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From: Philippe Blain <>
To: Kaartic Sivaraam <>
Cc: Luke Diamand <>,
	Git mailing list <>,
	Jens Lehmann <>
Subject: Re: How to checkout a revision that contains a deleted submodule?
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 2020 19:14:41 -0400	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

Hi Luke and Kaartic,

> Le 20 sept. 2020 à 14:02, Kaartic Sivaraam <> a écrit :
> On 20/09/20 3:14 pm, Luke Diamand wrote:
>> On Sat, 19 Sep 2020 at 10:03, Luke Diamand <> wrote:
>>> Maybe this is a FAQ, but I couldn't figure it out!
>>> I have a repo which has a couple of submodules.
>>> At some point in the past I deleted one of those submodules:
>>>     git rm sub2
>>>     git add -u
>>>     git commit -m 'Deleting sub2'
>>>     git push origin
>>>     ...
>>>     ... more commits and pushes...
>>> Now I go and clone the head revision. This gives me a clone which has
>>> nothing present in .git/modules/sub2.
>>>     login on some other machine
>>>     git clone git@my.repo:thing
>>>     cd thing
>>>     ls .git/modules
>>>     <sub2 not present>
>>> So when I go and checkout an old revision where sub2 is still around I get:
>>>     git checkout oldrevision
>>>     fatal: not a git repository: sub2/../.git/modules/sub2
>>> What am I doing wrong?
>>> What set of commands do I need to use to ensure that this will always
>>> do the right thing?
>>> Thanks
>>> Luke
>> Replying to myself, adding Jens who added the section below.
>> This is a known bug:
>>> BUGS
>>> ----
>>> Each time a superproject update removes a populated submodule
>>> (e.g. when switching between commits before and after the removal) a
>>> stale submodule checkout will remain in the old location. Removing the
>>> old directory is only safe when it uses a gitfile, as otherwise the
>>> history of the submodule will be deleted too. This step will be
>>> obsolete when recursive submodule update has been implemented.
> I don't think that part of the documentation applies to your case.

I also don't think this part of the doc applies here. 

> So,
> I also don't think this is a known bug. As a matter of fact, I couldn't
> reproduce this with the following:
> git init checkout-removed-submodule &&
> cd checkout-removed-submodule/ &&
> echo "Hello, world" >foo &&
> git add foo && git commit -m "Initial commit" &&
> git init ../submodule &&
> cd ../submodule/ &&
> echo "Foo bar" >foobar.txt &&
> git add foobar.txt && git commit -m "Foo bar baz" &&
> cd ../checkout-removed-submodule/ &&
> git submodule add ../submodule/ foobar &&
> git commit -m "Add foobar submodule" &&
> git rm foobar/ &&
> git commit -m "Remove foobar submodule" &&
> git checkout HEAD~ # Checking out the "Add foobar submodule" commit

Yes. At this point "foobar" would be empty because '--recurse-submodules' was not used
on 'checkout'. Using `git checkout --recurse-submodules HEAD~` instead would populate it, 
and it would work correctly because the Git repository
of foobar does exist at .git/modules/foobar.

> I also tried with a cloned version of that repository as follows:

here let's make sure we re-checkout 'master' before cloning:
git checkout -

> git clone /me/checkout-removed-submodule/ cloned-repo &&
> cd cloned-repo &&
> git co HEAD~
> I get:
> HEAD is now at 25270d8 Add foobar submodule

I get the same thing, with or without '--recurse-submodules'.

However, if I you have the '' 
configuration set to '.', which is the case if you *cloned* with '--recurse-submodules',
and you then checkout with '--recurse-submodules',
then it fails as Luke describes:

git clone --recurse-submodules  checkout-removed-submodule cloned-repo 
cd cloned-repo &&
git co --recurse-submodules HEAD~
  fatal: not a git repository: ../.git/modules/foobar
  fatal: could not reset submodule index

This bug was reported earlier in May [1], and I suggested a couple ways
the experience could be improved.

I might add here that maybe a good idea would be that 'checkout'
be taught to try to clone the missing submodules if it does not find their 
repository at .git/modules.




  parent reply	other threads:[~2020-09-21 23:14 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 7+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2020-09-19  9:03 Luke Diamand
2020-09-20  9:44 ` Luke Diamand
2020-09-20 18:02   ` Kaartic Sivaraam
2020-09-20 20:52     ` Luke Diamand
2020-09-21 23:14     ` Philippe Blain [this message]
2020-09-22  4:32       ` Luke Diamand
2020-09-21 22:46   ` Philippe Blain

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