Read, modify and delete symbolic refs


gitsymbolic -ref [ -m <reason>] <name> <ref> gitsymbolic -ref [ -q] [ --short] <name> gitsymbolic -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 .

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

-m 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 .
gitsymbolic -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

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