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git-pack-refs(1)                  Git Manual                  git-pack-refs(1)


       git-pack-refs - Pack heads and tags for efficient repository access


       git pack-refs [--all] [--no-prune] [--auto] [--include <pattern>] [--exclude <pattern>]


       Traditionally, tips of branches and tags (collectively known as refs)
       were stored one file per ref in a (sub)directory under $GIT_DIR/refs
       directory. While many branch tips tend to be updated often, most tags
       and some branch tips are never updated. When a repository has hundreds
       or thousands of tags, this one-file-per-ref format both wastes storage
       and hurts performance.

       This command is used to solve the storage and performance problem by
       storing the refs in a single file, $GIT_DIR/packed-refs. When a ref is
       missing from the traditional $GIT_DIR/refs directory hierarchy, it is
       looked up in this file and used if found.

       Subsequent updates to branches always create new files under
       $GIT_DIR/refs directory hierarchy.

       A recommended practice to deal with a repository with too many refs is
       to pack its refs with --all once, and occasionally run git pack-refs.
       Tags are by definition stationary and are not expected to change.
       Branch heads will be packed with the initial pack-refs --all, but only
       the currently active branch heads will become unpacked, and the next
       pack-refs (without --all) will leave them unpacked.


           The command by default packs all tags and refs that are already
           packed, and leaves other refs alone. This is because branches are
           expected to be actively developed and packing their tips does not
           help performance. This option causes all refs to be packed as well,
           with the exception of hidden refs, broken refs, and symbolic refs.
           Useful for a repository with many branches of historical interests.

           The command usually removes loose refs under $GIT_DIR/refs
           hierarchy after packing them. This option tells it not to.

           Pack refs as needed depending on the current state of the ref
           database. The behavior depends on the ref format used by the
           repository and may change in the future.

           o   "files": No special handling for --auto has been implemented.

           o   "reftable": Tables are compacted such that they form a
               geometric sequence. For two tables N and N+1, where N+1 is
               newer, this maintains the property that N is at least twice as
               big as N+1. Only tables that violate this property are

       --include <pattern>
           Pack refs based on a glob(7) pattern. Repetitions of this option
           accumulate inclusion patterns. If a ref is both included in
           --include and --exclude, --exclude takes precedence. Using
           --include will preclude all tags from being included by default.
           Symbolic refs and broken refs will never be packed. When used with
           --all, it will be a noop. Use --no-include to clear and reset the
           list of patterns.

       --exclude <pattern>
           Do not pack refs matching the given glob(7) pattern. Repetitions of
           this option accumulate exclusion patterns. Use --no-exclude to
           clear and reset the list of patterns. If a ref is already packed,
           including it with --exclude will not unpack it.

       When used with --all, pack only loose refs which do not match any of
       the provided --exclude patterns.

       When used with --include, refs provided to --include, minus refs that
       are provided to --exclude will be packed.


       Older documentation written before the packed-refs mechanism was
       introduced may still say things like ".git/refs/heads/<branch> file
       exists" when it means "branch <branch> exists".


       Part of the git(1) suite

Git 2.45.0                        2024-04-29                  git-pack-refs(1)

git 2.45.0 - Generated Wed May 8 11:13:40 CDT 2024
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