GIT-NOTES(1) Git Manual GIT-NOTES(1)
git-notes - Add or inspect object notes
git notes [list [<object>]]
git notes add [-f] [--allow-empty] [-F <file> | -m <msg> | (-c | -C) <object>] [<object>]
git notes copy [-f] ( --stdin | <from-object> <to-object> )
git notes append [--allow-empty] [-F <file> | -m <msg> | (-c | -C) <object>] [<object>]
git notes edit [--allow-empty] [<object>]
git notes show [<object>]
git notes merge [-v | -q] [-s <strategy> ] <notes-ref>
git notes merge --commit [-v | -q]
git notes merge --abort [-v | -q]
git notes remove [--ignore-missing] [--stdin] [<object>...]
git notes prune [-n] [-v]
git notes get-ref
Adds, removes, or reads notes attached to objects, without touching the
By default, notes are saved to and read from refs/notes/commits, but
this default can be overridden. See the OPTIONS, CONFIGURATION, and
ENVIRONMENT sections below. If this ref does not exist, it will be
quietly created when it is first needed to store a note.
A typical use of notes is to supplement a commit message without
changing the commit itself. Notes can be shown by git log along with
the original commit message. To distinguish these notes from the
message stored in the commit object, the notes are indented like the
message, after an unindented line saying "Notes (<refname>):" (or
"Notes:" for refs/notes/commits).
Notes can also be added to patches prepared with git format-patch by
using the --notes option. Such notes are added as a patch commentary
after a three dash separator line.
To change which notes are shown by git log, see the "notes.displayRef"
configuration in git-log(1).
See the "notes.rewrite.<command>" configuration for a way to carry
notes across commands that rewrite commits.
List the notes object for a given object. If no object is given,
show a list of all note objects and the objects they annotate (in
the format "<note object> <annotated object>"). This is the default
subcommand if no subcommand is given.
Add notes for a given object (defaults to HEAD). Abort if the
object already has notes (use -f to overwrite existing notes).
However, if you're using add interactively (using an editor to
supply the notes contents), then - instead of aborting - the
existing notes will be opened in the editor (like the edit
Copy the notes for the first object onto the second object. Abort
if the second object already has notes, or if the first object has
none (use -f to overwrite existing notes to the second object).
This subcommand is equivalent to: git notes add [-f] -C $(git notes
list <from-object>) <to-object>
In --stdin mode, take lines in the format
<from-object> SP <to-object> [ SP <rest> ] LF
on standard input, and copy the notes from each <from-object> to
its corresponding <to-object>. (The optional <rest> is ignored so
that the command can read the input given to the post-rewrite
Append to the notes of an existing object (defaults to HEAD).
Creates a new notes object if needed.
Edit the notes for a given object (defaults to HEAD).
Show the notes for a given object (defaults to HEAD).
Merge the given notes ref into the current notes ref. This will try
to merge the changes made by the given notes ref (called "remote")
since the merge-base (if any) into the current notes ref (called
If conflicts arise and a strategy for automatically resolving
conflicting notes (see the "NOTES MERGE STRATEGIES" section) is not
given, the "manual" resolver is used. This resolver checks out the
conflicting notes in a special worktree
(.git/NOTES_MERGE_WORKTREE), and instructs the user to manually
resolve the conflicts there. When done, the user can either
finalize the merge with git notes merge --commit, or abort the
merge with git notes merge --abort.
Remove the notes for given objects (defaults to HEAD). When giving
zero or one object from the command line, this is equivalent to
specifying an empty note message to the edit subcommand.
Remove all notes for non-existing/unreachable objects.
Print the current notes ref. This provides an easy way to retrieve
the current notes ref (e.g. from scripts).
When adding notes to an object that already has notes, overwrite
the existing notes (instead of aborting).
-m <msg>, --message=<msg>
Use the given note message (instead of prompting). If multiple -m
options are given, their values are concatenated as separate
paragraphs. Lines starting with # and empty lines other than a
single line between paragraphs will be stripped out.
-F <file>, --file=<file>
Take the note message from the given file. Use - to read the note
message from the standard input. Lines starting with # and empty
lines other than a single line between paragraphs will be stripped
-C <object>, --reuse-message=<object>
Take the given blob object (for example, another note) as the note
message. (Use git notes copy <object> instead to copy notes between
-c <object>, --reedit-message=<object>
Like -C, but with -c the editor is invoked, so that the user can
further edit the note message.
Allow an empty note object to be stored. The default behavior is to
automatically remove empty notes.
Manipulate the notes tree in <ref>. This overrides GIT_NOTES_REF
and the "core.notesRef" configuration. The ref specifies the full
refname when it begins with refs/notes/; when it begins with
notes/, refs/ and otherwise refs/notes/ is prefixed to form a full
name of the ref.
Do not consider it an error to request removing notes from an
object that does not have notes attached to it.
Also read the object names to remove notes from the standard input
(there is no reason you cannot combine this with object names from
the command line).
Do not remove anything; just report the object names whose notes
would be removed.
-s <strategy>, --strategy=<strategy>
When merging notes, resolve notes conflicts using the given
strategy. The following strategies are recognized: "manual"
(default), "ours", "theirs", "union" and "cat_sort_uniq". This
option overrides the "notes.mergeStrategy" configuration setting.
See the "NOTES MERGE STRATEGIES" section below for more information
on each notes merge strategy.
Finalize an in-progress git notes merge. Use this option when you
have resolved the conflicts that git notes merge stored in
.git/NOTES_MERGE_WORKTREE. This amends the partial merge commit
created by git notes merge (stored in .git/NOTES_MERGE_PARTIAL) by
adding the notes in .git/NOTES_MERGE_WORKTREE. The notes ref stored
in the .git/NOTES_MERGE_REF symref is updated to the resulting
Abort/reset an in-progress git notes merge, i.e. a notes merge with
conflicts. This simply removes all files related to the notes
When merging notes, operate quietly.
When merging notes, be more verbose. When pruning notes, report all
object names whose notes are removed.
Commit notes are blobs containing extra information about an object
(usually information to supplement a commit's message). These blobs are
taken from notes refs. A notes ref is usually a branch which contains
"files" whose paths are the object names for the objects they describe,
with some directory separators included for performance reasons .
Every notes change creates a new commit at the specified notes ref. You
can therefore inspect the history of the notes by invoking, e.g., git
log -p notes/commits. Currently the commit message only records which
operation triggered the update, and the commit authorship is determined
according to the usual rules (see git-commit(1)). These details may
change in the future.
It is also permitted for a notes ref to point directly to a tree
object, in which case the history of the notes can be read with git log
-p -g <refname>.
NOTES MERGE STRATEGIES
The default notes merge strategy is "manual", which checks out
conflicting notes in a special work tree for resolving notes conflicts
(.git/NOTES_MERGE_WORKTREE), and instructs the user to resolve the
conflicts in that work tree. When done, the user can either finalize
the merge with git notes merge --commit, or abort the merge with git
notes merge --abort.
Users may select an automated merge strategy from among the following
using either -s/--strategy option or configuring notes.mergeStrategy
"ours" automatically resolves conflicting notes in favor of the local
version (i.e. the current notes ref).
"theirs" automatically resolves notes conflicts in favor of the remote
version (i.e. the given notes ref being merged into the current notes
"union" automatically resolves notes conflicts by concatenating the
local and remote versions.
"cat_sort_uniq" is similar to "union", but in addition to concatenating
the local and remote versions, this strategy also sorts the resulting
lines, and removes duplicate lines from the result. This is equivalent
to applying the "cat | sort | uniq" shell pipeline to the local and
remote versions. This strategy is useful if the notes follow a
line-based format where one wants to avoid duplicated lines in the
merge result. Note that if either the local or remote version contain
duplicate lines prior to the merge, these will also be removed by this
notes merge strategy.
You can use notes to add annotations with information that was not
available at the time a commit was written.
$ git notes add -m 'Tested-by: Johannes Sixt <email@example.com>' 72a144e2
$ git show -s 72a144e
Signed-off-by: Junio C Hamano <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tested-by: Johannes Sixt <email@example.com>
In principle, a note is a regular Git blob, and any kind of
(non-)format is accepted. You can binary-safely create notes from
arbitrary files using git hash-object:
$ cc *.c
$ blob=$(git hash-object -w a.out)
$ git notes --ref=built add --allow-empty -C "$blob" HEAD
(You cannot simply use git notes --ref=built add -F a.out HEAD because
that is not binary-safe.) Of course, it doesn't make much sense to
display non-text-format notes with git log, so if you use such notes,
you'll probably need to write some special-purpose tools to do
something useful with them.
Notes ref to read and manipulate instead of refs/notes/commits.
Must be an unabbreviated ref name. This setting can be overridden
through the environment and command line.
Which merge strategy to choose by default when resolving notes
conflicts. Must be one of manual, ours, theirs, union, or
cat_sort_uniq. Defaults to manual. See "NOTES MERGE STRATEGIES"
section above for more information on each strategy.
This setting can be overridden by passing the --strategy option.
Which merge strategy to choose when doing a notes merge into
refs/notes/<name>. This overrides the more general
"notes.mergeStrategy". See the "NOTES MERGE STRATEGIES" section
above for more information on each available strategy.
Which ref (or refs, if a glob or specified more than once), in
addition to the default set by core.notesRef or GIT_NOTES_REF, to
read notes from when showing commit messages with the git log
family of commands. This setting can be overridden on the command
line or by the GIT_NOTES_DISPLAY_REF environment variable. See git-
When rewriting commits with <command> (currently amend or rebase),
if this variable is false, git will not copy notes from the
original to the rewritten commit. Defaults to true. See also
This setting can be overridden by the GIT_NOTES_REWRITE_REF
When copying notes during a rewrite, what to do if the target
commit already has a note. Must be one of overwrite, concatenate,
cat_sort_uniq, or ignore. Defaults to concatenate.
This setting can be overridden with the GIT_NOTES_REWRITE_MODE
When copying notes during a rewrite, specifies the (fully
qualified) ref whose notes should be copied. May be a glob, in
which case notes in all matching refs will be copied. You may also
specify this configuration several times.
Does not have a default value; you must configure this variable to
enable note rewriting.
Can be overridden with the GIT_NOTES_REWRITE_REF environment
Which ref to manipulate notes from, instead of refs/notes/commits.
This overrides the core.notesRef setting.
Colon-delimited list of refs or globs indicating which refs, in
addition to the default from core.notesRef or GIT_NOTES_REF, to
read notes from when showing commit messages. This overrides the
A warning will be issued for refs that do not exist, but a glob
that does not match any refs is silently ignored.
When copying notes during a rewrite, what to do if the target
commit already has a note. Must be one of overwrite, concatenate,
cat_sort_uniq, or ignore. This overrides the core.rewriteMode
When rewriting commits, which notes to copy from the original to
the rewritten commit. Must be a colon-delimited list of refs or
If not set in the environment, the list of notes to copy depends on
the notes.rewrite.<command> and notes.rewriteRef settings.
Part of the git(1) suite
1. Permitted pathnames have the form ab/cd/ef/.../abcdef...: a
sequence of directory names of two hexadecimal digits each followed
by a filename with the rest of the object ID.
Git 2.20.1 01/22/2019 GIT-NOTES(1)