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git for-each-ref [--count=<count>] [--shell|--perl|--python|--tcl]
[--sort=<key>]\* [--format=<format>] [<pattern>...]
Iterate over all refs that match <pattern> and show them according to
the given <format>, after sorting them according to the given set of
<key>. If <count> is given, stop after showing that many refs. The
interpolated values in <format> can optionally be quoted as string
literals in the specified host language allowing their direct
evaluation in that language.
By default the command shows all refs that match <pattern>. This
option makes it stop after showing that many refs.
A field name to sort on. Prefix - to sort in descending order of
the value. When unspecified, refname is used. You may use the
--sort=<key> option multiple times, in which case the last key
becomes the primary key.
A string that interpolates %(fieldname) from the object pointed at
by a ref being shown. If fieldname is prefixed with an asterisk (*)
and the ref points at a tag object, the value for the field in the
object tag refers is used. When unspecified, defaults to
%(objectname) SPC %(objecttype) TAB %(refname). It also
interpolates %% to %, and %xx where xx are hex digits interpolates
to character with hex code xx; for example %00 interpolates to \0
(NUL), %09 to \t (TAB) and %0a to \n (LF).
If one or more patterns are given, only refs are shown that match
against at least one pattern, either using fnmatch(3) or literally,
in the latter case matching completely or from the beginning up to
--shell, --perl, --python, --tcl
If given, strings that substitute %(fieldname) placeholders are
quoted as string literals suitable for the specified host language.
This is meant to produce a scriptlet that can directly be 'eval'ed.
Various values from structured fields in referenced objects can be used
to interpolate into the resulting output, or as sort keys.
For all objects, the following names can be used:
The name of a local ref which can be considered "upstream" from the
displayed ref. Respects :short in the same way as refname above.
In addition to the above, for commit and tag objects, the header field
names (tree, parent, object, type, and tag) can be used to specify the
value in the header field.
Fields that have name-email-date tuple as its value (author, committer,
and tagger) can be suffixed with name, email, and date to extract the
The first line of the message in a commit and tag object is subject,
the remaining lines are body. The whole message is contents.
For sorting purposes, fields with numeric values sort in numeric order
(objectsize, authordate, committerdate, taggerdate). All other fields
are used to sort in their byte-value order.
In any case, a field name that refers to a field inapplicable to the
object referred by the ref does not cause an error. It returns an empty
As a special case for the date-type fields, you may specify a format
for the date by adding one of :default, :relative, :short, :local,
:iso8601 or :rfc2822 to the end of the fieldname; e.g.
An example directly producing formatted text. Show the most recent 3
git for-each-ref --count=3 --sort=?-*authordate? \
--format=?From: %(*authorname) %(*authoremail)
A simple example showing the use of shell eval on the output,
demonstrating the use of --shell. List the prefixes of all heads::
git for-each-ref --shell --format="ref=%(refname)" refs/heads | \
while read entry
if test "z$t" = z
# could be a lightweight tag
echo "$kind $T points at a $t object $o"
if test "z$t" = zcommit
echo "The commit was authored by $n $e
at $d, and titled
Its message reads as:
echo "$b" | sed -e "s/^/ /"
eval='git for-each-ref --shell --format="$fmt" \
Git 1.7.1 03/04/2013 GIT-FOR-EACH-REF(1)