git-fast-export - Linux


git-fast-export is a command for efficiently exporting a Git repository’s history into a structured, serialized format. It’s primarily used for creating archives of Git repositories, for offline analysis or use with other tools.


git fast-export [<options>]


  • --all: Export all objects, including deleted ones.
  • --tag-of-filtered-object: Append tags to the objects they point to.
  • --branches=<branch list>: Export only the specified branches.
  • --grep=<pattern>: Filter objects by matching their content against a regular expression.
  • --pack-size=<size>: Set the maximum size for packfiles created during export.
  • --output=<file>: Write the output to a specified file.


Example 1: Export All Objects to a File

git fast-export --all --output=repo.dump

Example 2: Export Filtered Commits

git fast-export --grep=feature/x --output=filtered.dump

Example 3: Export Specific Branches

git fast-export --branches=main,feature/x --output=branch.dump

Common Issues

  • Incorrect File Permissions: Ensure that the output file has write permissions for the user running the command.
  • Git History Rewrite: Exported commits may have different SHA-1 hashes after a git history rewrite. Use --all to include all objects, even deleted ones.
  • Large Packfiles: If the pack-size limit is reached, multiple packfiles will be created. Use --pack-size=0 to disable packfile creation.


git-fast-export can be integrated with other Git commands for advanced workflows:

  • Git-Archive: Use git-fast-export to generate the input for git-archive for faster and more efficient archives.
  • Scripts: Write scripts to automate the export process, filter objects, or perform post-export analysis.

Related Commands

  • git-archive: Create a tar archive of a repository.
  • git-dump: Export the Git database into a human-readable format.
  • git-upload-pack: Sends packfile data to a remote repository.