gitmodules - defining submodule properties
The .gitmodules file, located in the top-level directory of a Git working
tree, is a text file with a syntax matching the requirements of
The file contains one subsection per submodule, and the subsection
value is the name of the submodule. The name is set to the path where the
submodule has been added unless it was customized with the --name
option of git submodule add. Each submodule section also contains the
following required keys:
Defines the path, relative to the top-level directory of
the Git working tree, where the submodule is expected to be checked out. The
path name must not end with a /. All submodule paths must be unique
within the .gitmodules file.
Defines a URL from which the submodule repository can be
cloned. This may be either an absolute URL ready to be passed to
or (if it begins with ./ or ../) a location relative to
the superproject’s origin repository.
In addition, there are a number of optional keys:
Defines the default update procedure for the named
submodule, i.e. how the submodule is updated by "git submodule
update" command in the superproject. This is only used by git
to initialize the configuration variable of the same name.
Allowed values here are checkout
. See description of update
for their meaning. Note that the !command
is intentionally ignored here for security reasons.
A remote branch name for tracking updates in the upstream
submodule. If the option is not specified, it defaults to master
special value of .
is used to indicate that the name of the branch in
the submodule should be the same name as the current branch in the current
repository. See the --remote
documentation in git-submodule(1)
This option can be used to control recursive fetching of
this submodule. If this option is also present in the submodules entry in
.git/config of the superproject, the setting there will override the one found
in .gitmodules. Both settings can be overridden on the command line by using
the "--[no-]recurse-submodules" option to "git fetch" and
Defines under what circumstances "git status"
and the diff family show a submodule as modified. When set to "all",
it will never be considered modified (but will nonetheless show up in the
output of status and commit when it has been staged), "dirty" will
ignore all changes to the submodules work tree and takes only differences
between the HEAD of the submodule and the commit recorded in the superproject
into account. "untracked" will additionally let submodules with
modified tracked files in their work tree show up. Using "none" (the
default when this option is not set) also shows submodules that have untracked
files in their work tree as changed. If this option is also present in the
submodules entry in .git/config of the superproject, the setting there will
override the one found in .gitmodules. Both settings can be overridden on the
command line by using the "--ignore-submodule" option. The git
submodule commands are not affected by this setting.
When set to true, a clone of this submodule will be
performed as a shallow clone unless the user explicitly asks for a non-shallow
Consider the following .gitmodules file:
This defines two submodules, libfoo and libbar.
These are expected to be checked out in the paths include/foo and
include/bar, and for both submodules a URL is specified which can be
used for cloning the submodules.