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Git index format
================
== The Git index file has the following format
All binary numbers are in network byte order. Version 2 is described
here unless stated otherwise.
- A 12-byte header consisting of
4-byte signature:
The signature is { 'D', 'I', 'R', 'C' } (stands for "dircache")
4-byte version number:
The current supported versions are 2, 3 and 4.
32-bit number of index entries.
- A number of sorted index entries (see below).
- Extensions
Extensions are identified by signature. Optional extensions can
be ignored if Git does not understand them.
Git currently supports cached tree and resolve undo extensions.
4-byte extension signature. If the first byte is 'A'..'Z' the
extension is optional and can be ignored.
32-bit size of the extension
Extension data
- 160-bit SHA-1 over the content of the index file before this
checksum.
== Index entry
Index entries are sorted in ascending order on the name field,
interpreted as a string of unsigned bytes (i.e. memcmp() order, no
localization, no special casing of directory separator '/'). Entries
with the same name are sorted by their stage field.
32-bit ctime seconds, the last time a file's metadata changed
this is stat(2) data
32-bit ctime nanosecond fractions
this is stat(2) data
32-bit mtime seconds, the last time a file's data changed
this is stat(2) data
32-bit mtime nanosecond fractions
this is stat(2) data
32-bit dev
this is stat(2) data
32-bit ino
this is stat(2) data
32-bit mode, split into (high to low bits)
4-bit object type
valid values in binary are 1000 (regular file), 1010 (symbolic link)
and 1110 (gitlink)
3-bit unused
9-bit unix permission. Only 0755 and 0644 are valid for regular files.
Symbolic links and gitlinks have value 0 in this field.
32-bit uid
this is stat(2) data
32-bit gid
this is stat(2) data
32-bit file size
This is the on-disk size from stat(2), truncated to 32-bit.
160-bit SHA-1 for the represented object
A 16-bit 'flags' field split into (high to low bits)
1-bit assume-valid flag
1-bit extended flag (must be zero in version 2)
2-bit stage (during merge)
12-bit name length if the length is less than 0xFFF; otherwise 0xFFF
is stored in this field.
(Version 3 or later) A 16-bit field, only applicable if the
"extended flag" above is 1, split into (high to low bits).
1-bit reserved for future
1-bit skip-worktree flag (used by sparse checkout)
1-bit intent-to-add flag (used by "git add -N")
13-bit unused, must be zero
Entry path name (variable length) relative to top level directory
(without leading slash). '/' is used as path separator. The special
path components ".", ".." and ".git" (without quotes) are disallowed.
Trailing slash is also disallowed.
The exact encoding is undefined, but the '.' and '/' characters
are encoded in 7-bit ASCII and the encoding cannot contain a NUL
byte (iow, this is a UNIX pathname).
(Version 4) In version 4, the entry path name is prefix-compressed
relative to the path name for the previous entry (the very first
entry is encoded as if the path name for the previous entry is an
empty string). At the beginning of an entry, an integer N in the
variable width encoding (the same encoding as the offset is encoded
for OFS_DELTA pack entries; see pack-format.txt) is stored, followed
by a NUL-terminated string S. Removing N bytes from the end of the
path name for the previous entry, and replacing it with the string S
yields the path name for this entry.
1-8 nul bytes as necessary to pad the entry to a multiple of eight bytes
while keeping the name NUL-terminated.
(Version 4) In version 4, the padding after the pathname does not
exist.
Interpretation of index entries in split index mode is completely
different. See below for details.
== Extensions
=== Cached tree
Cached tree extension contains pre-computed hashes for trees that can
be derived from the index. It helps speed up tree object generation
from index for a new commit.
When a path is updated in index, the path must be invalidated and
removed from tree cache.
The signature for this extension is { 'T', 'R', 'E', 'E' }.
A series of entries fill the entire extension; each of which
consists of:
- NUL-terminated path component (relative to its parent directory);
- ASCII decimal number of entries in the index that is covered by the
tree this entry represents (entry_count);
- A space (ASCII 32);
- ASCII decimal number that represents the number of subtrees this
tree has;
- A newline (ASCII 10); and
- 160-bit object name for the object that would result from writing
this span of index as a tree.
An entry can be in an invalidated state and is represented by having
a negative number in the entry_count field. In this case, there is no
object name and the next entry starts immediately after the newline.
When writing an invalid entry, -1 should always be used as entry_count.
The entries are written out in the top-down, depth-first order. The
first entry represents the root level of the repository, followed by the
first subtree--let's call this A--of the root level (with its name
relative to the root level), followed by the first subtree of A (with
its name relative to A), ...
=== Resolve undo
A conflict is represented in the index as a set of higher stage entries.
When a conflict is resolved (e.g. with "git add path"), these higher
stage entries will be removed and a stage-0 entry with proper resolution
is added.
When these higher stage entries are removed, they are saved in the
resolve undo extension, so that conflicts can be recreated (e.g. with
"git checkout -m"), in case users want to redo a conflict resolution
from scratch.
The signature for this extension is { 'R', 'E', 'U', 'C' }.
A series of entries fill the entire extension; each of which
consists of:
- NUL-terminated pathname the entry describes (relative to the root of
the repository, i.e. full pathname);
- Three NUL-terminated ASCII octal numbers, entry mode of entries in
stage 1 to 3 (a missing stage is represented by "0" in this field);
and
- At most three 160-bit object names of the entry in stages from 1 to 3
(nothing is written for a missing stage).
=== Split index
In split index mode, the majority of index entries could be stored
in a separate file. This extension records the changes to be made on
top of that to produce the final index.
The signature for this extension is { 'l', 'i', 'n', 'k' }.
The extension consists of:
- 160-bit SHA-1 of the shared index file. The shared index file path
is $GIT_DIR/sharedindex.<SHA-1>. If all 160 bits are zero, the
index does not require a shared index file.
- An ewah-encoded delete bitmap, each bit represents an entry in the
shared index. If a bit is set, its corresponding entry in the
shared index will be removed from the final index. Note, because
a delete operation changes index entry positions, but we do need
original positions in replace phase, it's best to just mark
entries for removal, then do a mass deletion after replacement.
- An ewah-encoded replace bitmap, each bit represents an entry in
the shared index. If a bit is set, its corresponding entry in the
shared index will be replaced with an entry in this index
file. All replaced entries are stored in sorted order in this
index. The first "1" bit in the replace bitmap corresponds to the
first index entry, the second "1" bit to the second entry and so
on. Replaced entries may have empty path names to save space.
The remaining index entries after replaced ones will be added to the
final index. These added entries are also sorted by entry name then
stage.
== Untracked cache
Untracked cache saves the untracked file list and necessary data to
verify the cache. The signature for this extension is { 'U', 'N',
'T', 'R' }.
The extension starts with
- A sequence of NUL-terminated strings, preceded by the size of the
sequence in variable width encoding. Each string describes the
environment where the cache can be used.
- Stat data of $GIT_DIR/info/exclude. See "Index entry" section from
ctime field until "file size".
- Stat data of core.excludesfile
- 32-bit dir_flags (see struct dir_struct)
- 160-bit SHA-1 of $GIT_DIR/info/exclude. Null SHA-1 means the file
does not exist.
- 160-bit SHA-1 of core.excludesfile. Null SHA-1 means the file does
not exist.
- NUL-terminated string of per-dir exclude file name. This usually
is ".gitignore".
- The number of following directory blocks, variable width
encoding. If this number is zero, the extension ends here with a
following NUL.
- A number of directory blocks in depth-first-search order, each
consists of
- The number of untracked entries, variable width encoding.
- The number of sub-directory blocks, variable width encoding.
- The directory name terminated by NUL.
- A number of untracked file/dir names terminated by NUL.
The remaining data of each directory block is grouped by type:
- An ewah bitmap, the n-th bit marks whether the n-th directory has
valid untracked cache entries.
- An ewah bitmap, the n-th bit records "check-only" bit of
read_directory_recursive() for the n-th directory.
- An ewah bitmap, the n-th bit indicates whether SHA-1 and stat data
is valid for the n-th directory and exists in the next data.
- An array of stat data. The n-th data corresponds with the n-th
"one" bit in the previous ewah bitmap.
- An array of SHA-1. The n-th SHA-1 corresponds with the n-th "one" bit
in the previous ewah bitmap.
- One NUL.