path: root/Documentation
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authorDerrick Stolee <>2018-04-02 20:34:16 (GMT)
committerJunio C Hamano <>2018-04-02 21:27:31 (GMT)
commitb84f767c8a9bcf69b4cfa7fbe44441201a12541e (patch)
tree092ba7c4004b2ac7682510345f080c3a365fb163 /Documentation
parentcfe83216e404223ce8c5f6ef79c4ba9a27ff872e (diff)
commit-graph: add format document
Add document specifying the binary format for commit graphs. This format allows for: * New versions. * New hash functions and hash lengths. * Optional extensions. Basic header information is followed by a binary table of contents into "chunks" that include: * An ordered list of commit object IDs. * A 256-entry fanout into that list of OIDs. * A list of metadata for the commits. * A list of "large edges" to enable octopus merges. The format automatically includes two parent positions for every commit. This favors speed over space, since using only one position per commit would cause an extra level of indirection for every merge commit. (Octopus merges suffer from this indirection, but they are very rare.) Signed-off-by: Derrick Stolee <> Signed-off-by: Junio C Hamano <>
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diff --git a/Documentation/technical/commit-graph-format.txt b/Documentation/technical/commit-graph-format.txt
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+Git commit graph format
+The Git commit graph stores a list of commit OIDs and some associated
+metadata, including:
+- The generation number of the commit. Commits with no parents have
+ generation number 1; commits with parents have generation number
+ one more than the maximum generation number of its parents. We
+ reserve zero as special, and can be used to mark a generation
+ number invalid or as "not computed".
+- The root tree OID.
+- The commit date.
+- The parents of the commit, stored using positional references within
+ the graph file.
+These positional references are stored as unsigned 32-bit integers
+corresponding to the array position withing the list of commit OIDs. We
+use the most-significant bit for special purposes, so we can store at most
+(1 << 31) - 1 (around 2 billion) commits.
+== Commit graph files have the following format:
+In order to allow extensions that add extra data to the graph, we organize
+the body into "chunks" and provide a binary lookup table at the beginning
+of the body. The header includes certain values, such as number of chunks
+and hash type.
+All 4-byte numbers are in network order.
+ 4-byte signature:
+ The signature is: {'C', 'G', 'P', 'H'}
+ 1-byte version number:
+ Currently, the only valid version is 1.
+ 1-byte Hash Version (1 = SHA-1)
+ We infer the hash length (H) from this value.
+ 1-byte number (C) of "chunks"
+ 1-byte (reserved for later use)
+ Current clients should ignore this value.
+ (C + 1) * 12 bytes listing the table of contents for the chunks:
+ First 4 bytes describe the chunk id. Value 0 is a terminating label.
+ Other 8 bytes provide the byte-offset in current file for chunk to
+ start. (Chunks are ordered contiguously in the file, so you can infer
+ the length using the next chunk position if necessary.) Each chunk
+ ID appears at most once.
+ The remaining data in the body is described one chunk at a time, and
+ these chunks may be given in any order. Chunks are required unless
+ otherwise specified.
+ OID Fanout (ID: {'O', 'I', 'D', 'F'}) (256 * 4 bytes)
+ The ith entry, F[i], stores the number of OIDs with first
+ byte at most i. Thus F[255] stores the total
+ number of commits (N).
+ OID Lookup (ID: {'O', 'I', 'D', 'L'}) (N * H bytes)
+ The OIDs for all commits in the graph, sorted in ascending order.
+ Commit Data (ID: {'C', 'G', 'E', 'T' }) (N * (H + 16) bytes)
+ * The first H bytes are for the OID of the root tree.
+ * The next 8 bytes are for the positions of the first two parents
+ of the ith commit. Stores value 0xffffffff if no parent in that
+ position. If there are more than two parents, the second value
+ has its most-significant bit on and the other bits store an array
+ position into the Large Edge List chunk.
+ * The next 8 bytes store the generation number of the commit and
+ the commit time in seconds since EPOCH. The generation number
+ uses the higher 30 bits of the first 4 bytes, while the commit
+ time uses the 32 bits of the second 4 bytes, along with the lowest
+ 2 bits of the lowest byte, storing the 33rd and 34th bit of the
+ commit time.
+ Large Edge List (ID: {'E', 'D', 'G', 'E'}) [Optional]
+ This list of 4-byte values store the second through nth parents for
+ all octopus merges. The second parent value in the commit data stores
+ an array position within this list along with the most-significant bit
+ on. Starting at that array position, iterate through this list of commit
+ positions for the parents until reaching a value with the most-significant
+ bit on. The other bits correspond to the position of the last parent.
+ H-byte HASH-checksum of all of the above.