path: root/Documentation/git-push.txt
diff options
authorÆvar Arnfjörð Bjarmason <>2018-08-31 20:10:02 (GMT)
committerJunio C Hamano <>2018-08-31 21:04:06 (GMT)
commitfe802bd21e81cceedff2db79cc3c9a5ad75b4f93 (patch)
tree3f41f204edc88ddfa2ca087870cf6d103fa952f9 /Documentation/git-push.txt
parent8da6128c264c7896c011b5e3e0eace57eb073f63 (diff)
push doc: correct lies about how push refspecs work
There's complex rules governing whether a push is allowed to take place depending on whether we're pushing to refs/heads/*, refs/tags/* or refs/not-that/*. See is_branch() in refs.c, and the various assertions in refs/files-backend.c. (e.g. "trying to write non-commit object %s to branch '%s'"). This documentation has never been quite correct, but went downhill after dbfeddb12e ("push: require force for refs under refs/tags/", 2012-11-29) when we started claiming that <dst> couldn't be a tag object, which is incorrect. After some of the logic in that patch was changed in 256b9d70a4 ("push: fix "refs/tags/ hierarchy cannot be updated without --force"", 2013-01-16) the docs weren't updated, and we've had some version of documentation that confused whether <src> was a tag or not with whether <dst> would accept either an annotated tag object or the commit it points to. This makes the intro somewhat more verbose & complex, perhaps we should have a shorter description here and split the full complexity into a dedicated section. Very few users will find themselves needing to e.g. push blobs or trees to refs/custom-namespace/* (or blobs or trees at all), and that could be covered separately as an advanced topic. Signed-off-by: Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason <> Signed-off-by: Junio C Hamano <>
Diffstat (limited to 'Documentation/git-push.txt')
1 files changed, 44 insertions, 8 deletions
diff --git a/Documentation/git-push.txt b/Documentation/git-push.txt
index 71c78ac..f345bd3 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-push.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-push.txt
@@ -74,14 +74,50 @@ 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
-Pushing an empty <src> allows you to delete the <dst> ref from
-the remote repository.
+on the remote side. Whether this is allowed depends on where in
+`refs/*` the <dst> reference lives as described in detail below, in
+those sections "update" means any modifications except deletes, which
+as noted after the next few sections are treated differently.
+The `refs/heads/*` namespace will only accept commit objects, and
+updates only if they can be fast-forwarded.
+The `refs/tags/*` namespace will accept any kind of object (as
+commits, trees and blobs can be tagged), and any updates to them will
+be rejected.
+It's possible to push any type of object to any namespace outside of
+`refs/{tags,heads}/*`. In the case of tags and commits, these will be
+treated as if they were the commits inside `refs/heads/*` for the
+purposes of whether the update is allowed.
+I.e. a fast-forward of commits and tags outside `refs/{tags,heads}/*`
+is allowed, even in cases where what's being fast-forwarded is not a
+commit, but a tag object which happens to point to a new commit which
+is a fast-forward of the commit the last tag (or commit) it's
+replacing. Replacing a tag with an entirely different tag is also
+allowed, if it points to the same commit, as well as pushing a peeled
+tag, i.e. pushing the commit that existing tag object points to, or a
+new tag object which an existing commit points to.
+Tree and blob objects outside of `refs/{tags,heads}/*` will be treated
+the same way as if they were inside `refs/tags/*`, any update of them
+will be rejected.
+All of the rules described above about what's not allowed as an update
+can be overridden by adding an the optional leading `+` to a refspec
+(or using `--force` command line option). The only exception to this
+is that no amount of forcing will make the `refs/heads/*` namespace
+accept a non-commit object. Hooks and configuration can also override
+or amend these rules, see e.g. `receive.denyNonFastForwards` in
+linkgit:git-config[1] and`pre-receive` and `update` in
+Pushing an empty <src> allows you to delete the <dst> ref from the
+remote repository. Deletions are always accepted without a leading `+`
+in the refspec (or `--force`), except when forbidden by configuration
+or hooks. See `receive.denyDeletes` in linkgit:git-config[1] and
+`pre-receive` and `update` in linkgit:githooks[5].
The special refspec `:` (or `+:` to allow non-fast-forward updates)
directs Git to push "matching" branches: for every branch that exists on