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

       git-symbolic-ref - Read and modify symbolic refs

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

       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.

       -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.

           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. This was fine, and
       internally that is what still happens by default, but on platforms that
       do not have working symlinks, or that do not have the readlink(1)
       command, this was a bit cumbersome. On some platforms, ln -sf does not
       even work as advertised (horrors). Therefore symbolic links are now
       deprecated and symbolic refs 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.

       Written by Junio C Hamano <[1]>

       Part of the git(1) suite


Git 1.7.1                         03/23/2016               GIT-SYMBOLIC-REF(1)