Git v1.8.1

The latest feature release Git v1.8.1 is now available at the
usual places.

The release tarballs are found at:

and their SHA-1 checksums are:

ac8dced9c3232c0ec6a88d04600a4d0eaf2ba4e3  git-1.8.1.tar.gz
a256fc56c89dc3c8d58b81a2c02dc89299f1f29b  git-htmldocs-1.8.1.tar.gz
a9ab9de3fa1781bb5009f5a215374dfc694feb30  git-manpages-1.8.1.tar.gz

Also the following public repositories all have a copy of the v1.8.1
tag and the master branch that the tag points at:

url = git://
url =
url = git://
url = git://
url =

Git v1.8.1 Release Notes

Backward compatibility notes

In the next major release (not this one), we will change the
behavior of the “git push” command.

When “git push [$there]” does not say what to push, we have used the
traditional “matching” semantics so far (all your branches were sent
to the remote as long as there already are branches of the same name
over there). We will use the “simple” semantics that pushes the
current branch to the branch with the same name, only when the current
branch is set to integrate with that remote branch. There is a user
preference configuration variable “push.default” to change this, and
“git push” will warn about the upcoming change until you set this
variable in this release.

“git branch –set-upstream” is deprecated and may be removed in a
relatively distant future. “git branch [-u|–set-upstream-to]” has
been introduced with a saner order of arguments to replace it.

Updates since v1.8.0

UI, Workflows & Features

  • Command-line completion scripts for tcsh and zsh have been added.

  • “git-prompt” scriptlet (in contrib/completion) can be told to paint
    pieces of the hints in the prompt string in colors.

  • Some documentation pages that used to ship only in the plain text
    format are now formatted in HTML as well.

  • We used to have a workaround for a bug in ancient “less” that
    causes it to exit without any output when the terminal is resized.
    The bug has been fixed in “less” version 406 (June 2007), and the
    workaround has been removed in this release.

  • When “git checkout” checks out a branch, it tells the user how far
    behind (or ahead) the new branch is relative to the remote tracking
    branch it builds upon. The message now also advises how to sync
    them up by pushing or pulling. This can be disabled with the
    advice.statusHints configuration variable.

  • “git config –get” used to diagnose presence of multiple
    definitions of the same variable in the same configuration file as
    an error, but it now applies the “last one wins” rule used by the
    internal configuration logic. Strictly speaking, this may be an
    API regression but it is expected that nobody will notice it in

  • A new configuration variable “diff.context” can be used to
    give the default number of context lines in the patch output, to
    override the hardcoded default of 3 lines.

  • “git format-patch” learned the “–notes=<ref>” option to give
    notes for the commit after the three-dash lines in its output.

  • “git log -p -S<string>” now looks for the <string> after applying
    the textconv filter (if defined); earlier it inspected the contents
    of the blobs without filtering.

  • “git log –grep=<pcre>” learned to honor the “grep.patterntype”
    configuration set to “perl”.

  • “git replace -d <object>” now interprets <object> as an extended
    SHA-1 (e.g. HEAD~4 is allowed), instead of only accepting full hex
    object name.

  • “git rm $submodule” used to punt on removing a submodule working
    tree to avoid losing the repository embedded in it. Because
    recent git uses a mechanism to separate the submodule repository
    from the submodule working tree, “git rm” learned to detect this
    case and removes the submodule working tree when it is safe to do so.

  • “git send-email” used to prompt for the sender address, even when
    the committer identity is well specified (e.g. via and configuration variables). The command no longer gives
    this prompt when not necessary.

  • “git send-email” did not allow non-address garbage strings to
    appear after addresses on Cc: lines in the patch files (and when
    told to pick them up to find more recipients), e.g.

    Cc: Stable Kernel <> # for v3.2 and up
    The command now strips " # for v3.2 and up" part before adding the
    remainder of this line to the list of recipients.
  • “git submodule add” learned to add a new submodule at the same
    path as the path where an unrelated submodule was bound to in an
    existing revision via the “–name” option.

  • “git submodule sync” learned the “–recursive” option.

  • “diff.submodule” configuration variable can be used to give custom
    default value to the “git diff –submodule” option.

  • “git symbolic-ref” learned the “-d $symref” option to delete the
    named symbolic ref, which is more intuitive way to spell it than
    “update-ref -d –no-deref $symref”.

Foreign Interface

  • “git cvsimport” can be told to record timezones (other than GMT)
    per-author via its author info file.

  • The remote helper interface to interact with subversion
    repositories (one of the GSoC 2012 projects) has been merged.

  • A new remote-helper interface for Mercurial has been added to

  • The documentation for git(1) was pointing at a page at an external
    site for the list of authors that no longer existed. The link has
    been updated to point at an alternative site.

Performance, Internal Implementation, etc.

  • Compilation on Cygwin with newer header files are supported now.

  • A couple of low-level implementation updates on MinGW.

  • The logic to generate the initial advertisement from “upload-pack”
    (i.e. what is invoked by “git fetch” on the other side of the
    connection) to list what refs are available in the repository has
    been optimized.

  • The logic to find set of attributes that match a given path has
    been optimized.

  • Use preloadindex in “git diff-index” and “git update-index”, which
    has a nice speedup on systems with slow stat calls (and even on

Also contains minor documentation updates and code clean-ups.

Fixes since v1.8.0

Unless otherwise noted, all the fixes since v1.8.0 in the maintenance
track are contained in this release (see release notes to them for

  • The configuration parser had an unnecessary hardcoded limit on
    variable names that was not checked consistently.

  • The “say” function in the test scaffolding incorrectly allowed
    “echo” to interpret “\a” as if it were a C-string asking for a
    BEL output.

  • “git mergetool” feeds /dev/null as a common ancestor when dealing
    with an add/add conflict, but p4merge backend cannot handle
    it. Work it around by passing a temporary empty file.

  • “git log -F -E –grep=<ere>” failed to use the given <ere>
    pattern as extended regular expression, and instead looked for the
    string literally.

  • “git grep -e pattern <tree>” asked the attribute system to read
    “<tree>:.gitattributes” file in the working tree, which was

  • A symbolic ref refs/heads/SYM was not correctly removed with “git
    branch -d SYM”; the command removed the ref pointed by SYM

  • Update “remote tracking branch” in the documentation to
    “remote-tracking branch”.

  • “git pull –rebase” run while the HEAD is detached tried to find
    the upstream branch of the detached HEAD (which by definition
    does not exist) and emitted unnecessary error messages.

  • The refs/replace hierarchy was not mentioned in the
    repository-layout docs.

  • Various rfc2047 quoting issues around a non-ASCII name on the
    From: line in the output from format-patch have been corrected.

  • Sometimes curl_multi_timeout() function suggested a wrong timeout
    value when there is no file descriptor to wait on and the http
    transport ended up sleeping for minutes in select(2) system call.
    A workaround has been added for this.

  • For a fetch refspec (or the result of applying wildcard on one),
    we always want the RHS to map to something inside “refs/”
    hierarchy, but the logic to check it was not exactly right.
    (merge 5c08c1f jc/maint-fetch-tighten-refname-check later to maint).

  • “git diff -G<pattern>” did not honor textconv filter when looking
    for changes.

  • Some HTTP servers ask for auth only during the actual packing phase
    (not in ls-remote phase); this is not really a recommended
    configuration, but the clients used to fail to authenticate with
    such servers.
    (merge 2e736fd jk/maint-http-half-auth-fetch later to maint).

  • “git p4” used to try expanding malformed “$keyword$” that spans
    across multiple lines.

  • Syntax highlighting in “gitweb” was not quite working.

  • RSS feed from “gitweb” had a xss hole in its title output.

  • “git config –path $key” segfaulted on “[section] key” (a boolean
    “true” spelled without “=”, not “[section] key = true”).

  • “git checkout -b foo” while on an unborn branch did not say
    “Switched to a new branch foo” like other cases.

  • Various codepaths have workaround for a common misconfiguration to
    spell “UTF-8” as “utf8”, but it was not used uniformly. Most
    notably, mailinfo (which is used by “git am”) lacked this support.

  • We failed to mention a file without any content change but whose
    permission bit was modified, or (worse yet) a new file without any
    content in the “git diff –stat” output.

  • When “–stat-count” hides a diffstat for binary contents, the total
    number of added and removed lines at the bottom was computed

  • When “–stat-count” hides a diffstat for unmerged paths, the total
    number of affected files at the bottom of the “diff –stat” output
    was computed incorrectly.

  • “diff –shortstat” miscounted the total number of affected files
    when there were unmerged paths.

  • “update-ref -d –deref SYM” to delete a ref through a symbolic ref
    that points to it did not remove it correctly.

Changes since v1.8.1-rc3 are as follows:

Junio C Hamano (3):
      git(1): show link to contributor summary page
      Git 1.8.1

Max Horn (1):
      git-remote-helpers.txt: document invocation before input format

Ramkumar Ramachandra (1):
      Documentation: move diff.wordRegex from config.txt to diff-config.txt

Sebastian Leske (4):
      git-svn: Document branches with at-sign(@).
      git-svn: Recommend use of structure options.
      git-svn: Expand documentation for --follow-parent
      git-svn: Note about tags.

Simon Oosthoek (1):
      make __git_ps1 accept a third parameter in pcmode

Thomas Ackermann (1):
      Sort howto documents in howto-index.txt

Junio C Hamano wrote on 31 Dec 2012