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From: Atharva Raykar <>
To: Ben Avison <>
Subject: Re: Bug in git submodule update --remote
Date: Wed, 19 May 2021 16:49:05 +0530	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

I am also reposting your message, adding hard line breaks so that
it displays more readably in the list archive, and also so that
anyone else can choose to quote you from this.

On 14-May-2021, at 23:41, Ben Avison <> wrote:
> A recent-ish change in git 2.27.1, introduced in commit f0a96e8d, has
> also got me wondering about whether some related functionality is
> correct. I'm not sure what the best way to fix things is, so can I
> invite opinions?
> The scenario: I have a repository with a submodule. The submodule's
> upstream repository uses a fork workflow, so the submodule has two
> remotes, one for pulling in other people's changes, and one for
> uploading my own pull requests.
> $ mkdir myproject
> $ cd myproject
> $ git init
> $ git submodule add
> $ cd library
> $ git remote add -f myfork
> $ cd ..
> $ git add .
> $ git commit -m "Initial commit"
> $ git remote add origin
> $ git push -u origin master
> Furthermore, assume I forked some time
> ago, so that the master branches between it and my fork have diverged.
> Time passes. People hack away on both projects. I want to fix a bug or
> implement a new feature in the library, so I start by ensuring both are
> up-to-date:
> $ git pull $ git submodule update --remote
> $ cd library
> $ git checkout -b new-feature
> $ # hack away
> $ git add .
> $ git commit -m "New feature"
> $ git push -u myfork new-feature
> $ cd ..
> Some more time passes, and I want to work on it again. Again, I start by
> ensuring I'm up-to-date. Before git 2.27.1, I could do:
> $ git submodule update --remote
> Now, I get:
> fatal: Needed a single revision Unable to find current myfork/HEAD
> revision in submodule path 'library'
> What's going on is that within "git submodule update --remote", the sha1
> used is formed by looking up the submodule's ref "<remote>/<branch>".
> The change in git 2.27.1 is that if no remote tracking branch is stated
> in the superproject's .gitmodules file, <branch> defaults to "HEAD"
> rather than "master" as previously. That's fine if <remote> is "origin",
> but in practice, it depends on how the submodule is currently checked
> out:
> * if it's in detached HEAD state, <remote> is set to "origin"
> * if its branch is not a tracking branch, "origin" is also used
> * but if it's a tracking branch (as I used in my workflow above - not
>   uncommon in pull request workflows because you might grant other
>   people access to the branch during the review process) then it looks
>   up the name of the remote which is being tracked
> First observation: a ref called "myfork/HEAD" presumably *could* have
> been created by the "git remote add" command, reflecting that remote's
> default branch. Should it?
> In practice, that's not actually what I'd want, though. If I do "git
> submodule update --remote", I personally normally do so as a shortcut
> compared to cloning everything again. I don't expect the behaviour to
> change depending on whether I happen to have left one of the submodules
> checked out on a tracking branch or not: myfork/master is potentially
> quite out of date compared to origin/master.
> It also makes very little sense to me that issuing "git submodule update
> --remote" twice in quick succession would leave us in a different state,
> because the first call puts all the submodules into detached HEAD state,
> meaning that the second call always looks up the remote tracking
> branches from the submodule's "origin" remote.
> One way this could be fixed is that if <branch> turns out to be "HEAD",
> we could force <remote> to be "origin". However, this doesn't address
> the equivalent problem that arises if the remote tracking branch *is*
> named in .gitmodules.
> I'd therefore like to propose that "git submodule update --remote"
> *always* uses the remote named "origin" to form the ref used to check
> out the submodule. However, I'm not sure whether everyone would agree
> that this constitutes a bugfix, or whether I'd need to introduce a new
> switch to enforce this behaviour.
> So, what do you think?
> Ben

  parent reply	other threads:[~2021-05-19 11:19 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 8+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2021-05-14 18:11 Bug in git submodule update --remote Ben Avison
2021-05-19 10:49 ` Atharva Raykar
2021-05-19 14:41   ` Ben Avison
2021-05-21 11:47     ` Atharva Raykar
2021-05-21 18:36       ` Christian Couder
2021-05-22 19:15     ` Philippe Blain
2021-05-19 11:19 ` Atharva Raykar [this message]
2021-05-22 18:02 ` Philippe Blain

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