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GIT-SYMBOLIC-REF(1)               Git Manual               GIT-SYMBOLIC-REF(1)



NAME
       git-symbolic-ref - Read and modify symbolic refs

SYNOPSIS
       git symbolic-ref [-m <reason>] <name> <ref>
       git symbolic-ref [-q] [--short] <name>


DESCRIPTION
       Given one argument, reads which branch head the given symbolic ref refers to and outputs its path, relative to
       the .git/ directory. Typically you would give HEAD as the <name> argument to see which branch your working tree
       is on.

       Given two arguments, creates or updates a symbolic ref <name> to point at the given branch <ref>.

       A symbolic ref is a regular file that stores a string that begins with ref: refs/. For example, your .git/HEAD
       is a regular file whose contents is ref: refs/heads/master.

OPTIONS
       -q, --quiet
           Do not issue an error message if the <name> is not a symbolic ref but a detached HEAD; instead exit with
           non-zero status silently.

       --short
           When showing the value of <name> as a symbolic ref, try to shorten the value, e.g. from refs/heads/master
           to master.

       -m
           Update the reflog for <name> with <reason>. This is valid only when creating or updating a symbolic ref.

NOTES
       In the past, .git/HEAD was a symbolic link pointing at refs/heads/master. When we wanted to switch to another
       branch, we did ln -sf refs/heads/newbranch .git/HEAD, and when we wanted to find out which branch we are on, we
       did readlink .git/HEAD. But symbolic links are not entirely portable, so they are now deprecated and symbolic
       refs (as described above) are used by default.

       git symbolic-ref will exit with status 0 if the contents of the symbolic ref were printed correctly, with
       status 1 if the requested name is not a symbolic ref, or 128 if another error occurs.

GIT
       Part of the git(1) suite



Git 1.7.11.3                      08/29/2012               GIT-SYMBOLIC-REF(1)