git-unpack-file - Linux


git-unpack-file unpacks a compressed file produced by git-pack-objects. It is used to obtain the contents of a file in the object database without having to do a full clone.


git unpack-file <hash> [<path>]


  • -t: Use a "thin" representation, which only includes the portions of the object that are needed to generate the requested file.
  • -z: Force decompression using the Zlib compression algorithm.
  • -q: Suppress all output except for the unpacked file contents.


  1. Unpack a file with its original name:

    git unpack-file 0240c39d12cccc3b9d834976cf4eccf258d49020 example.txt
  2. Unpack a file using a custom path:

    git unpack-file 0240c39d12cccc3b9d834976cf4eccf258d49020 new/path/example.txt
  3. Unpack a thin representation of a file:

    git unpack-file -t 0240c39d12cccc3b9d834976cf4eccf258d49020 example.txt

Common Issues

  • Permission denied: Ensure that you have the necessary permissions to access the object database.
  • File not found: The specified object hash may not exist in the object database.
  • Unsupported compression algorithm: The object may be compressed using an unsupported algorithm.


git-unpack-file can be used in conjunction with other commands for advanced tasks, such as:

  • git cat-file -p to view the contents of an object.
  • git rev-parse to obtain the hash of an object.

Related Commands

  • git-pack-objects
  • git-cat-file
  • git-rev-parse