meowsqueak meowsqueak - 3 months ago 21
Git Question

Does "git fetch --tags" include "git fetch"?

A nice and simple question - is the function of "git fetch" a strict sub-set of

git fetch --tags
?

I.e. if I run
git fetch --tags
, is there ever a reason to immediately run
git fetch
straight afterward?

What about
git pull
and
git pull --tags
? Same situation?

Answer

Note: starting with git 1.9/2.0 (Q1 2014), git fetch --tags fetches tags in addition to what are fetched by the same command line without the option.

See commit c5a84e9 by Michael Haggerty (mhagger):

Previously, fetch's "--tags" option was considered equivalent to specifying the refspec

refs/tags/*:refs/tags/*

on the command line; in particular, it caused the remote.<name>.refspec configuration to be ignored.

But it is not very useful to fetch tags without also fetching other references, whereas it is quite useful to be able to fetch tags in addition to other references.
So change the semantics of this option to do the latter.

If a user wants to fetch only tags, then it is still possible to specifying an explicit refspec:

git fetch <remote> 'refs/tags/*:refs/tags/*'

Please note that the documentation prior to 1.8.0.3 was ambiguous about this aspect of "fetch --tags" behavior.
Commit f0cb2f1 (2012-12-14) fetch --tags made the documentation match the old behavior.
This commit changes the documentation to match the new behavior (see Documentation/fetch-options.txt).

Request that all tags be fetched from the remote in addition to whatever else is being fetched.


Since Git 2.5 (Q2 2015) git pull --tags is more robust:

See commit 19d122b by Paul Tan (pyokagan), 13 May 2015.
(Merged by Junio C Hamano -- gitster -- in commit cc77b99, 22 May 2015)

pull: remove --tags error in no merge candidates case

Since 441ed41 ("git pull --tags": error out with a better message., 2007-12-28, Git 1.5.4+), git pull --tags would print a different error message if git-fetch did not return any merge candidates:

It doesn't make sense to pull all tags; you probably meant: git fetch --tags

This is because at that time, git-fetch --tags would override any configured refspecs, and thus there would be no merge candidates. The error message was thus introduced to prevent confusion.

However, since c5a84e9 (fetch --tags: fetch tags in addition to other stuff, 2013-10-30, Git 1.9.0+), git fetch --tags would fetch tags in addition to any configured refspecs.
Hence, if any no merge candidates situation occurs, it is not because --tags was set. As such, this special error message is now irrelevant.

To prevent confusion, remove this error message.

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