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* libgit2 "general" example - shows basic libgit2 concepts
* Written by the libgit2 contributors
* To the extent possible under law, the author(s) have dedicated all copyright
* and related and neighboring rights to this software to the public domain
* worldwide. This software is distributed without any warranty.
* You should have received a copy of the CC0 Public Domain Dedication along
* with this software. If not, see
* <>.
// [**libgit2**][lg] is a portable, pure C implementation of the Git core
// methods provided as a re-entrant linkable library with a solid API,
// allowing you to write native speed custom Git applications in any
// language which supports C bindings.
// This file is an example of using that API in a real, compilable C file.
// As the API is updated, this file will be updated to demonstrate the new
// functionality.
// If you're trying to write something in C using [libgit2][lg], you should
// also check out the generated [API documentation][ap]. We try to link to
// the relevant sections of the API docs in each section in this file.
// **libgit2** (for the most part) only implements the core plumbing
// functions, not really the higher level porcelain stuff. For a primer on
// Git Internals that you will need to know to work with Git at this level,
// check out [Chapter 9][pg] of the Pro Git book.
// [lg]:
// [ap]:
// [pg]:
// ### Includes
// Including the `git2.h` header will include all the other libgit2 headers
// that you need. It should be the only thing you need to include in order
// to compile properly and get all the libgit2 API.
#include <git2.h>
#include <stdio.h>
// Almost all libgit2 functions return 0 on success or negative on error.
// This is not production quality error checking, but should be sufficient
// as an example.
static void check_error(int error_code, const char *action)
const git_error *error = giterr_last();
if (!error_code)
printf("Error %d %s - %s\n", error_code, action,
(error && error->message) ? error->message : "???");
int main (int argc, char** argv)
// Initialize the library, this will set up any global state which libgit2 needs
// including threading and crypto
// ### Opening the Repository
// There are a couple of methods for opening a repository, this being the
// simplest. There are also [methods][me] for specifying the index file
// and work tree locations, here we assume they are in the normal places.
// (Try running this program against tests/resources/testrepo.git.)
// [me]:
int error;
const char *repo_path = (argc > 1) ? argv[1] : "/opt/libgit2-test/.git";
git_repository *repo;
error = git_repository_open(&repo, repo_path);
check_error(error, "opening repository");
// ### SHA-1 Value Conversions
// For our first example, we will convert a 40 character hex value to the
// 20 byte raw SHA1 value.
printf("*Hex to Raw*\n");
char hex[] = "4a202b346bb0fb0db7eff3cffeb3c70babbd2045";
// The `git_oid` is the structure that keeps the SHA value. We will use
// this throughout the example for storing the value of the current SHA
// key we're working with.
git_oid oid;
git_oid_fromstr(&oid, hex);
// Once we've converted the string into the oid value, we can get the raw
// value of the SHA by accessing ``
// Next we will convert the 20 byte raw SHA1 value to a human readable 40
// char hex value.
printf("\n*Raw to Hex*\n");
char out[GIT_OID_HEXSZ+1];
out[GIT_OID_HEXSZ] = '\0';
// If you have a oid, you can easily get the hex value of the SHA as well.
git_oid_fmt(out, &oid);
printf("SHA hex string: %s\n", out);
// ### Working with the Object Database
// **libgit2** provides [direct access][odb] to the object database. The
// object database is where the actual objects are stored in Git. For
// working with raw objects, we'll need to get this structure from the
// repository.
// [odb]:
git_odb *odb;
git_repository_odb(&odb, repo);
// #### Raw Object Reading
printf("\n*Raw Object Read*\n");
git_odb_object *obj;
git_otype otype;
const unsigned char *data;
const char *str_type;
// We can read raw objects directly from the object database if we have
// the oid (SHA) of the object. This allows us to access objects without
// knowing their type and inspect the raw bytes unparsed.
error = git_odb_read(&obj, odb, &oid);
check_error(error, "finding object in repository");
// A raw object only has three properties - the type (commit, blob, tree
// or tag), the size of the raw data and the raw, unparsed data itself.
// For a commit or tag, that raw data is human readable plain ASCII
// text. For a blob it is just file contents, so it could be text or
// binary data. For a tree it is a special binary format, so it's unlikely
// to be hugely helpful as a raw object.
data = (const unsigned char *)git_odb_object_data(obj);
otype = git_odb_object_type(obj);
// We provide methods to convert from the object type which is an enum, to
// a string representation of that value (and vice-versa).
str_type = git_object_type2string(otype);
printf("object length and type: %d, %s\n",
// For proper memory management, close the object when you are done with
// it or it will leak memory.
// #### Raw Object Writing
printf("\n*Raw Object Write*\n");
// You can also write raw object data to Git. This is pretty cool because
// it gives you direct access to the key/value properties of Git. Here
// we'll write a new blob object that just contains a simple string.
// Notice that we have to specify the object type as the `git_otype` enum.
git_odb_write(&oid, odb, "test data", sizeof("test data") - 1, GIT_OBJ_BLOB);
// Now that we've written the object, we can check out what SHA1 was
// generated when the object was written to our database.
git_oid_fmt(out, &oid);
printf("Written Object: %s\n", out);
// ### Object Parsing
// libgit2 has methods to parse every object type in Git so you don't have
// to work directly with the raw data. This is much faster and simpler
// than trying to deal with the raw data yourself.
// #### Commit Parsing
// [Parsing commit objects][pco] is simple and gives you access to all the
// data in the commit - the author (name, email, datetime), committer
// (same), tree, message, encoding and parent(s).
// [pco]:
printf("\n*Commit Parsing*\n");
git_commit *commit;
git_oid_fromstr(&oid, "8496071c1b46c854b31185ea97743be6a8774479");
error = git_commit_lookup(&commit, repo, &oid);
check_error(error, "looking up commit");
const git_signature *author, *cmtter;
const char *message;
time_t ctime;
unsigned int parents, p;
// Each of the properties of the commit object are accessible via methods,
// including commonly needed variations, such as `git_commit_time` which
// returns the author time and `git_commit_message` which gives you the
// commit message (as a NUL-terminated string).
message = git_commit_message(commit);
author = git_commit_author(commit);
cmtter = git_commit_committer(commit);
ctime = git_commit_time(commit);
// The author and committer methods return [git_signature] structures,
// which give you name, email and `when`, which is a `git_time` structure,
// giving you a timestamp and timezone offset.
printf("Author: %s (%s)\n", author->name, author->email);
// Commits can have zero or more parents. The first (root) commit will
// have no parents, most commits will have one (i.e. the commit it was
// based on) and merge commits will have two or more. Commits can
// technically have any number, though it's rare to have more than two.
parents = git_commit_parentcount(commit);
for (p = 0;p < parents;p++) {
git_commit *parent;
git_commit_parent(&parent, commit, p);
git_oid_fmt(out, git_commit_id(parent));
printf("Parent: %s\n", out);
// Don't forget to close the object to prevent memory leaks. You will have
// to do this for all the objects you open and parse.
// #### Writing Commits
// libgit2 provides a couple of methods to create commit objects easily as
// well. There are four different create signatures, we'll just show one
// of them here. You can read about the other ones in the [commit API
// docs][cd].
// [cd]:
printf("\n*Commit Writing*\n");
git_oid tree_id, parent_id, commit_id;
git_tree *tree;
git_commit *parent;
// Creating signatures for an authoring identity and time is simple. You
// will need to do this to specify who created a commit and when. Default
// values for the name and email should be found in the `` and
// `` configuration options. See the `config` section of this
// example file to see how to access config values.
git_signature_new((git_signature **)&author,
"Scott Chacon", "", 123456789, 60);
git_signature_new((git_signature **)&cmtter,
"Scott A Chacon", "", 987654321, 90);
// Commit objects need a tree to point to and optionally one or more
// parents. Here we're creating oid objects to create the commit with,
// but you can also use
git_oid_fromstr(&tree_id, "f60079018b664e4e79329a7ef9559c8d9e0378d1");
git_tree_lookup(&tree, repo, &tree_id);
git_oid_fromstr(&parent_id, "5b5b025afb0b4c913b4c338a42934a3863bf3644");
git_commit_lookup(&parent, repo, &parent_id);
// Here we actually create the commit object with a single call with all
// the values we need to create the commit. The SHA key is written to the
// `commit_id` variable here.
&commit_id, /* out id */
NULL, /* do not update the HEAD */
NULL, /* use default message encoding */
"example commit",
1, parent);
// Now we can take a look at the commit SHA we've generated.
git_oid_fmt(out, &commit_id);
printf("New Commit: %s\n", out);
// #### Tag Parsing
// You can parse and create tags with the [tag management API][tm], which
// functions very similarly to the commit lookup, parsing and creation
// methods, since the objects themselves are very similar.
// [tm]:
printf("\n*Tag Parsing*\n");
git_tag *tag;
const char *tmessage, *tname;
git_otype ttype;
// We create an oid for the tag object if we know the SHA and look it up
// the same way that we would a commit (or any other object).
git_oid_fromstr(&oid, "b25fa35b38051e4ae45d4222e795f9df2e43f1d1");
error = git_tag_lookup(&tag, repo, &oid);
check_error(error, "looking up tag");
// Now that we have the tag object, we can extract the information it
// generally contains: the target (usually a commit object), the type of
// the target object (usually 'commit'), the name ('v1.0'), the tagger (a
// git_signature - name, email, timestamp), and the tag message.
git_tag_target((git_object **)&commit, tag);
tname = git_tag_name(tag); // "test"
ttype = git_tag_target_type(tag); // GIT_OBJ_COMMIT (otype enum)
tmessage = git_tag_message(tag); // "tag message\n"
printf("Tag Message: %s\n", tmessage);
// #### Tree Parsing
// [Tree parsing][tp] is a bit different than the other objects, in that
// we have a subtype which is the tree entry. This is not an actual
// object type in Git, but a useful structure for parsing and traversing
// tree entries.
// [tp]:
printf("\n*Tree Parsing*\n");
const git_tree_entry *entry;
git_object *objt;
// Create the oid and lookup the tree object just like the other objects.
git_oid_fromstr(&oid, "2a741c18ac5ff082a7caaec6e74db3075a1906b5");
git_tree_lookup(&tree, repo, &oid);
// Getting the count of entries in the tree so you can iterate over them
// if you want to.
size_t cnt = git_tree_entrycount(tree); // 3
printf("tree entries: %d\n", (int)cnt);
entry = git_tree_entry_byindex(tree, 0);
printf("Entry name: %s\n", git_tree_entry_name(entry)); // "hello.c"
// You can also access tree entries by name if you know the name of the
// entry you're looking for.
entry = git_tree_entry_byname(tree, "README");
git_tree_entry_name(entry); // "hello.c"
// Once you have the entry object, you can access the content or subtree
// (or commit, in the case of submodules) that it points to. You can also
// get the mode if you want.
git_tree_entry_to_object(&objt, repo, entry); // blob
// Remember to close the looked-up object once you are done using it
// #### Blob Parsing
// The last object type is the simplest and requires the least parsing
// help. Blobs are just file contents and can contain anything, there is
// no structure to it. The main advantage to using the [simple blob
// api][ba] is that when you're creating blobs you don't have to calculate
// the size of the content. There is also a helper for reading a file
// from disk and writing it to the db and getting the oid back so you
// don't have to do all those steps yourself.
// [ba]:
printf("\n*Blob Parsing*\n");
git_blob *blob;
git_oid_fromstr(&oid, "1385f264afb75a56a5bec74243be9b367ba4ca08");
git_blob_lookup(&blob, repo, &oid);
// You can access a buffer with the raw contents of the blob directly.
// Note that this buffer may not be contain ASCII data for certain blobs
// (e.g. binary files): do not consider the buffer a NULL-terminated
// string, and use the `git_blob_rawsize` attribute to find out its exact
// size in bytes
printf("Blob Size: %ld\n", (long)git_blob_rawsize(blob)); // 8
git_blob_rawcontent(blob); // "content"
// ### Revwalking
// The libgit2 [revision walking api][rw] provides methods to traverse the
// directed graph created by the parent pointers of the commit objects.
// Since all commits point back to the commit that came directly before
// them, you can walk this parentage as a graph and find all the commits
// that were ancestors of (reachable from) a given starting point. This
// can allow you to create `git log` type functionality.
// [rw]:
git_revwalk *walk;
git_commit *wcommit;
git_oid_fromstr(&oid, "5b5b025afb0b4c913b4c338a42934a3863bf3644");
// To use the revwalker, create a new walker, tell it how you want to sort
// the output and then push one or more starting points onto the walker.
// If you want to emulate the output of `git log` you would push the SHA
// of the commit that HEAD points to into the walker and then start
// traversing them. You can also 'hide' commits that you want to stop at
// or not see any of their ancestors. So if you want to emulate `git log
// branch1..branch2`, you would push the oid of `branch2` and hide the oid
// of `branch1`.
git_revwalk_new(&walk, repo);
git_revwalk_sorting(walk, GIT_SORT_TOPOLOGICAL | GIT_SORT_REVERSE);
git_revwalk_push(walk, &oid);
const git_signature *cauth;
const char *cmsg;
// Now that we have the starting point pushed onto the walker, we start
// asking for ancestors. It will return them in the sorting order we asked
// for as commit oids. We can then lookup and parse the committed pointed
// at by the returned OID; note that this operation is specially fast
// since the raw contents of the commit object will be cached in memory
while ((git_revwalk_next(&oid, walk)) == 0) {
error = git_commit_lookup(&wcommit, repo, &oid);
check_error(error, "looking up commit during revwalk");
cmsg = git_commit_message(wcommit);
cauth = git_commit_author(wcommit);
printf("%s (%s)\n", cmsg, cauth->email);
// Like the other objects, be sure to free the revwalker when you're done
// to prevent memory leaks. Also, make sure that the repository being
// walked it not deallocated while the walk is in progress, or it will
// result in undefined behavior
// ### Index File Manipulation
// The [index file API][gi] allows you to read, traverse, update and write
// the Git index file (sometimes thought of as the staging area).
// [gi]:
printf("\n*Index Walking*\n");
git_index *index;
unsigned int i, ecount;
// You can either open the index from the standard location in an open
// repository, as we're doing here, or you can open and manipulate any
// index file with `git_index_open_bare()`. The index for the repository
// will be located and loaded from disk.
git_repository_index(&index, repo);
// For each entry in the index, you can get a bunch of information
// including the SHA (oid), path and mode which map to the tree objects
// that are written out. It also has filesystem properties to help
// determine what to inspect for changes (ctime, mtime, dev, ino, uid,
// gid, file_size and flags) All these properties are exported publicly in
// the `git_index_entry` struct
ecount = git_index_entrycount(index);
for (i = 0; i < ecount; ++i) {
const git_index_entry *e = git_index_get_byindex(index, i);
printf("path: %s\n", e->path);
printf("mtime: %d\n", (int)e->mtime.seconds);
printf("fs: %d\n", (int)e->file_size);
// ### References
// The [reference API][ref] allows you to list, resolve, create and update
// references such as branches, tags and remote references (everything in
// the .git/refs directory).
// [ref]:
printf("\n*Reference Listing*\n");
// Here we will implement something like `git for-each-ref` simply listing
// out all available references and the object SHA they resolve to.
git_strarray ref_list;
git_reference_list(&ref_list, repo);
const char *refname;
git_reference *ref;
// Now that we have the list of reference names, we can lookup each ref
// one at a time and resolve them to the SHA, then print both values out.
for (i = 0; i < ref_list.count; ++i) {
refname = ref_list.strings[i];
git_reference_lookup(&ref, repo, refname);
switch (git_reference_type(ref)) {
git_oid_fmt(out, git_reference_target(ref));
printf("%s [%s]\n", refname, out);
printf("%s => %s\n", refname, git_reference_symbolic_target(ref));
fprintf(stderr, "Unexpected reference type\n");
// ### Config Files
// The [config API][config] allows you to list and updatee config values
// in any of the accessible config file locations (system, global, local).
// [config]:
printf("\n*Config Listing*\n");
const char *email;
int32_t j;
git_config *cfg;
// Open a config object so we can read global values from it.
char config_path[256];
sprintf(config_path, "%s/config", repo_path);
check_error(git_config_open_ondisk(&cfg, config_path), "opening config");
git_config_get_int32(&j, cfg, "help.autocorrect");
printf("Autocorrect: %d\n", j);
git_config_get_string(&email, cfg, "");
printf("Email: %s\n", email);
// Finally, when you're done with the repository, you can free it as well.
return 0;