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GIT-FILTER-BRANCH(1)              Git Manual              GIT-FILTER-BRANCH(1)



NAME
       git-filter-branch - Rewrite branches

SYNOPSIS
       git filter-branch [--env-filter <command>] [--tree-filter <command>]
               [--index-filter <command>] [--parent-filter <command>]
               [--msg-filter <command>] [--commit-filter <command>]
               [--tag-name-filter <command>] [--subdirectory-filter <directory>]
               [--prune-empty]
               [--original <namespace>] [-d <directory>] [-f | --force]
               [--] [<rev-list options>...]


DESCRIPTION
       Lets you rewrite git revision history by rewriting the branches mentioned in the <rev-list options>, applying
       custom filters on each revision. Those filters can modify each tree (e.g. removing a file or running a perl
       rewrite on all files) or information about each commit. Otherwise, all information (including original commit
       times or merge information) will be preserved.

       The command will only rewrite the positive refs mentioned in the command line (e.g. if you pass a..b, only b
       will be rewritten). If you specify no filters, the commits will be recommitted without any changes, which would
       normally have no effect. Nevertheless, this may be useful in the future for compensating for some git bugs or
       such, therefore such a usage is permitted.

       NOTE: This command honors .git/info/grafts and .git/refs/replace/. If you have any grafts or replacement refs
       defined, running this command will make them permanent.

       WARNING! The rewritten history will have different object names for all the objects and will not converge with
       the original branch. You will not be able to easily push and distribute the rewritten branch on top of the
       original branch. Please do not use this command if you do not know the full implications, and avoid using it
       anyway, if a simple single commit would suffice to fix your problem. (See the "RECOVERING FROM UPSTREAM REBASE"
       section in git-rebase(1) for further information about rewriting published history.)

       Always verify that the rewritten version is correct: The original refs, if different from the rewritten ones,
       will be stored in the namespace refs/original/.

       Note that since this operation is very I/O expensive, it might be a good idea to redirect the temporary
       directory off-disk with the -d option, e.g. on tmpfs. Reportedly the speedup is very noticeable.

   Filters
       The filters are applied in the order as listed below. The <command> argument is always evaluated in the shell
       context using the eval command (with the notable exception of the commit filter, for technical reasons). Prior
       to that, the $GIT_COMMIT environment variable will be set to contain the id of the commit being rewritten.
       Also, GIT_AUTHOR_NAME, GIT_AUTHOR_EMAIL, GIT_AUTHOR_DATE, GIT_COMMITTER_NAME, GIT_COMMITTER_EMAIL, and
       GIT_COMMITTER_DATE are set according to the current commit. The values of these variables after the filters
       have run, are used for the new commit. If any evaluation of <command> returns a non-zero exit status, the whole
       operation will be aborted.

       A map function is available that takes an "original sha1 id" argument and outputs a "rewritten sha1 id" if the
       commit has been already rewritten, and "original sha1 id" otherwise; the map function can return several ids on
       separate lines if your commit filter emitted multiple commits.

OPTIONS
       --env-filter <command>
           This filter may be used if you only need to modify the environment in which the commit will be performed.
           Specifically, you might want to rewrite the author/committer name/email/time environment variables (see
           git-commit-tree(1) for details). Do not forget to re-export the variables.

       --tree-filter <command>
           This is the filter for rewriting the tree and its contents. The argument is evaluated in shell with the
           working directory set to the root of the checked out tree. The new tree is then used as-is (new files are
           auto-added, disappeared files are auto-removed - neither .gitignore files nor any other ignore rules HAVE
           ANY EFFECT!).

       --index-filter <command>
           This is the filter for rewriting the index. It is similar to the tree filter but does not check out the
           tree, which makes it much faster. Frequently used with git rm --cached --ignore-unmatch ..., see EXAMPLES
           below. For hairy cases, see git-update-index(1).

       --parent-filter <command>
           This is the filter for rewriting the commit's parent list. It will receive the parent string on stdin and
           shall output the new parent string on stdout. The parent string is in the format described in git-commit-
           tree(1): empty for the initial commit, "-p parent" for a normal commit and "-p parent1 -p parent2 -p
           parent3 ..." for a merge commit.

       --msg-filter <command>
           This is the filter for rewriting the commit messages. The argument is evaluated in the shell with the
           original commit message on standard input; its standard output is used as the new commit message.

       --commit-filter <command>
           This is the filter for performing the commit. If this filter is specified, it will be called instead of the
           git commit-tree command, with arguments of the form "<TREE_ID> [(-p <PARENT_COMMIT_ID>)...]" and the log
           message on stdin. The commit id is expected on stdout.

           As a special extension, the commit filter may emit multiple commit ids; in that case, the rewritten
           children of the original commit will have all of them as parents.

           You can use the map convenience function in this filter, and other convenience functions, too. For example,
           calling skip_commit "$@" will leave out the current commit (but not its changes! If you want that, use git
           rebase instead).

           You can also use the git_commit_non_empty_tree "$@" instead of git commit-tree "$@" if you don't wish to
           keep commits with a single parent and that makes no change to the tree.

       --tag-name-filter <command>
           This is the filter for rewriting tag names. When passed, it will be called for every tag ref that points to
           a rewritten object (or to a tag object which points to a rewritten object). The original tag name is passed
           via standard input, and the new tag name is expected on standard output.

           The original tags are not deleted, but can be overwritten; use "--tag-name-filter cat" to simply update the
           tags. In this case, be very careful and make sure you have the old tags backed up in case the conversion
           has run afoul.

           Nearly proper rewriting of tag objects is supported. If the tag has a message attached, a new tag object
           will be created with the same message, author, and timestamp. If the tag has a signature attached, the
           signature will be stripped. It is by definition impossible to preserve signatures. The reason this is
           "nearly" proper, is because ideally if the tag did not change (points to the same object, has the same
           name, etc.) it should retain any signature. That is not the case, signatures will always be removed, buyer
           beware. There is also no support for changing the author or timestamp (or the tag message for that matter).
           Tags which point to other tags will be rewritten to point to the underlying commit.

       --subdirectory-filter <directory>
           Only look at the history which touches the given subdirectory. The result will contain that directory (and
           only that) as its project root. Implies the section called "Remap to ancestor".

       --prune-empty
           Some kind of filters will generate empty commits, that left the tree untouched. This switch allow
           git-filter-branch to ignore such commits. Though, this switch only applies for commits that have one and
           only one parent, it will hence keep merges points. Also, this option is not compatible with the use of
           --commit-filter. Though you just need to use the function git_commit_non_empty_tree "$@" instead of the git
           commit-tree "$@" idiom in your commit filter to make that happen.

       --original <namespace>
           Use this option to set the namespace where the original commits will be stored. The default value is
           refs/original.

       -d <directory>
           Use this option to set the path to the temporary directory used for rewriting. When applying a tree filter,
           the command needs to temporarily check out the tree to some directory, which may consume considerable space
           in case of large projects. By default it does this in the .git-rewrite/ directory but you can override that
           choice by this parameter.

       -f, --force

           git filter-branch refuses to start with an existing temporary directory or when there are already refs
           starting with refs/original/, unless forced.

       <rev-list options>...
           Arguments for git rev-list. All positive refs included by these options are rewritten. You may also specify
           options such as --all, but you must use -- to separate them from the git filter-branch options. Implies the
           section called "Remap to ancestor".

   Remap to ancestor
       By using rev-list(1) arguments, e.g., path limiters, you can limit the set of revisions which get rewritten.
       However, positive refs on the command line are distinguished: we don't let them be excluded by such limiters.
       For this purpose, they are instead rewritten to point at the nearest ancestor that was not excluded.

EXAMPLES
       Suppose you want to remove a file (containing confidential information or copyright violation) from all
       commits:

           git filter-branch --tree-filter ?rm filename? HEAD


       However, if the file is absent from the tree of some commit, a simple rm filename will fail for that tree and
       commit. Thus you may instead want to use rm -f filename as the script.

       Using --index-filter with git rm yields a significantly faster version. Like with using rm filename, git rm
       --cached filename will fail if the file is absent from the tree of a commit. If you want to "completely forget"
       a file, it does not matter when it entered history, so we also add --ignore-unmatch:

           git filter-branch --index-filter ?git rm --cached --ignore-unmatch filename? HEAD


       Now, you will get the rewritten history saved in HEAD.

       To rewrite the repository to look as if foodir/ had been its project root, and discard all other history:

           git filter-branch --subdirectory-filter foodir -- --all


       Thus you can, e.g., turn a library subdirectory into a repository of its own. Note the -- that separates
       filter-branch options from revision options, and the --all to rewrite all branches and tags.

       To set a commit (which typically is at the tip of another history) to be the parent of the current initial
       commit, in order to paste the other history behind the current history:

           git filter-branch --parent-filter ?sed "s/^\$/-p <graft-id>/"? HEAD


       (if the parent string is empty - which happens when we are dealing with the initial commit - add graftcommit as
       a parent). Note that this assumes history with a single root (that is, no merge without common ancestors
       happened). If this is not the case, use:

           git filter-branch --parent-filter \
                   ?test $GIT_COMMIT = <commit-id> && echo "-p <graft-id>" || cat? HEAD


       or even simpler:

           echo "$commit-id $graft-id" >> .git/info/grafts
           git filter-branch $graft-id..HEAD


       To remove commits authored by "Darl McBribe" from the history:

           git filter-branch --commit-filter ?
                   if [ "$GIT_AUTHOR_NAME" = "Darl McBribe" ];
                   then
                           skip_commit "$@";
                   else
                           git commit-tree "$@";
                   fi? HEAD


       The function skip_commit is defined as follows:

           skip_commit()
           {
                   shift;
                   while [ -n "$1" ];
                   do
                           shift;
                           map "$1";
                           shift;
                   done;
           }


       The shift magic first throws away the tree id and then the -p parameters. Note that this handles merges
       properly! In case Darl committed a merge between P1 and P2, it will be propagated properly and all children of
       the merge will become merge commits with P1,P2 as their parents instead of the merge commit.

       You can rewrite the commit log messages using --msg-filter. For example, git svn-id strings in a repository
       created by git svn can be removed this way:

           git filter-branch --msg-filter ?
                   sed -e "/^git-svn-id:/d"
           ?


       To restrict rewriting to only part of the history, specify a revision range in addition to the new branch name.
       The new branch name will point to the top-most revision that a git rev-list of this range will print.

       If you need to add Acked-by lines to, say, the last 10 commits (none of which is a merge), use this command:

           git filter-branch --msg-filter ?
                   cat &&
                   echo "Acked-by: Bugs Bunny <bunnyATbugzilla.org>"
           ? HEAD~10..HEAD


       NOTE the changes introduced by the commits, and which are not reverted by subsequent commits, will still be in
       the rewritten branch. If you want to throw out changes together with the commits, you should use the
       interactive mode of git rebase.

       Consider this history:

                D--E--F--G--H
               /     /
           A--B-----C


       To rewrite only commits D,E,F,G,H, but leave A, B and C alone, use:

           git filter-branch ... C..H


       To rewrite commits E,F,G,H, use one of these:

           git filter-branch ... C..H --not D
           git filter-branch ... D..H --not C


       To move the whole tree into a subdirectory, or remove it from there:

           git filter-branch --index-filter \
                   ?git ls-files -s | sed "s-\t\"*-&newsubdir/-" |
                           GIT_INDEX_FILE=$GIT_INDEX_FILE.new \
                                   git update-index --index-info &&
                    mv "$GIT_INDEX_FILE.new" "$GIT_INDEX_FILE"? HEAD


CHECKLIST FOR SHRINKING A REPOSITORY
       git-filter-branch is often used to get rid of a subset of files, usually with some combination of
       --index-filter and --subdirectory-filter. People expect the resulting repository to be smaller than the
       original, but you need a few more steps to actually make it smaller, because git tries hard not to lose your
       objects until you tell it to. First make sure that:

       ?   You really removed all variants of a filename, if a blob was moved over its lifetime.  git log --name-only
           --follow --all -- filename can help you find renames.

       ?   You really filtered all refs: use --tag-name-filter cat -- --all when calling git-filter-branch.

       Then there are two ways to get a smaller repository. A safer way is to clone, that keeps your original intact.

       ?   Clone it with git clone file:///path/to/repo. The clone will not have the removed objects. See git-
           clone(1). (Note that cloning with a plain path just hardlinks everything!)

       If you really don't want to clone it, for whatever reasons, check the following points instead (in this order).
       This is a very destructive approach, so make a backup or go back to cloning it. You have been warned.

       ?   Remove the original refs backed up by git-filter-branch: say git for-each-ref --format="%(refname)"
           refs/original/ | xargs -n 1 git update-ref -d.

       ?   Expire all reflogs with git reflog expire --expire=now --all.

       ?   Garbage collect all unreferenced objects with git gc --prune=now (or if your git-gc is not new enough to
           support arguments to --prune, use git repack -ad; git prune instead).

GIT
       Part of the git(1) suite



Git 1.7.11.3                      08/29/2012              GIT-FILTER-BRANCH(1)