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git-pack-objects(1)
===================

NAME
----
git-pack-objects - Create a packed archive of objects


SYNOPSIS
--------
[verse]
'git pack-objects' [-q | --progress | --all-progress] [--all-progress-implied]
	[--no-reuse-delta] [--delta-base-offset] [--non-empty]
	[--local] [--incremental] [--window=<n>] [--depth=<n>]
	[--revs [--unpacked | --all]] [--keep-pack=<pack-name>]
	[--stdout [--filter=<filter-spec>] | base-name]
	[--shallow] [--keep-true-parents] < object-list


DESCRIPTION
-----------
Reads list of objects from the standard input, and writes either one or
more packed archives with the specified base-name to disk, or a packed
archive to the standard output.

A packed archive is an efficient way to transfer a set of objects
between two repositories as well as an access efficient archival
format.  In a packed archive, an object is either stored as a
compressed whole or as a difference from some other object.
The latter is often called a delta.

The packed archive format (.pack) is designed to be self-contained
so that it can be unpacked without any further information. Therefore,
each object that a delta depends upon must be present within the pack.

A pack index file (.idx) is generated for fast, random access to the
objects in the pack. Placing both the index file (.idx) and the packed
archive (.pack) in the pack/ subdirectory of $GIT_OBJECT_DIRECTORY (or
any of the directories on $GIT_ALTERNATE_OBJECT_DIRECTORIES)
enables Git to read from the pack archive.

The 'git unpack-objects' command can read the packed archive and
expand the objects contained in the pack into "one-file
one-object" format; this is typically done by the smart-pull
commands when a pack is created on-the-fly for efficient network
transport by their peers.


OPTIONS
-------
base-name::
	Write into pairs of files (.pack and .idx), using
	<base-name> to determine the name of the created file.
	When this option is used, the two files in a pair are written in
	<base-name>-<SHA-1>.{pack,idx} files.  <SHA-1> is a hash
	based on the pack content and is written to the standard
	output of the command.

--stdout::
	Write the pack contents (what would have been written to
	.pack file) out to the standard output.

--revs::
	Read the revision arguments from the standard input, instead of
	individual object names.  The revision arguments are processed
	the same way as 'git rev-list' with the `--objects` flag
	uses its `commit` arguments to build the list of objects it
	outputs.  The objects on the resulting list are packed.
	Besides revisions, `--not` or `--shallow <SHA-1>` lines are
	also accepted.

--unpacked::
	This implies `--revs`.  When processing the list of
	revision arguments read from the standard input, limit
	the objects packed to those that are not already packed.

--all::
	This implies `--revs`.  In addition to the list of
	revision arguments read from the standard input, pretend
	as if all refs under `refs/` are specified to be
	included.

--include-tag::
	Include unasked-for annotated tags if the object they
	reference was included in the resulting packfile.  This
	can be useful to send new tags to native Git clients.

--window=<n>::
--depth=<n>::
	These two options affect how the objects contained in
	the pack are stored using delta compression.  The
	objects are first internally sorted by type, size and
	optionally names and compared against the other objects
	within --window to see if using delta compression saves
	space.  --depth limits the maximum delta depth; making
	it too deep affects the performance on the unpacker
	side, because delta data needs to be applied that many
	times to get to the necessary object.
+
The default value for --window is 10 and --depth is 50. The maximum
depth is 4095.

--window-memory=<n>::
	This option provides an additional limit on top of `--window`;
	the window size will dynamically scale down so as to not take
	up more than '<n>' bytes in memory.  This is useful in
	repositories with a mix of large and small objects to not run
	out of memory with a large window, but still be able to take
	advantage of the large window for the smaller objects.  The
	size can be suffixed with "k", "m", or "g".
	`--window-memory=0` makes memory usage unlimited.  The default
	is taken from the `pack.windowMemory` configuration variable.

--max-pack-size=<n>::
	In unusual scenarios, you may not be able to create files
	larger than a certain size on your filesystem, and this option
	can be used to tell the command to split the output packfile
	into multiple independent packfiles, each not larger than the
	given size. The size can be suffixed with
	"k", "m", or "g". The minimum size allowed is limited to 1 MiB.
	This option
	prevents the creation of a bitmap index.
	The default is unlimited, unless the config variable
	`pack.packSizeLimit` is set.

--honor-pack-keep::
	This flag causes an object already in a local pack that
	has a .keep file to be ignored, even if it would have
	otherwise been packed.

--keep-pack=<pack-name>::
	This flag causes an object already in the given pack to be
	ignored, even if it would have otherwise been
	packed. `<pack-name>` is the the pack file name without
	leading directory (e.g. `pack-123.pack`). The option could be
	specified multiple times to keep multiple packs.

--incremental::
	This flag causes an object already in a pack to be ignored
	even if it would have otherwise been packed.

--local::
	This flag causes an object that is borrowed from an alternate
	object store to be ignored even if it would have otherwise been
	packed.

--non-empty::
        Only create a packed archive if it would contain at
        least one object.

--progress::
	Progress status is reported on the standard error stream
	by default when it is attached to a terminal, unless -q
	is specified. This flag forces progress status even if
	the standard error stream is not directed to a terminal.

--all-progress::
	When --stdout is specified then progress report is
	displayed during the object count and compression phases
	but inhibited during the write-out phase. The reason is
	that in some cases the output stream is directly linked
	to another command which may wish to display progress
	status of its own as it processes incoming pack data.
	This flag is like --progress except that it forces progress
	report for the write-out phase as well even if --stdout is
	used.

--all-progress-implied::
	This is used to imply --all-progress whenever progress display
	is activated.  Unlike --all-progress this flag doesn't actually
	force any progress display by itself.

-q::
	This flag makes the command not to report its progress
	on the standard error stream.

--no-reuse-delta::
	When creating a packed archive in a repository that
	has existing packs, the command reuses existing deltas.
	This sometimes results in a slightly suboptimal pack.
	This flag tells the command not to reuse existing deltas
	but compute them from scratch.

--no-reuse-object::
	This flag tells the command not to reuse existing object data at all,
	including non deltified object, forcing recompression of everything.
	This implies --no-reuse-delta. Useful only in the obscure case where
	wholesale enforcement of a different compression level on the
	packed data is desired.

--compression=<n>::
	Specifies compression level for newly-compressed data in the
	generated pack.  If not specified,  pack compression level is
	determined first by pack.compression,  then by core.compression,
	and defaults to -1,  the zlib default,  if neither is set.
	Add --no-reuse-object if you want to force a uniform compression
	level on all data no matter the source.

--thin::
	Create a "thin" pack by omitting the common objects between a
	sender and a receiver in order to reduce network transfer. This
	option only makes sense in conjunction with --stdout.
+
Note: A thin pack violates the packed archive format by omitting
required objects and is thus unusable by Git without making it
self-contained. Use `git index-pack --fix-thin`
(see linkgit:git-index-pack[1]) to restore the self-contained property.

--shallow::
	Optimize a pack that will be provided to a client with a shallow
	repository.  This option, combined with --thin, can result in a
	smaller pack at the cost of speed.

--delta-base-offset::
	A packed archive can express the base object of a delta as
	either a 20-byte object name or as an offset in the
	stream, but ancient versions of Git don't understand the
	latter.  By default, 'git pack-objects' only uses the
	former format for better compatibility.  This option
	allows the command to use the latter format for
	compactness.  Depending on the average delta chain
	length, this option typically shrinks the resulting
	packfile by 3-5 per-cent.
+
Note: Porcelain commands such as `git gc` (see linkgit:git-gc[1]),
`git repack` (see linkgit:git-repack[1]) pass this option by default
in modern Git when they put objects in your repository into pack files.
So does `git bundle` (see linkgit:git-bundle[1]) when it creates a bundle.

--threads=<n>::
	Specifies the number of threads to spawn when searching for best
	delta matches.  This requires that pack-objects be compiled with
	pthreads otherwise this option is ignored with a warning.
	This is meant to reduce packing time on multiprocessor machines.
	The required amount of memory for the delta search window is
	however multiplied by the number of threads.
	Specifying 0 will cause Git to auto-detect the number of CPU's
	and set the number of threads accordingly.

--index-version=<version>[,<offset>]::
	This is intended to be used by the test suite only. It allows
	to force the version for the generated pack index, and to force
	64-bit index entries on objects located above the given offset.

--keep-true-parents::
	With this option, parents that are hidden by grafts are packed
	nevertheless.

--filter=<filter-spec>::
	Requires `--stdout`.  Omits certain objects (usually blobs) from
	the resulting packfile.  See linkgit:git-rev-list[1] for valid
	`<filter-spec>` forms.

--no-filter::
	Turns off any previous `--filter=` argument.

--missing=<missing-action>::
	A debug option to help with future "partial clone" development.
	This option specifies how missing objects are handled.
+
The form '--missing=error' requests that pack-objects stop with an error if
a missing object is encountered.  This is the default action.
+
The form '--missing=allow-any' will allow object traversal to continue
if a missing object is encountered.  Missing objects will silently be
omitted from the results.
+
The form '--missing=allow-promisor' is like 'allow-any', but will only
allow object traversal to continue for EXPECTED promisor missing objects.
Unexpected missing object will raise an error.

--exclude-promisor-objects::
	Omit objects that are known to be in the promisor remote.  (This
	option has the purpose of operating only on locally created objects,
	so that when we repack, we still maintain a distinction between
	locally created objects [without .promisor] and objects from the
	promisor remote [with .promisor].)  This is used with partial clone.

--keep-unreachable::
	Objects unreachable from the refs in packs named with
	--unpacked= option are added to the resulting pack, in
	addition to the reachable objects that are not in packs marked
	with *.keep files. This implies `--revs`.

--pack-loose-unreachable::
	Pack unreachable loose objects (and their loose counterparts
	removed). This implies `--revs`.

--unpack-unreachable::
	Keep unreachable objects in loose form. This implies `--revs`.

--delta-islands::
	Restrict delta matches based on "islands". See DELTA ISLANDS
	below.


DELTA ISLANDS
-------------

When possible, `pack-objects` tries to reuse existing on-disk deltas to
avoid having to search for new ones on the fly. This is an important
optimization for serving fetches, because it means the server can avoid
inflating most objects at all and just send the bytes directly from
disk. This optimization can't work when an object is stored as a delta
against a base which the receiver does not have (and which we are not
already sending). In that case the server "breaks" the delta and has to
find a new one, which has a high CPU cost. Therefore it's important for
performance that the set of objects in on-disk delta relationships match
what a client would fetch.

In a normal repository, this tends to work automatically. The objects
are mostly reachable from the branches and tags, and that's what clients
fetch. Any deltas we find on the server are likely to be between objects
the client has or will have.

But in some repository setups, you may have several related but separate
groups of ref tips, with clients tending to fetch those groups
independently. For example, imagine that you are hosting several "forks"
of a repository in a single shared object store, and letting clients
view them as separate repositories through `GIT_NAMESPACE` or separate
repos using the alternates mechanism. A naive repack may find that the
optimal delta for an object is against a base that is only found in
another fork. But when a client fetches, they will not have the base
object, and we'll have to find a new delta on the fly.

A similar situation may exist if you have many refs outside of
`refs/heads/` and `refs/tags/` that point to related objects (e.g.,
`refs/pull` or `refs/changes` used by some hosting providers). By
default, clients fetch only heads and tags, and deltas against objects
found only in those other groups cannot be sent as-is.

Delta islands solve this problem by allowing you to group your refs into
distinct "islands". Pack-objects computes which objects are reachable
from which islands, and refuses to make a delta from an object `A`
against a base which is not present in all of `A`'s islands. This
results in slightly larger packs (because we miss some delta
opportunities), but guarantees that a fetch of one island will not have
to recompute deltas on the fly due to crossing island boundaries.

When repacking with delta islands the delta window tends to get
clogged with candidates that are forbidden by the config. Repacking
with a big --window helps (and doesn't take as long as it otherwise
might because we can reject some object pairs based on islands before
doing any computation on the content).

Islands are configured via the `pack.island` option, which can be
specified multiple times. Each value is a left-anchored regular
expressions matching refnames. For example:

-------------------------------------------
[pack]
island = refs/heads/
island = refs/tags/
-------------------------------------------

puts heads and tags into an island (whose name is the empty string; see
below for more on naming). Any refs which do not match those regular
expressions (e.g., `refs/pull/123`) is not in any island. Any object
which is reachable only from `refs/pull/` (but not heads or tags) is
therefore not a candidate to be used as a base for `refs/heads/`.

Refs are grouped into islands based on their "names", and two regexes
that produce the same name are considered to be in the same
island. The names are computed from the regexes by concatenating any
capture groups from the regex, with a '-' dash in between. (And if
there are no capture groups, then the name is the empty string, as in
the above example.) This allows you to create arbitrary numbers of
islands. Only up to 14 such capture groups are supported though.

For example, imagine you store the refs for each fork in
`refs/virtual/ID`, where `ID` is a numeric identifier. You might then
configure:

-------------------------------------------
[pack]
island = refs/virtual/([0-9]+)/heads/
island = refs/virtual/([0-9]+)/tags/
island = refs/virtual/([0-9]+)/(pull)/
-------------------------------------------

That puts the heads and tags for each fork in their own island (named
"1234" or similar), and the pull refs for each go into their own
"1234-pull".

Note that we pick a single island for each regex to go into, using "last
one wins" ordering (which allows repo-specific config to take precedence
over user-wide config, and so forth).

SEE ALSO
--------
linkgit:git-rev-list[1]
linkgit:git-repack[1]
linkgit:git-prune-packed[1]

GIT
---
Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite
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