# Cloning Repositories

# Shallow Clone

Cloning a huge repository (like a project with multiple years of history) might take a long time, or fail because of the amount of data to be transferred. In cases where you don't need to have the full history available, you can do a shallow clone:

git clone [repo_url] --depth 1

The above command will fetch just the last commit from the remote repository.

Be aware that you may not be able to resolve merges in a shallow repository. It's often a good idea to take at least as many commits are you are going to need to backtrack to resolve merges. For example, to instead get the last 50 commits:

git clone [repo_url] --depth 50

Later, if required, you can the fetch the rest of the repository:

git fetch --unshallow     # equivalent of git fetch -–depth=2147483647
                          # fetches the rest of the repository

git fetch --depth=1000    # fetch the last 1000 commits

# Regular Clone

To download the entire repository including the full history and all branches, type:

git clone <url>

The example above will place it in a directory with the same name as the repository name.

To download the repository and save it in a specific directory, type:

git clone <url> [directory]

For more details, visit Clone a repository (opens new window).

# Clone a specific branch

To clone a specific branch of a repository, type --branch <branch name> before the repository url:

git clone --branch <branch name> <url> [directory]

To use the shorthand option for --branch, type -b. This command downloads entire repository and checks out <branch name>.

To save disk space you can clone history leading only to single branch with:

git clone --branch <branch_name> --single-branch <url> [directory]

If --single-branch is not added to the command, history of all branches will be cloned into [directory]. This can be issue with big repositories.

To later undo --single-branch flag and fetch the rest of repository use command:

git config remote.origin.fetch "+refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/origin/*"
git fetch origin

# Clone recursively

git clone <url> --recursive

Clones the repository and also clones all submodules. If the submodules themselves contain additional submodules, Git will also clone those.

# Clone using a proxy

If you need to download files with git under a proxy, setting proxy server system-wide couldn't be enough. You could also try the following:

git config --global http.proxy http://<proxy-server>:<port>/

# Syntax

  • git clone [] [--] []
  • git clone [--template=<template_directory>] [-l] [-s] [--no-hardlinks] [-q] [-n] [--bare] [--mirror] [-o ] [-b ] [-u ] [--reference ] [--dissociate] [--separate-git-dir ] [--depth ] [--[no-]single-branch] [--recursive | --recurse-submodules] [--[no-]shallow-submodules] [--jobs ] [--] []