” will cancel all the previous –force-with-lease on the command


-f, –force
Usually, the command refuses to update a remote ref that is not an ancestor of the local

ref used to overwrite it. Also, when –force-with-lease option is used, the command refuses

to update a remote ref whose current value does not match what is expected.

This flag disables these checks, and can cause the remote repository to lose commits; use

it with care.

Note that –force applies to all the refs that are pushed, hence using it with push.default

set to matching or with multiple push destinations configured with remote.*.push may

overwrite refs other than the current branch (including local refs that are strictly behind

their remote counterpart). To force a push to only one branch, use a + in front of the

refspec to push (e.g git push origin +master to force a push to the master branch). See the

<refspec>… section above for details.

This option is equivalent to the <repository> argument. If both are specified, the

command-line argument takes precedence.

-u, –set-upstream
For every branch that is up to date or successfully pushed, add upstream (tracking)

reference, used by argument-less git-pull(1) and other commands. For more information, see

branch.<name>.merge in git-config(1).

These options are passed to git-send-pack(1). A thin transfer significantly reduces the

amount of sent data when the sender and receiver share many of the same objects in common.

The default is –thin.

-q, –quiet
Suppress all output, including the listing of updated refs, unless an error occurs.

Progress is not reported to the standard error stream.

-v, –verbose
Run verbosely.

Progress status is reported on the standard error stream by default when it is attached to

a terminal, unless -q is specified. This flag forces progress status even if the standard

error stream is not directed to a terminal.

–no-recurse-submodules, –recurse-submodules=check|on-demand|no
May be used to make sure all submodule commits used by the revisions to be pushed are

available on a remote-tracking branch. If check is used Git will verify that all submodule

commits that changed in the revisions to be pushed are available on at least one remote of

the submodule. If any commits are missing the push will be aborted and exit with non-zero

status. If on-demand is used all submodules that changed in the revisions to be pushed will

be pushed. If on-demand was not able to push all necessary revisions it will also be

aborted and exit with non-zero status. A value of no or using –no-recurse-submodules can

be used to override the push.recurseSubmodules configuration variable when no submodule

recursion is required.

Toggle the pre-push hook (see githooks(5)). The default is –verify, giving the hook a

chance to prevent the push. With –no-verify, the hook is bypassed completely.


In general, URLs contain information about the transport protocol, the address of the remote

server, and the path to the repository. Depending on the transport protocol, some of this

information may be absent.

Git supports ssh, git, http, and https protocols (in addition, ftp, and ftps can be used for

fetching and rsync can be used for fetching and pushing, but these are inefficient and

deprecated; do not use them).

The native transport (i.e. git:// URL) does no authentication and should be used with caution

on unsecured networks.

The following syntaxes may be used with them:

· http[s]://host.xz[:port]/path/to/repo.git/

· ftp[s]://host.xz[:port]/path/to/repo.git/

An alternative scp-like syntax may also be used with the ssh protocol:

This syntax is only recognized if there are no slashes before the first colon. This helps

differentiate a local path that contains a colon. For example the local path foo:bar could be

specified as an absolute path or ./foo:bar to avoid being misinterpreted as an ssh url.

The ssh and git protocols additionally support ~username expansion:

For local repositories, also supported by Git natively, the following syntaxes may be used:

· /path/to/repo.git/

These two syntaxes are mostly equivalent, except when cloning, when the former implies –local

option. See git-clone(1) for details.

When Git doesn’t know how to handle a certain transport protocol, it attempts to use the

remote-<transport> remote helper, if one exists. To explicitly request a remote helper, the

following syntax may be used:

· <transport>::<address>

where <address> may be a path, a server and path, or an arbitrary URL-like string recognized by

the specific remote helper being invoked. See gitremote-helpers(1) for details.

If there are a large number of similarly-named remote repositories and you want to use a

different format for them (such that the URLs you use will be rewritten into URLs that work),

you can create a configuration section of the form:

[url “<actual url base>”]
insteadOf = <other url base>

For example, with this:

[url ”
insteadOf = host.xz:/path/to/

insteadOf = work:

a URL like “work:repo.git” or like “host.xz:/path/to/repo.git” will be rewritten in any context

that takes a URL to be ”

If you want to rewrite URLs for push only, you can create a configuration section of the form:

[url “<actual url base>”]
pushInsteadOf = <other url base>

For example, with this:

[url ”
pushInsteadOf =

a URL like ”
git://example.org/path/to/repo.git” will be rewritten to

ssh://example.org/path/to/repo.git” for pushes, but pulls will still use the original URL.


The name of one of the following can be used instead of a URL as <repository> argument:

· a remote in the Git configuration file: $GIT_DIR/config,

· a file in the $GIT_DIR/remotes directory, or

· a file in the $GIT_DIR/branches directory.

All of these also allow you to omit the refspec from the command line because they each contain

a refspec which git will use by default.

Named remote in configuration file

You can choose to provide the name of a remote which you had previously configured using git-

remote(1), git-config(1) or even by a manual edit to the $GIT_DIR/config file. The URL of this

remote will be used to access the repository. The refspec of this remote will be used by

default when you do not provide a refspec on the command line. The entry in the config file

would appear like this:

[remote “<name>”]
url = <url>

pushurl = <pushurl>

push = <refspec>

fetch = <refspec>

The <pushurl> is used for pushes only. It is optional and defaults to <url>.

Named file in $GIT_DIR/remotes

You can choose to provide the name of a file in $GIT_DIR/remotes. The URL in this file will be

used to access the repository. The refspec in this file will be used as default when you do not

provide a refspec on the command line. This file should have the following format:

URL: one of the above URL format

Push: <refspec>

Pull: <refspec>

Push: lines are used by git push and Pull: lines are used by git pull and git fetch. Multiple

Push: and Pull: lines may be specified for additional branch mappings.

Named file in $GIT_DIR/branches

You can choose to provide the name of a file in $GIT_DIR/branches. The URL in this file will be

used to access the repository. This file should have the following format:


<url> is required; #<head> is optional.

Depending on the operation, git will use one of the following refspecs, if you don’t provide

one on the command line. <branch> is the name of this file in $GIT_DIR/branches and <head>

defaults to master.

git fetch uses:


git push uses:



The output of “git push” depends on the transport method used; this section describes the

output when pushing over the Git protocol (either locally or via ssh).

The status of the push is output in tabular form, with each line representing the status of a

single ref. Each line is of the form:

<flag> <summary> <from> -> <to> (<reason>)

If –porcelain is used, then each line of the output is of the form:

<flag> \t <from>:<to> \t <summary> (<reason>)

The status of up-to-date refs is shown only if –porcelain or –verbose option is used.

A single character indicating the status of the ref:

for a successfully pushed fast-forward;

for a successful forced update;

for a successfully deleted ref;

for a successfully pushed new ref;

for a ref that was rejected or failed to push; and

for a ref that was up to date and did not need pushing.

For a successfully pushed ref, the summary shows the old and new values of the ref in a

form suitable for using as an argument to git log (this is <old>..<new> in most cases, and

<old>…<new> for forced non-fast-forward updates).

For a failed update, more details are given:

Git did not try to send the ref at all, typically because it is not a fast-forward and

you did not force the update.

remote rejected
The remote end refused the update. Usually caused by a hook on the remote side, or

because the remote repository has one of the following safety options in effect:

receive.denyCurrentBranch (for pushes to the checked out branch),

receive.denyNonFastForwards (for forced non-fast-forward updates), receive.denyDeletes

or receive.denyDeleteCurrent. See git-config(1).

remote failure
The remote end did not report the successful update of the ref, perhaps because of a

temporary error on the remote side, a break in the network connection, or other

transient error.

The name of the local ref being pushed, minus its refs/<type>/ prefix. In the case of

deletion, the name of the local ref is omitted.

The name of the remote ref being updated, minus its refs/<type>/ prefix.

A human-readable explanation. In the case of successfully pushed refs, no explanation is

needed. For a failed ref, the reason for failure is described.


When an update changes a branch (or more in general, a ref) that used to point at commit A to

point at another commit B, it is called a fast-forward update if and only if B is a descendant

of A.

In a fast-forward update from A to B, the set of commits that the original commit A built on

top of is a subset of the commits the new commit B builds on top of. Hence, it does not lose

any history.

In contrast, a non-fast-forward update will lose history. For example, suppose you and somebody

else started at the same commit X, and you built a history leading to commit B while the other

person built a history leading to commit A. The history looks like this:



Further suppose that the other person already pushed changes leading to A back to the original

repository from which you two obtained the original commit X.

The push done by the other person updated the branch that used to point at commit X to point at

commit A. It is a fast-forward.

But if you try to push, you will attempt to update the branch (that now points at A) with

commit B. This does not fast-forward. If you did so, the changes introduced by commit A will be

lost, because everybody will now start building on top of B.

The command by default does not allow an update that is not a fast-forward to prevent such loss

of history.

If you do not want to lose your work (history from X to B) or the work by the other person

(history from X to A), you would need to first fetch the history from the repository, create a

history that contains changes done by both parties, and push the result back.

You can perform “git pull”, resolve potential conflicts, and “git push” the result. A “git

pull” will create a merge commit C between commits A and B.


/ /

Updating A with the resulting merge commit will fast-forward and your push will be accepted.

Alternatively, you can rebase your change between X and B on top of A, with “git pull

–rebase”, and push the result back. The rebase will create a new commit D that builds the

change between X and B on top of A.


/ /

Again, updating A with this commit will fast-forward and your push will be accepted.

There is another common situation where you may encounter non-fast-forward rejection when you

try to push, and it is possible even when you are pushing into a repository nobody else pushes

into. After you push commit A yourself (in the first picture in this section), replace it with

“git commit –amend” to produce commit B, and you try to push it out, because forgot that you

have pushed A out already. In such a case, and only if you are certain that nobody in the

meantime fetched your earlier commit A (and started building on top of it), you can run “git

push –force” to overwrite it. In other words, “git push –force” is a method reserved for a

case where you do mean to lose history.


git push
Works like git push <remote>, where <remote> is the current branch’s remote (or origin, if

no remote is configured for the current branch).

git push origin
Without additional configuration, pushes the current branch to the configured upstream

(remote.origin.merge configuration variable) if it has the same name as the current branch,

and errors out without pushing otherwise.

The default behavior of this command when no <refspec> is given can be configured by

setting the push option of the remote, or the push.default configuration variable.

For example, to default to pushing only the current branch to origin use git config

remote.origin.push HEAD. Any valid <refspec> (like the ones in the examples below) can be

configured as the default for git push origin.

git push origin :
Push “matching” branches to origin. See <refspec> in the OPTIONS section above for a

description of “matching” branches.

git push origin master
Find a ref that matches master in the source repository (most likely, it would find

refs/heads/master), and update the same ref (e.g. refs/heads/master) in origin repository

with it. If master did not exist remotely, it would be created.

git push origin HEAD
A handy way to push the current branch to the same name on the remote.

git push mothership master:satellite/master dev:satellite/dev
Use the source ref that matches master (e.g. refs/heads/master) to update the ref that

matches satellite/master (most probably refs/remotes/satellite/master) in the mothership

repository; do the same for dev and satellite/dev.

This is to emulate git fetch run on the mothership using git push that is run in the

opposite direction in order to integrate the work done on satellite, and is often necessary

when you can only make connection in one way (i.e. satellite can ssh into mothership but

mothership cannot initiate connection to satellite because the latter is behind a firewall

or does not run sshd).

After running this git push on the satellite machine, you would ssh into the mothership and

run git merge there to complete the emulation of git pull that were run on mothership to

pull changes made on satellite.

git push origin HEAD:master
Push the current branch to the remote ref matching master in the origin repository. This

form is convenient to push the current branch without thinking about its local name.

git push origin master:refs/heads/experimental
Create the branch experimental in the origin repository by copying the current master

branch. This form is only needed to create a new branch or tag in the remote repository

when the local name and the remote name are different; otherwise, the ref name on its own

will work.

git push origin :experimental
Find a ref that matches experimental in the origin repository (e.g.

refs/heads/experimental), and delete it.

git push origin +dev:master
Update the origin repository’s master branch with the dev branch, allowing non-fast-forward

updates. This can leave unreferenced commits dangling in the origin repository. Consider

the following situation, where a fast-forward is not possible:

o—o—o—A—B origin/master

X—Y—Z dev

The above command would change the origin repository to

A—B (unnamed branch)

o—o—o—X—Y—Z master

Commits A and B would no longer belong to a branch with a symbolic name, and so would be

unreachable. As such, these commits would be removed by a git gc command on the origin



Part of the git(1) suite

Git 2.7.4 03/23/2016 GIT-PUSH(1)