path: root/Documentation
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authorJeff King <>2015-09-03 08:24:09 (GMT)
committerJunio C Hamano <>2015-09-03 22:18:12 (GMT)
commit1c9b659d9837fa2bd6ab21edaae94d19c20ac216 (patch)
treee93fd6cd3682f1b4f74abd201adc55e8048f571b /Documentation
parent16ffa6443e279a9b3b63d7a2bebeb07833506010 (diff)
pack-protocol: clarify LF-handling in PKT-LINE()
The spec is very inconsistent about which PKT-LINE() parts of the grammar include a LF. On top of that, the code is not consistent, either (e.g., send-pack does not put newlines into the ref-update commands it sends). Let's make explicit the long-standing expectation that we generally expect pkt-lines to end in a newline, but that receivers should be lenient. This makes the spec consistent, and matches what git already does (though it does not always fulfill the SHOULD). We do make an exception for the push-cert, where the receiving code is currently a bit pickier. This is a reasonable way to be, as the data needs to be byte-for-byte compatible with what was signed. We _could_ make up some rules about signing a canonicalized version including newlines, but that would require a code change, and is out of scope for this patch. Signed-off-by: Jeff King <> Signed-off-by: Junio C Hamano <>
Diffstat (limited to 'Documentation')
2 files changed, 30 insertions, 21 deletions
diff --git a/Documentation/technical/pack-protocol.txt b/Documentation/technical/pack-protocol.txt
index 4064fc7..c6977bb 100644
--- a/Documentation/technical/pack-protocol.txt
+++ b/Documentation/technical/pack-protocol.txt
@@ -14,6 +14,14 @@ data. The protocol functions to have a server tell a client what is
currently on the server, then for the two to negotiate the smallest amount
of data to send in order to fully update one or the other.
+pkt-line Format
+The descriptions below build on the pkt-line format described in
+protocol-common.txt. When the grammar indicate `PKT-LINE(...)`, unless
+otherwise noted the usual pkt-line LF rules apply: the sender SHOULD
+include a LF, but the receiver MUST NOT complain if it is not present.
There are three transports over which the packfile protocol is
@@ -143,9 +151,6 @@ with the object name that each reference currently points to.
003fe92df48743b7bc7d26bcaabfddde0a1e20cae47c refs/tags/v1.0^{}
-Server SHOULD terminate each non-flush line using LF ("\n") terminator;
-client MUST NOT complain if there is no terminator.
The returned response is a pkt-line stream describing each ref and
its current value. The stream MUST be sorted by name according to
the C locale ordering.
@@ -165,15 +170,15 @@ MUST peel the ref if it's an annotated tag.
no-refs = PKT-LINE(zero-id SP "capabilities^{}"
- NUL capability-list LF)
+ NUL capability-list)
list-of-refs = first-ref *other-ref
first-ref = PKT-LINE(obj-id SP refname
- NUL capability-list LF)
+ NUL capability-list)
other-ref = PKT-LINE(other-tip / other-peeled)
- other-tip = obj-id SP refname LF
- other-peeled = obj-id SP refname "^{}" LF
+ other-tip = obj-id SP refname
+ other-peeled = obj-id SP refname "^{}"
shallow = PKT-LINE("shallow" SP obj-id)
@@ -216,8 +221,8 @@ out of what the server said it could do with the first 'want' line.
depth-request = PKT-LINE("deepen" SP depth)
- first-want = PKT-LINE("want" SP obj-id SP capability-list LF)
- additional-want = PKT-LINE("want" SP obj-id LF)
+ first-want = PKT-LINE("want" SP obj-id SP capability-list)
+ additional-want = PKT-LINE("want" SP obj-id)
depth = 1*DIGIT
@@ -284,7 +289,7 @@ so that there is always a block of 32 "in-flight on the wire" at a time.
have-list = *have-line
- have-line = PKT-LINE("have" SP obj-id LF)
+ have-line = PKT-LINE("have" SP obj-id)
compute-end = flush-pkt / PKT-LINE("done")
@@ -348,10 +353,10 @@ Then the server will start sending its packfile data.
server-response = *ack_multi ack / nak
- ack_multi = PKT-LINE("ACK" SP obj-id ack_status LF)
+ ack_multi = PKT-LINE("ACK" SP obj-id ack_status)
ack_status = "continue" / "common" / "ready"
- ack = PKT-LINE("ACK SP obj-id LF)
- nak = PKT-LINE("NAK" LF)
+ ack = PKT-LINE("ACK" SP obj-id)
+ nak = PKT-LINE("NAK")
A simple clone may look like this (with no 'have' lines):
@@ -467,10 +472,10 @@ references.
update-request = *shallow ( command-list | push-cert ) [packfile]
- shallow = PKT-LINE("shallow" SP obj-id LF)
+ shallow = PKT-LINE("shallow" SP obj-id)
- command-list = PKT-LINE(command NUL capability-list LF)
- *PKT-LINE(command LF)
+ command-list = PKT-LINE(command NUL capability-list)
+ *PKT-LINE(command)
command = create / delete / update
@@ -521,7 +526,8 @@ Push Certificate
A push certificate begins with a set of header lines. After the
header and an empty line, the protocol commands follow, one per
+line. Note that the the trailing LF in push-cert PKT-LINEs is _not_
+optional; it must be present.
Currently, the following header fields are defined:
@@ -560,12 +566,12 @@ update was successful, or 'ng [refname] [error]' if the update was not.
- unpack-status = PKT-LINE("unpack" SP unpack-result LF)
+ unpack-status = PKT-LINE("unpack" SP unpack-result)
unpack-result = "ok" / error-msg
command-status = command-ok / command-fail
- command-ok = PKT-LINE("ok" SP refname LF)
- command-fail = PKT-LINE("ng" SP refname SP error-msg LF)
+ command-ok = PKT-LINE("ok" SP refname)
+ command-fail = PKT-LINE("ng" SP refname SP error-msg)
error-msg = 1*(OCTECT) ; where not "ok"
diff --git a/Documentation/technical/protocol-common.txt b/Documentation/technical/protocol-common.txt
index 889985f..bf30167 100644
--- a/Documentation/technical/protocol-common.txt
+++ b/Documentation/technical/protocol-common.txt
@@ -62,7 +62,10 @@ A pkt-line MAY contain binary data, so implementors MUST ensure
pkt-line parsing/formatting routines are 8-bit clean.
A non-binary line SHOULD BE terminated by an LF, which if present
-MUST be included in the total length.
+MUST be included in the total length. Receivers MUST treat pkt-lines
+with non-binary data the same whether or not they contain the trailing
+LF (stripping the LF if present, and not complaining when it is
The maximum length of a pkt-line's data component is 65520 bytes.
Implementations MUST NOT send pkt-line whose length exceeds 65524