git clone [--template=<template_directory>]
[-l] [-s] [--no-hardlinks] [-q] [-n] [--bare] [--mirror]
[-o <name>] [-b <name>] [-u <upload-pack>] [--reference <repository>]
[--separate-git-dir <git dir>]
[--depth <depth>] [--recursive|--recurse-submodules] [--] <repository>
When the repository to clone from is on a local machine, this flag bypasses the normal "git aware"
transport mechanism and clones the repository by making a copy of HEAD and everything under objects
and refs directories. The files under .git/objects/ directory are hardlinked to save space when
possible. This is now the default when the source repository is specified with /path/to/repo syntax,
so it essentially is a no-op option. To force copying instead of hardlinking (which may be desirable
if you are trying to make a back-up of your repository), but still avoid the usual "git aware"
transport mechanism, --no-hardlinks can be used.
Optimize the cloning process from a repository on a local filesystem by copying files under
When the repository to clone is on the local machine, instead of using hard links, automatically
setup .git/objects/info/alternates to share the objects with the source repository. The resulting
repository starts out without any object of its own.
NOTE: this is a possibly dangerous operation; do not use it unless you understand what it does. If
you clone your repository using this option and then delete branches (or use any other git command
that makes any existing commit unreferenced) in the source repository, some objects may become
unreferenced (or dangling). These objects may be removed by normal git operations (such as git
commit) which automatically call git gc --auto. (See git-gc(1).) If these objects are removed and
were referenced by the cloned repository, then the cloned repository will become corrupt.
Note that running git repack without the -l option in a repository cloned with -s will copy objects
from the source repository into a pack in the cloned repository, removing the disk space savings of
clone -s. It is safe, however, to run git gc, which uses the -l option by default.
If you want to break the dependency of a repository cloned with -s on its source repository, you can
simply run git repack -a to copy all objects from the source repository into a pack in the cloned
If the reference repository is on the local machine, automatically setup .git/objects/info/alternates
to obtain objects from the reference repository. Using an already existing repository as an alternate
will require fewer objects to be copied from the repository being cloned, reducing network and local
NOTE: see the NOTE for the --shared option.
Operate quietly. Progress is not reported to the standard error stream. This flag is also passed to
the ‘rsync’ command when given.
Run verbosely. Does not affect the reporting of progress status to the standard error stream.
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 checkout of HEAD is performed after the clone is complete.
Make a bare GIT repository. That is, instead of creating <directory> and placing the administrative
files in <directory>/.git, make the <directory> itself the $GIT_DIR. This obviously implies the -n
because there is nowhere to check out the working tree. Also the branch heads at the remote are
copied directly to corresponding local branch heads, without mapping them to refs/remotes/origin/.
When this option is used, neither remote-tracking branches nor the related configuration variables
Set up a mirror of the source repository. This implies --bare. Compared to --bare, --mirror not only
maps local branches of the source to local branches of the target, it maps all refs (including
remote-tracking branches, notes etc.) and sets up a refspec configuration such that all these refs
are overwritten by a git remote update in the target repository.
--origin <name>, -o <name>
Instead of using the remote name origin to keep track of the upstream repository, use <name>.
--branch <name>, -b <name>
Instead of pointing the newly created HEAD to the branch pointed to by the cloned repository’s HEAD,
point to <name> branch instead. In a non-bare repository, this is the branch that will be checked
--upload-pack <upload-pack>, -u <upload-pack>
When given, and the repository to clone from is accessed via ssh, this specifies a non-default path
for the command run on the other end.
Specify the directory from which templates will be used; (See the "TEMPLATE DIRECTORY" section of
--config <key>=<value>, -c <key>=<value>
Set a configuration variable in the newly-created repository; this takes effect immediately after the
repository is initialized, but before the remote history is fetched or any files checked out. The key
is in the same format as expected by git-config(1) (e.g., core.eol=true). If multiple values are
given for the same key, each value will be written to the config file. This makes it safe, for
example, to add additional fetch refspecs to the origin remote.
Create a shallow clone with a history truncated to the specified number of revisions. A shallow
repository has a number of limitations (you cannot clone or fetch from it, nor push from nor into
it), but is adequate if you are only interested in the recent history of a large project with a long
history, and would want to send in fixes as patches.
After the clone is created, initialize all submodules within, using their default settings. This is
equivalent to running git submodule update --init --recursive immediately after the clone is
finished. This option is ignored if the cloned repository does not have a worktree/checkout (i.e. if
any of --no-checkout/-n, --bare, or --mirror is given)
Instead of placing the cloned repository where it is supposed to be, place the cloned repository at
the specified directory, then make a filesytem-agnostic git symbolic link to there. The result is git
repository can be separated from working tree.
The (possibly remote) repository to clone from. See the URLS section below for more information on
The name of a new directory to clone into. The "humanish" part of the source repository is used if no
directory is explicitly given (repo for /path/to/repo.git and foo for host.xz:foo/.git). Cloning into
an existing directory is only allowed if the directory is empty.