Everything starts either by creating a new repository, or by opening an existing one.


pygit2.init_repository(path, bare=False, flags=16, mode=0, workdir_path=None, description=None, template_path=None, initial_head=None, origin_url=None)

Creates a new Git repository in the given path.

If bare is True the repository will be bare, i.e. it will not have a working copy.

The flags may be a combination of:

  • GIT_REPOSITORY_INIT_BARE (overriden by the bare parameter)




  • GIT_REPOSITORY_INIT_MKPATH (set by default)


The mode parameter may be any of GIT_REPOSITORY_SHARED_UMASK (default), GIT_REPOSITORY_SHARED_GROUP or GIT_REPOSITORY_INIT_SHARED_ALL, or a custom value.

The workdir_path, description, template_path, initial_head and origin_url are all strings.

See libgit2’s documentation on git_repository_init_ext for further details.


>>> from pygit2 import init_repository
>>> repo = init_repository('test')            # Creates a non-bare repository
>>> repo = init_repository('test', bare=True) # Creates a bare repository
pygit2.clone_repository(url, path, bare=False, repository=None, remote=None, checkout_branch=None, callbacks=None)

Clones a new Git repository from url in the given path.

Returns: a Repository class pointing to the newly cloned repository.



URL of the repository to clone.


Local path to clone into.


Whether the local repository should be bare.


Callback for the remote to use.

The remote callback has (Repository, name, url) -> Remote as a signature. The Remote it returns will be used instead of the default one.


Callback for the repository to use.

The repository callback has (path, bare) -> Repository as a signature. The Repository it returns will be used instead of creating a new one.


Branch to checkout after the clone. The default is to use the remote’s default branch.


Object which implements the callbacks as methods.

The callbacks should be an object which inherits from pyclass:RemoteCallbacks.


>>> from pygit2 import clone_repository
>>> repo_url = 'git://'
>>> repo_path = '/path/to/create/repository'
>>> repo = clone_repository(repo_url, repo_path) # Clones a non-bare repository
>>> repo = clone_repository(repo_url, repo_path, bare=True) # Clones a bare repository
pygit2.discover_repository(path[, across_fs[, ceiling_dirs]])str

Look for a git repository and return its path. If not found returns None.


>>> current_working_directory = os.getcwd()
>>> repository_path = discover_repository(current_working_directory)
>>> repo = Repository(repository_path)
pygit2.tree_entry_cmp(object, other)

tree_entry_obj(a, b) -> int

Rich comparison for objects, only available when the objects have been obtained through a tree. The sort criteria is the one Git uses to sort tree entries in a tree object. This function wraps git_tree_entry_cmp.

Returns < 0 if a is before b, > 0 if a is after b, and 0 if a and b are the same.

The Repository class

The API of the Repository class is quite large. Since this documentation is organized by features, the related bits are explained in the related chapters, for instance the pygit2.Repository.checkout() method is explained in the Checkout section.

Below there are some general attributes and methods:

class pygit2.Repository(path=None, flags=0)

The Repository constructor will most commonly be called with one argument, the path of the repository to open.

Alternatively, constructing a repository with no arguments will create a repository with no backends. You can use this path to create repositories with custom backends. Note that most operations on the repository are considered invalid and may lead to undefined behavior if attempted before providing an odb and refdb via set_odb and set_refdb.



The path to open - if not provided, the repository will have no backend.


Flags controlling how to open the repository can optionally be provided - any combination of:







>>> from pygit2 import Repository
>>> repo = Repository('pygit2/.git')
ahead_behind(local, upstream)

Calculate how many different commits are in the non-common parts of the history between the two given ids.

Ahead is how many commits are in the ancestry of the ‘local’ commit which are not in the ‘upstream’ commit. Behind is the opposite.

Returns: a tuple of two integers with the number of commits ahead and behind respectively.



The commit which is considered the local or current state.


The commit which is considered the upstream.


Tests if the given patch will apply to HEAD, without writing it.


Applies the given Diff object to HEAD, writing the results into the working directory.

create_reference(name, target, force=False, message=None)

Create a new reference “name” which points to an object or to another reference.

Based on the type and value of the target parameter, this method tries to guess whether it is a direct or a symbolic reference.

Keyword arguments:

force: bool

If True references will be overridden, otherwise (the default) an exception is raised.

message: str

Optional message to use for the reflog.


repo.create_reference('refs/tags/foo', 'refs/heads/master')
repo.create_reference('refs/tags/foo', 'bbb78a9cec580')

Return the signature according to the repository’s configuration

Repository.descendant_of(oid, oid) -> bool

Determine if the first commit is a descendant of the second commit. Note that a commit is not considered a descendant of itself.

describe(committish=None, max_candidates_tags=None, describe_strategy=None, pattern=None, only_follow_first_parent=None, show_commit_oid_as_fallback=None, abbreviated_size=None, always_use_long_format=None, dirty_suffix=None)

Describe a commit-ish or the current working tree.

Returns: The description (str).


committishstr, Reference, or Commit

Commit-ish object or object name to describe, or None to describe the current working tree.


The number of candidate tags to consider. Increasing above 10 will take slightly longer but may produce a more accurate result. A value of 0 will cause only exact matches to be output.


Can be one of:

  • GIT_DESCRIBE_DEFAULT - Only match annotated tags. (This is equivalent to setting this parameter to None.)

  • GIT_DESCRIBE_TAGS - Match everything under refs/tags/ (includes lightweight tags).

  • GIT_DESCRIBE_ALL - Match everything under refs/ (includes branches).


Only consider tags matching the given glob(7) pattern, excluding the “refs/tags/” prefix.


Follow only the first parent commit upon seeing a merge commit.


Show uniquely abbreviated commit object as fallback.


The minimum number of hexadecimal digits to show for abbreviated object names. A value of 0 will suppress long format, only showing the closest tag.


Always output the long format (the nearest tag, the number of commits, and the abbrevated commit name) even when the committish matches a tag.


A string to append if the working tree is dirty.


repo.describe(pattern='public/*', dirty_suffix='-dirty')

Releases handles to the Git database without deallocating the repository.


Check if a repository is a bare repository.


Check if a repository is empty.


Check if a repository is a shallow repository.


Return the object database for this repository


The normalized path to the git repository.


Check if a path is ignored in the repository.

reset(oid, reset_type)

Resets the current head.



The oid of the commit to reset to.

  • GIT_RESET_SOFT: resets head to point to oid, but does not modify working copy, and leaves the changes in the index.

  • GIT_RESET_MIXED: resets head to point to oid, but does not modify working copy. It empties the index too.

  • GIT_RESET_HARD: resets head to point to oid, and resets too the working copy and the content of the index.

revert_commit(revert_commit, our_commit, mainline=0)

Reverts the given Commit against the given “our” Commit, producing an Index that reflects the result of the revert.

Returns: an Index with the result of the revert.



The Commit to revert.


The Commit to revert against (eg, HEAD).


The parent of the revert Commit, if it is a merge (i.e. 1, 2).

set_odb(odb: Odb)

Sets the object database for this repository. This is a low-level function, most users won’t need it.

set_refdb(refdb: Refdb)

Sets the reference database for this repository. This is a low-level function, most users won’t need it.


Remove all the metadata associated with an ongoing command like merge, revert, cherry-pick, etc. For example: MERGE_HEAD, MERGE_MSG, etc.


The normalized path to the working directory of the repository. If the repository is bare, None will be returned.

write(type, data)Oid

Write raw object data into the repository. First arg is the object type, the second one a buffer with data. Return the Oid of the created object.

write_archive(treeish, archive, timestamp=None, prefix='')

Write treeish into an archive.

If no timestamp is provided and ‘treeish’ is a commit, its committer timestamp will be used. Otherwise the current time will be used.

All path names in the archive are added to ‘prefix’, which defaults to an empty string.



The treeish to write.


An archive from the ‘tarfile’ module.


Timestamp to use for the files in the archive.


Extra prefix to add to the path names in the archive.


>>> import tarfile, pygit2
>>>> with'foo.tar', 'w') as archive:
>>>>     repo = pygit2.Repository('.')
>>>>     repo.write_archive(, archive)

The Odb class

class pygit2.Odb

Object database.

add_backend(backend, priority)

Adds an OdbBackend to the list of backends for this object database.


Adds a path on disk as an alternate backend for objects. Alternate backends are checked for objects only after the main backends are checked. Writing is disabled on alternate backends.


Return an iterable of backends for this object database.


Returns true if the given oid can be found in this odb.

read(oid)type, data, size

Read raw object data from the object db.

write(type, data)Oid

Write raw object data into the object db. First arg is the object type, the second one a buffer with data. Return the Oid of the created object.

The Refdb class

class pygit2.Refdb

Reference database.


Suggests that the given refdb compress or optimize its references. This mechanism is implementation specific. For on-disk reference databases, for example, this may pack all loose references.

static new(repo: Repository)Refdb

Creates a new refdb with no backend.

static open(repo: Repository)Refdb

Create a new reference database and automatically add the default backends, assuming the repository dir as the folder.

set_backend(backend: RefdbBackend)

Sets a custom RefdbBackend for this Refdb.