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GIT-DESCRIBE(1)                   Git Manual                   GIT-DESCRIBE(1)



NAME
       git-describe - Show the most recent tag that is reachable from a commit

SYNOPSIS
       git describe [--all] [--tags] [--contains] [--abbrev=<n>] <committish>...
       git describe [--all] [--tags] [--contains] [--abbrev=<n>] --dirty[=<mark>]


DESCRIPTION
       The command finds the most recent tag that is reachable from a commit. If the tag points to the commit, then
       only the tag is shown. Otherwise, it suffixes the tag name with the number of additional commits on top of the
       tagged object and the abbreviated object name of the most recent commit.

       By default (without --all or --tags) git describe only shows annotated tags. For more information about
       creating annotated tags see the -a and -s options to git-tag(1).

OPTIONS
       <committish>...
           Committish object names to describe.

       --dirty[=<mark>]
           Describe the working tree. It means describe HEAD and appends <mark> (-dirty by default) if the working
           tree is dirty.

       --all
           Instead of using only the annotated tags, use any ref found in .git/refs/. This option enables matching any
           known branch, remote-tracking branch, or lightweight tag.

       --tags
           Instead of using only the annotated tags, use any tag found in .git/refs/tags. This option enables matching
           a lightweight (non-annotated) tag.

       --contains
           Instead of finding the tag that predates the commit, find the tag that comes after the commit, and thus
           contains it. Automatically implies --tags.

       --abbrev=<n>
           Instead of using the default 7 hexadecimal digits as the abbreviated object name, use <n> digits, or as
           many digits as needed to form a unique object name. An <n> of 0 will suppress long format, only showing the
           closest tag.

       --candidates=<n>
           Instead of considering only the 10 most recent tags as candidates to describe the input committish consider
           up to <n> candidates. Increasing <n> above 10 will take slightly longer but may produce a more accurate
           result. An <n> of 0 will cause only exact matches to be output.

       --exact-match
           Only output exact matches (a tag directly references the supplied commit). This is a synonym for
           --candidates=0.

       --debug
           Verbosely display information about the searching strategy being employed to standard error. The tag name
           will still be printed to standard out.

       --long
           Always output the long format (the tag, the number of commits and the abbreviated commit name) even when it
           matches a tag. This is useful when you want to see parts of the commit object name in "describe" output,
           even when the commit in question happens to be a tagged version. Instead of just emitting the tag name, it
           will describe such a commit as v1.2-0-gdeadbee (0th commit since tag v1.2 that points at object
           deadbee....).

       --match <pattern>
           Only consider tags matching the given pattern (can be used to avoid leaking private tags made from the
           repository).

       --always
           Show uniquely abbreviated commit object as fallback.

EXAMPLES
       With something like git.git current tree, I get:

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe parent
           v1.0.4-14-g2414721

       i.e. the current head of my "parent" branch is based on v1.0.4, but since it has a few commits on top of that,
       describe has added the number of additional commits ("14") and an abbreviated object name for the commit itself
       ("2414721") at the end.

       The number of additional commits is the number of commits which would be displayed by "git log v1.0.4..parent".
       The hash suffix is "-g" + 7-char abbreviation for the tip commit of parent (which was
       2414721b194453f058079d897d13c4e377f92dc6). The "g" prefix stands for "git" and is used to allow describing the
       version of a software depending on the SCM the software is managed with. This is useful in an environment where
       people may use different SCMs.

       Doing a git describe on a tag-name will just show the tag name:

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe v1.0.4
           v1.0.4

       With --all, the command can use branch heads as references, so the output shows the reference path as well:

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe --all --abbrev=4 v1.0.5^2
           tags/v1.0.0-21-g975b

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe --all --abbrev=4 HEAD^
           heads/lt/describe-7-g975b

       With --abbrev set to 0, the command can be used to find the closest tagname without any suffix:

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe --abbrev=0 v1.0.5^2
           tags/v1.0.0

       Note that the suffix you get if you type these commands today may be longer than what Linus saw above when he
       ran these commands, as your git repository may have new commits whose object names begin with 975b that did not
       exist back then, and "-g975b" suffix alone may not be sufficient to disambiguate these commits.

SEARCH STRATEGY
       For each committish supplied, git describe will first look for a tag which tags exactly that commit. Annotated
       tags will always be preferred over lightweight tags, and tags with newer dates will always be preferred over
       tags with older dates. If an exact match is found, its name will be output and searching will stop.

       If an exact match was not found, git describe will walk back through the commit history to locate an ancestor
       commit which has been tagged. The ancestor's tag will be output along with an abbreviation of the input
       committish's SHA1.

       If multiple tags were found during the walk then the tag which has the fewest commits different from the input
       committish will be selected and output. Here fewest commits different is defined as the number of commits which
       would be shown by git log tag..input will be the smallest number of commits possible.

GIT
       Part of the git(1) suite



Git 1.7.11.3                      08/29/2012                   GIT-DESCRIBE(1)