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This version of GitHub Enterprise was discontinued on 2022-06-03. No patch releases will be made, even for critical security issues. For better performance, improved security, and new features, upgrade to the latest version of GitHub Enterprise. For help with the upgrade, contact GitHub Enterprise support.

Git references

The Git references API lets you read and write references to your Git database on GitHub Enterprise Server

About the Git references API

A Git reference (git ref) is a file that contains a Git commit SHA-1 hash. When referring to a Git commit, you can use the Git reference, which is an easy-to-remember name, rather than the hash. The Git reference can be rewritten to point to a new commit. A branch is a Git reference that stores the new Git commit hash. These endpoints allow you to read and write references to your Git database on GitHub Enterprise Server.

List matching references

Works with GitHub Apps

Returns an array of references from your Git database that match the supplied name. The :ref in the URL must be formatted as heads/<branch name> for branches and tags/<tag name> for tags. If the :ref doesn't exist in the repository, but existing refs start with :ref, they will be returned as an array.

When you use this endpoint without providing a :ref, it will return an array of all the references from your Git database, including notes and stashes if they exist on the server. Anything in the namespace is returned, not just heads and tags.

Note: You need to explicitly request a pull request to trigger a test merge commit, which checks the mergeability of pull requests. For more information, see "Checking mergeability of pull requests".

If you request matching references for a branch named feature but the branch feature doesn't exist, the response can still include other matching head refs that start with the word feature, such as featureA and featureB.

Parameters

Headers
Name, Type, Description
acceptstring

Setting to application/vnd.github+json is recommended.

Path parameters
Name, Type, Description
ownerstringRequired

The account owner of the repository. The name is not case sensitive.

repostringRequired

The name of the repository. The name is not case sensitive.

refstringRequired

ref parameter

Query parameters
Name, Type, Description
per_pageinteger

The number of results per page (max 100).

Default: 30

pageinteger

Page number of the results to fetch.

Default: 1

HTTP response status codes

Status codeDescription
200

OK

Code samples

get/repos/{owner}/{repo}/git/matching-refs/{ref}
curl \ -H "Accept: application/vnd.github+json" \ -H "Authorization: token <TOKEN>" \ http(s)://HOSTNAME/api/v3/repos/OWNER/REPO/git/matching-refs/REF

Response

Status: 200
[ { "ref": "refs/heads/feature-a", "node_id": "MDM6UmVmcmVmcy9oZWFkcy9mZWF0dXJlLWE=", "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/refs/heads/feature-a", "object": { "type": "commit", "sha": "aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd", "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/commits/aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd" } }, { "ref": "refs/heads/feature-b", "node_id": "MDM6UmVmcmVmcy9oZWFkcy9mZWF0dXJlLWI=", "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/refs/heads/feature-b", "object": { "type": "commit", "sha": "612077ae6dffb4d2fbd8ce0cccaa58893b07b5ac", "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/commits/612077ae6dffb4d2fbd8ce0cccaa58893b07b5ac" } } ]

Get a reference

Works with GitHub Apps

Returns a single reference from your Git database. The :ref in the URL must be formatted as heads/<branch name> for branches and tags/<tag name> for tags. If the :ref doesn't match an existing ref, a 404 is returned.

Note: You need to explicitly request a pull request to trigger a test merge commit, which checks the mergeability of pull requests. For more information, see "Checking mergeability of pull requests".

Parameters

Headers
Name, Type, Description
acceptstring

Setting to application/vnd.github+json is recommended.

Path parameters
Name, Type, Description
ownerstringRequired

The account owner of the repository. The name is not case sensitive.

repostringRequired

The name of the repository. The name is not case sensitive.

refstringRequired

ref parameter

HTTP response status codes

Status codeDescription
200

OK

404

Resource not found

Code samples

get/repos/{owner}/{repo}/git/ref/{ref}
curl \ -H "Accept: application/vnd.github+json" \ -H "Authorization: token <TOKEN>" \ http(s)://HOSTNAME/api/v3/repos/OWNER/REPO/git/ref/REF

Response

Status: 200
{ "ref": "refs/heads/featureA", "node_id": "MDM6UmVmcmVmcy9oZWFkcy9mZWF0dXJlQQ==", "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/refs/heads/featureA", "object": { "type": "commit", "sha": "aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd", "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/commits/aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd" } }

Create a reference

Works with GitHub Apps

Creates a reference for your repository. You are unable to create new references for empty repositories, even if the commit SHA-1 hash used exists. Empty repositories are repositories without branches.

Parameters

Headers
Name, Type, Description
acceptstring

Setting to application/vnd.github+json is recommended.

Path parameters
Name, Type, Description
ownerstringRequired

The account owner of the repository. The name is not case sensitive.

repostringRequired

The name of the repository. The name is not case sensitive.

Body parameters
Name, Type, Description
refstringRequired

The name of the fully qualified reference (ie: refs/heads/master). If it doesn't start with 'refs' and have at least two slashes, it will be rejected.

shastringRequired

The SHA1 value for this reference.

keystring

HTTP response status codes

Status codeDescription
201

Created

422

Validation failed

Code samples

post/repos/{owner}/{repo}/git/refs
curl \ -X POST \ -H "Accept: application/vnd.github+json" \ -H "Authorization: token <TOKEN>" \ http(s)://HOSTNAME/api/v3/repos/OWNER/REPO/git/refs \ -d '{"ref":"refs/heads/featureA","sha":"aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd"}'

Response

Status: 201
{ "ref": "refs/heads/featureA", "node_id": "MDM6UmVmcmVmcy9oZWFkcy9mZWF0dXJlQQ==", "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/refs/heads/featureA", "object": { "type": "commit", "sha": "aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd", "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/commits/aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd" } }

Update a reference

Works with GitHub Apps

Parameters

Headers
Name, Type, Description
acceptstring

Setting to application/vnd.github+json is recommended.

Path parameters
Name, Type, Description
ownerstringRequired

The account owner of the repository. The name is not case sensitive.

repostringRequired

The name of the repository. The name is not case sensitive.

refstringRequired

ref parameter

Body parameters
Name, Type, Description
shastringRequired

The SHA1 value to set this reference to

forceboolean

Indicates whether to force the update or to make sure the update is a fast-forward update. Leaving this out or setting it to false will make sure you're not overwriting work.

Default: false

HTTP response status codes

Status codeDescription
200

OK

422

Validation failed

Code samples

patch/repos/{owner}/{repo}/git/refs/{ref}
curl \ -X PATCH \ -H "Accept: application/vnd.github+json" \ -H "Authorization: token <TOKEN>" \ http(s)://HOSTNAME/api/v3/repos/OWNER/REPO/git/refs/REF \ -d '{"sha":"aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd","force":true}'

Response

Status: 200
{ "ref": "refs/heads/featureA", "node_id": "MDM6UmVmcmVmcy9oZWFkcy9mZWF0dXJlQQ==", "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/refs/heads/featureA", "object": { "type": "commit", "sha": "aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd", "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/commits/aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd" } }

Delete a reference

Works with GitHub Apps

Parameters

Headers
Name, Type, Description
acceptstring

Setting to application/vnd.github+json is recommended.

Path parameters
Name, Type, Description
ownerstringRequired

The account owner of the repository. The name is not case sensitive.

repostringRequired

The name of the repository. The name is not case sensitive.

refstringRequired

ref parameter

HTTP response status codes

Status codeDescription
204

No Content

422

Validation failed

Code samples

delete/repos/{owner}/{repo}/git/refs/{ref}
curl \ -X DELETE \ -H "Accept: application/vnd.github+json" \ -H "Authorization: token <TOKEN>" \ http(s)://HOSTNAME/api/v3/repos/OWNER/REPO/git/refs/REF

Response

Status: 204