Section: Git Manual (1)
Updated: 03/19/2016
Index Return to Main Contents


git-fast-export - Git data exporter  


git fast-export [options] | git fast-import



This program dumps the given revisions in a form suitable to be piped into git fast-import.

You can use it as a human-readable bundle replacement (see git-bundle(1)), or as a kind of an interactive git filter-branch.  



Insert progress statements every <n> objects, to be shown by git fast-import during import.


Specify how to handle signed tags. Since any transformation after the export can change the tag names (which can also happen when excluding revisions) the signatures will not match.

When asking to abort (which is the default), this program will die when encountering a signed tag. With strip, the tags will silently be made unsigned, with warn-strip they will be made unsigned but a warning will be displayed, with verbatim, they will be silently exported and with warn, they will be exported, but you will see a warning.


Specify how to handle tags whose tagged object is filtered out. Since revisions and files to export can be limited by path, tagged objects may be filtered completely.

When asking to abort (which is the default), this program will die when encountering such a tag. With drop it will omit such tags from the output. With rewrite, if the tagged object is a commit, it will rewrite the tag to tag an ancestor commit (via parent rewriting; see git-rev-list(1))

-M, -C

Perform move and/or copy detection, as described in the git-diff(1) manual page, and use it to generate rename and copy commands in the output dump.

Note that earlier versions of this command did not complain and produced incorrect results if you gave these options.


Dumps the internal marks table to <file> when complete. Marks are written one per line as :markid SHA-1. Only marks for revisions are dumped; marks for blobs are ignored. Backends can use this file to validate imports after they have been completed, or to save the marks table across incremental runs. As <file> is only opened and truncated at completion, the same path can also be safely given to --import-marks. The file will not be written if no new object has been marked/exported.


Before processing any input, load the marks specified in <file>. The input file must exist, must be readable, and must use the same format as produced by --export-marks.

Any commits that have already been marked will not be exported again. If the backend uses a similar --import-marks file, this allows for incremental bidirectional exporting of the repository by keeping the marks the same across runs.


Some old repositories have tags without a tagger. The fast-import protocol was pretty strict about that, and did not allow that. So fake a tagger to be able to fast-import the output.


Start the stream with a feature done stanza, and terminate it with a done command.


Skip output of blob objects and instead refer to blobs via their original SHA-1 hash. This is useful when rewriting the directory structure or history of a repository without touching the contents of individual files. Note that the resulting stream can only be used by a repository which already contains the necessary objects.


This option will cause fast-export to issue a "deleteall" directive for each commit followed by a full list of all files in the commit (as opposed to just listing the files which are different from the commit's first parent).


Apply the specified refspec to each ref exported. Multiple of them can be specified.


A list of arguments, acceptable to git rev-parse and git rev-list, that specifies the specific objects and references to export. For example, master~10..master causes the current master reference to be exported along with all objects added since its 10th ancestor commit.


$ git fast-export --all | (cd /empty/repository && git fast-import)

This will export the whole repository and import it into the existing empty repository. Except for reencoding commits that are not in UTF-8, it would be a one-to-one mirror.

$ git fast-export master~5..master |
        sed "s|refs/heads/master|refs/heads/other|" |
        git fast-import

This makes a new branch called other from master~5..master (i.e. if master has linear history, it will take the last 5 commits).

Note that this assumes that none of the blobs and commit messages referenced by that revision range contains the string refs/heads/master.  


Since git fast-import cannot tag trees, you will not be able to export the linux.git repository completely, as it contains a tag referencing a tree instead of a commit.  


Part of the git(1) suite