gitformat-pack - Linux


gitformat-pack is a specialized command within the Git version control system. It is responsible for transforming loose objects (individual files and metadata) into a packfile, a compressed and efficient storage format. Packfiles are commonly used in conjunction with Git repositories to enhance performance and optimize storage space.


gitformat-pack [<options>] <input-files>


  • –window=: Sets the window size for diff delta compression, where a larger value can result in better compression but higher memory usage.
  • –depth=: Specifies the depth level for object lookup, where a higher number allows for more aggressive packing.
  • –pack-objects: Performs a packing operation on the specified input objects.
  • –revs: Considers all commits and trees reachable from the specified revision for packing.
  • –write-objects=: Writes packed objects to the specified path.


Example 1: Compressing Loose Objects

gitformat-pack --pack-objects

This command will create a packfile named pack-<hash>.

Example 2: Packing with Specific Configuration

gitformat-pack --window=512 --depth=10 --revs=master

This command will use a window size of 512, consider up to 10 levels of object history, and pack objects reachable from the master branch.

Common Issues

  • Memory Exhaustion: Using overly large window sizes can lead to excessive memory consumption. Consider reducing the window size if encountering memory-related issues.
  • Packfile Corruption: Ensure that the input objects are valid and not corrupted, as this can result in packfile corruption and retrieval errors.


gitformat-pack can be combined with other Git commands to optimize the packing process. For instance, it can be integrated with the git repack command to optimize existing packfiles.

Related Commands

  • git-pack-objects: Similar to gitformat-pack, but can operate on whole repositories.
  • git-gc: Performs garbage collection operations, including purging unused objects and optimizing packfiles.