git‐symbolic‐ref − Read, modify and delete symbolic refs

git symbolic−ref [−m <reason>] <name> <ref>
git symbolic−ref [−q] [−−short] <name>
git symbolic−ref −−delete [−q] <name>

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>.

Given −−delete and an additional argument, deletes the given
symbolic 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.

     −d, −−delete
     Delete the symbolic ref <name>.

     −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.

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

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

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.

Part of the git(1) suite