GIT-CHECK-REF-FOR(1)              Git Manual              GIT-CHECK-REF-FOR(1)

       git-check-ref-format - Ensures that a reference name is well formed

       git check-ref-format <refname>
       git check-ref-format --print <refname>
       git check-ref-format --branch <branchname-shorthand>

       Checks if a given refname is acceptable, and exits with a non-zero
       status if it is not.

       A reference is used in git to specify branches and tags. A branch head
       is stored under the $GIT_DIR/refs/heads directory, and a tag is stored
       under the $GIT_DIR/refs/tags directory (or, if refs are packed by git
       gc, as entries in the $GIT_DIR/packed-refs file). git imposes the
       following rules on how references are named:

        1. They can include slash / for hierarchical (directory) grouping, but
           no slash-separated component can begin with a dot ..

        2. They must contain at least one /. This enforces the presence of a
           category like heads/, tags/ etc. but the actual names are not

        3. They cannot have two consecutive dots ..  anywhere.

        4. They cannot have ASCII control characters (i.e. bytes whose values
           are lower than \040, or \177 DEL), space, tilde ~, caret ^, colon
           :, question-mark ?, asterisk *, or open bracket [ anywhere.

        5. They cannot end with a slash / nor a dot ..

        6. They cannot end with the sequence .lock.

        7. They cannot contain a sequence @{.

        8. They cannot contain a \.

       These rules make it easy for shell script based tools to parse
       reference names, pathname expansion by the shell when a reference name
       is used unquoted (by mistake), and also avoids ambiguities in certain
       reference name expressions (see git-rev-parse(1)):

        1. A double-dot ..  is often used as in ref1..ref2, and in some
           contexts this notation means ^ref1 ref2 (i.e. not in ref1 and in

        2. A tilde ~ and caret ^ are used to introduce the postfix nth parent
           and peel onion operation.

        3. A colon : is used as in srcref:dstref to mean "use srcref’s value
           and store it in dstref" in fetch and push operations. It may also
           be used to select a specific object such as with git cat-file: "git
           cat-file blob v1.3.3:refs.c".

        4. at-open-brace @{ is used as a notation to access a reflog entry.

       With the --print option, if refname is acceptable, it prints the
       canonicalized name of a hypothetical reference with that name. That is,
       it prints refname with any extra / characters removed.

       With the --branch option, it expands the “previous branch syntax”
       @{-n}. For example, @{-1} is a way to refer the last branch you were
       on. This option should be used by porcelains to accept this syntax
       anywhere a branch name is expected, so they can act as if you typed the
       branch name.

       ·   Print the name of the previous branch:

               $ git check-ref-format --branch @{-1}

       ·   Determine the reference name to use for a new branch:

               $ ref=$(git check-ref-format --print "refs/heads/$newbranch") ||
               die "we do not like ´$newbranch´ as a branch name."

       Part of the git(1) suite

Git 1.7.1                         03/04/2013              GIT-CHECK-REF-FOR(1)