git‐for‐each‐ref − Output information on each ref

git for−each−ref [−−count=<count>] [−−shell|−−perl|−−python|−−tcl]
                   [(−−sort=<key>)...] [−−format=<format>] [<pattern>...]
                   (−−merged[=<object>] | −−no−merged[=<object>])
                   [−−contains[=<object>]] [−−no−contains[=<object>]]

Iterate over all refs that match <pattern> and show them
according to the given <format>, after sorting them
according to the given set of <key>. If <count> is given,
stop after showing that many refs. The interpolated values
in <format> can optionally be quoted as string literals in
the specified host language allowing their direct evaluation
in that language.

     If one or more patterns are given, only refs are shown
     that match against at least one pattern, either using
     fnmatch(3) or literally, in the latter case matching
     completely or from the beginning up to a slash.

     By default the command shows all refs that match
     <pattern>. This option makes it stop after showing that
     many refs.

     A field name to sort on. Prefix to sort in descending
     order of the value. When unspecified, refname is used.
     You may use the −−sort=<key> option multiple times, in
     which case the last key becomes the primary key.

     A string that interpolates %(fieldname) from a ref
     being shown and the object it points at. If fieldname
     is prefixed with an asterisk (*) and the ref points at
     a tag object, use the value for the field in the object
     which the tag object refers to (instead of the field in
     the tag object). When unspecified, <format> defaults to
     %(objectname) SPC %(objecttype) TAB %(refname). It also
     interpolates %% to %, and %xx where xx are hex digits
     interpolates to character with hex code xx; for example
     %00 interpolates to \0 (NUL), %09 to \t (TAB) and %0a
     to \n (LF).


     Respect any colors specified in the −−format option.
     The <when> field must be one of always, never, or auto
     (if <when> is absent, behave as if always was given).

     −−shell, −−perl, −−python, −−tcl
     If given, strings that substitute %(fieldname)
     placeholders are quoted as string literals suitable for
     the specified host language. This is meant to produce a
     scriptlet that can directly be ‘eval‘ed.

     Only list refs which points at the given object.

     Only list refs whose tips are reachable from the
     specified commit (HEAD if not specified), incompatible
     with −−no−merged.

     Only list refs whose tips are not reachable from the
     specified commit (HEAD if not specified), incompatible
     with −−merged.

     Only list refs which contain the specified commit (HEAD
     if not specified).

     Only list refs which don’t contain the specified commit
     (HEAD if not specified).

     Sorting and filtering refs are case insensitive.

Various values from structured fields in referenced objects
can be used to interpolate into the resulting output, or as
sort keys.

For all objects, the following names can be used:

     The name of the ref (the part after $GIT_DIR/). For a
     non−ambiguous short name of the ref append :short. The
     option core.warnAmbiguousRefs is used to select the
     strict abbreviation mode. If lstrip=<N> (rstrip=<N>) is
     appended, strips <N> slash−separated path components
     from the front (back) of the refname (e.g.
     %(refname:lstrip=2) turns refs/tags/foo into foo and
     %(refname:rstrip=2) turns refs/tags/foo into refs). If
     <N> is a negative number, strip as many path components
     as necessary from the specified end to leave −<N> path


     components (e.g.  %(refname:lstrip=−2) turns
     refs/tags/foo into tags/foo and %(refname:rstrip=−1)
     turns refs/tags/foo into refs). When the ref does not
     have enough components, the result becomes an empty
     string if stripping with positive <N>, or it becomes
     the full refname if stripping with negative <N>.
     Neither is an error.

     strip can be used as a synonym to lstrip.

     The type of the object (blob, tree, commit, tag).

     The size of the object (the same as git cat−file −s
     reports). Append :disk to get the size, in bytes, that
     the object takes up on disk. See the note about on−disk
     sizes in the CAVEATS section below.

     The object name (aka SHA−1). For a non−ambiguous
     abbreviation of the object name append :short. For an
     abbreviation of the object name with desired length
     append :short=<length>, where the minimum length is
     MINIMUM_ABBREV. The length may be exceeded to ensure
     unique object names.

     This expands to the object name of the delta base for
     the given object, if it is stored as a delta. Otherwise
     it expands to the null object name (all zeroes).

     The name of a local ref which can be considered
     “upstream” from the displayed ref. Respects :short,
     :lstrip and :rstrip in the same way as refname above.
     Additionally respects :track to show "[ahead N, behind
     M]" and :trackshort to show the terse version: ">"
     (ahead), "<" (behind), "<>" (ahead and behind), or "="
     (in sync).  :track also prints "[gone]" whenever
     unknown upstream ref is encountered. Append
     :track,nobracket to show tracking information without
     brackets (i.e "ahead N, behind M").

     For any remote−tracking branch %(upstream),
     %(upstream:remotename) and %(upstream:remoteref) refer
     to the name of the remote and the name of the tracked
     remote ref, respectively. In other words, the
     remote−tracking branch can be updated explicitly and
     individually by using the refspec
     %(upstream:remoteref):%(upstream) to fetch from

     Has no effect if the ref does not have tracking


     information associated with it. All the options apart
     from nobracket are mutually exclusive, but if used
     together the last option is selected.

     The name of a local ref which represents the @{push}
     location for the displayed ref. Respects :short,
     :lstrip, :rstrip, :track, :trackshort, :remotename, and
     :remoteref options as upstream does. Produces an empty
     string if no @{push} ref is configured.

     * if HEAD matches current ref (the checked out branch),
     ' ' otherwise.

     Change output color. Followed by :<colorname>, where
     color names are described under Values in the
     "CONFIGURATION FILE" section of git‐config(1). For
     example, %(color:bold red).

     Left−, middle−, or right−align the content between
     %(align:...) and %(end). The "align:" is followed by
     width=<width> and position=<position> in any order
     separated by a comma, where the <position> is either
     left, right or middle, default being left and <width>
     is the total length of the content with alignment. For
     brevity, the "width=" and/or "position=" prefixes may
     be omitted, and bare <width> and <position> used
     instead. For instance, %(align:<width>,<position>). If
     the contents length is more than the width then no
     alignment is performed. If used with −−quote everything
     in between %(align:...) and %(end) is quoted, but if
     nested then only the topmost level performs quoting.

     Used as %(if)...%(then)...%(end) or
     %(if)...%(then)...%(else)...%(end). If there is an atom
     with value or string literal after the %(if) then
     everything after the %(then) is printed, else if the
     %(else) atom is used, then everything after %(else) is
     printed. We ignore space when evaluating the string
     before %(then), this is useful when we use the %(HEAD)
     atom which prints either "*" or " " and we want to
     apply the if condition only on the HEAD ref. Append
     ":equals=<string>" or ":notequals=<string>" to compare
     the value between the %(if:...) and %(then) atoms with
     the given string.

     The ref which the given symbolic ref refers to. If not
     a symbolic ref, nothing is printed. Respects the
     :short, :lstrip and :rstrip options in the same way as


     refname above.

     The absolute path to the worktree in which the ref is
     checked out, if it is checked out in any linked
     worktree. Empty string otherwise.

In addition to the above, for commit and tag objects, the
header field names (tree, parent, object, type, and tag) can
be used to specify the value in the header field.

For commit and tag objects, the special creatordate and
creator fields will correspond to the appropriate date or
name−email−date tuple from the committer or tagger fields
depending on the object type. These are intended for working
on a mix of annotated and lightweight tags.

Fields that have name−email−date tuple as its value (author,
committer, and tagger) can be suffixed with name, email, and
date to extract the named component.

The complete message in a commit and tag object is contents.
Its first line is contents:subject, where subject is the
concatenation of all lines of the commit message up to the
first blank line. The next line is contents:body, where body
is all of the lines after the first blank line. The optional
GPG signature is contents:signature. The first N lines of
the message is obtained using contents:lines=N.
Additionally, the trailers as interpreted by git‐interpret‐
trailers(1) are obtained as trailers (or by using the
historical alias contents:trailers). Non−trailer lines from
the trailer block can be omitted with trailers:only.
Whitespace−continuations can be removed from trailers so
that each trailer appears on a line by itself with its full
content with trailers:unfold. Both can be used together as

For sorting purposes, fields with numeric values sort in
numeric order (objectsize, authordate, committerdate,
creatordate, taggerdate). All other fields are used to sort
in their byte−value order.

There is also an option to sort by versions, this can be
done by using the fieldname version:refname or its alias

In any case, a field name that refers to a field
inapplicable to the object referred by the ref does not
cause an error. It returns an empty string instead.

As a special case for the date−type fields, you may specify
a format for the date by adding : followed by date format
name (see the values the −−date option to git‐rev‐list(1)


Some atoms like %(align) and %(if) always require a matching
%(end). We call them "opening atoms" and sometimes denote
them as %($open).

When a scripting language specific quoting is in effect,
everything between a top−level opening atom and its matching
%(end) is evaluated according to the semantics of the
opening atom and only its result from the top−level is

An example directly producing formatted text. Show the most
recent 3 tagged commits:


     git for−each−ref −−count=3 −−sort='−*authordate' \
     −−format='From: %(*authorname) %(*authoremail)
     Subject: %(*subject)
     Date: %(*authordate)
     Ref: %(*refname)

     ' 'refs/tags'

A simple example showing the use of shell eval on the
output, demonstrating the use of −−shell. List the prefixes
of all heads:


     git for−each−ref −−shell −−format="ref=%(refname)" refs/heads | \
     while read entry
             eval "$entry"
             echo ‘dirname $ref‘

A bit more elaborate report on tags, demonstrating that the
format may be an entire script:






             if test "z$t" = z
                     # could be a lightweight tag
                     kind="Lightweight tag"
             echo "$kind $T points at a $t object $o"
             if test "z$t" = zcommit
                     echo "The commit was authored by $n $e
     at $d, and titled


     Its message reads as:
                     echo "$b" | sed −e "s/^/    /"

     eval=‘git for−each−ref −−shell −−format="$fmt" \
             −−sort='*objecttype' \
             −−sort=−taggerdate \
     eval "$eval"

An example to show the usage of
%(if)...%(then)...%(else)...%(end). This prefixes the
current branch with a star.

     git for−each−ref −−format="%(if)%(HEAD)%(then)* %(else)  %(end)%(refname:short)" refs/heads/

An example to show the usage of %(if)...%(then)...%(end).
This prints the authorname, if present.

     git for−each−ref −−format="%(refname)%(if)%(authorname)%(then) Authored by: %(authorname)%(end)"


Note that the sizes of objects on disk are reported
accurately, but care should be taken in drawing conclusions
about which refs or objects are responsible for disk usage.
The size of a packed non−delta object may be much larger
than the size of objects which delta against it, but the
choice of which object is the base and which is the delta is
arbitrary and is subject to change during a repack.

Note also that multiple copies of an object may be present
in the object database; in this case, it is undefined which
copy’s size or delta base will be reported.


Part of the git(1) suite