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如果将敏感数据(例如密码或 SSH 密钥)提交到 Git 仓库,您可以将其从历史记录中删除。

About removing sensitive data from a repository

When altering your repository's history using tools like git filter-repo or the BFG Repo-Cleaner, it's crucial to understand the implications, especially regarding open pull requests and sensitive data.

The git filter-repo tool and the BFG Repo-Cleaner rewrite your repository's history, which changes the SHAs for existing commits that you alter and any dependent commits. Changed commit SHAs may affect open pull requests in your repository. We recommend merging or closing all open pull requests before removing files from your repository.

You can remove the file from the latest commit with git rm. For information on removing a file that was added with the latest commit, see "About large files on GitHub."

About sensitive data exposure

This article tells you how to make commits with sensitive data unreachable from any branches or tags in your repository on your GitHub Enterprise Server instance. However, those commits may still be accessible elsewhere:

  • In any clones or forks of your repository
  • Directly via their SHA-1 hashes in cached views on GitHub Enterprise Server
  • Through any pull requests that reference them.

You cannot remove sensitive data from other users' clones of your repository, but you can permanently remove cached views and references to the sensitive data in pull requests on GitHub Enterprise Server by contacting your site administrator.

Once you have pushed a commit to GitHub Enterprise Server, you should consider any sensitive data in the commit compromised. If you have committed a password, you should change it. If you have committed a key, generate a new one.

If the commit that introduced the sensitive data exists in any forks, it will continue to be accessible there. You will need to coordinate with the owners of the forks, asking them to remove the sensitive data or delete the fork entirely.

Consider these limitations and challenges in your decision to rewrite your repository's history.

Purging a file from your repository's history

You can purge a file from your repository's history using either the git filter-repo tool or the BFG Repo-Cleaner open source tool.


If sensitive data is located in a file that's identified as a binary file, you'll need to remove the file from the history, as you can't modify it to remove or replace the data.

Using the BFG

The BFG Repo-Cleaner is a tool that's built and maintained by the open source community. It provides a faster, simpler alternative to git filter-repo for removing unwanted data.

For example, to remove your file with sensitive data and leave your latest commit untouched, run:


To replace all text listed in passwords.txt wherever it can be found in your repository's history, run:

bfg --replace-text passwords.txt

After the sensitive data is removed, you must force push your changes to GitHub Enterprise Server. Force pushing rewrites the repository history, which removes sensitive data from the commit history. If you force push, it may overwrite commits that other people have based their work on.

git push --force

See the BFG Repo-Cleaner's documentation for full usage and download instructions.

Using git filter-repo


If you run git filter-repo after stashing changes, you won't be able to retrieve your changes with other stash commands. Before running git filter-repo, we recommend unstashing any changes you've made. To unstash the last set of changes you've stashed, run git stash show -p | git apply -R. For more information, see Git Tools - Stashing and Cleaning.

To illustrate how git filter-repo works, we'll show you how to remove your file with sensitive data from the history of your repository and add it to .gitignore to ensure that it is not accidentally re-committed.

  1. Install the latest release of the git filter-repo tool. You can install git-filter-repo manually or by using a package manager. For example, to install the tool with HomeBrew, use the brew install command.

    brew install git-filter-repo

    For more information, see in the newren/git-filter-repo repository.

  2. If you don't already have a local copy of your repository with sensitive data in its history, clone the repository to your local computer.

    > Initialized empty Git repository in /Users/YOUR-FILE-PATH/YOUR-REPOSITORY/.git/
    > remote: Counting objects: 1301, done.
    > remote: Compressing objects: 100% (769/769), done.
    > remote: Total 1301 (delta 724), reused 910 (delta 522)
    > Receiving objects: 100% (1301/1301), 164.39 KiB, done.
    > Resolving deltas: 100% (724/724), done.
  3. Navigate into the repository's working directory.

  4. Run the following command, replacing PATH-TO-YOUR-FILE-WITH-SENSITIVE-DATA with the path to the file you want to remove, not just its filename. These arguments will:

    • Force Git to process, but not check out, the entire history of every branch and tag

    • Remove the specified file, as well as any empty commits generated as a result

    • Remove some configurations, such as the remote URL, stored in the .git/config file. You may want to back up this file in advance for restoration later.

    • Overwrite your existing tags

        $ git filter-repo --invert-paths --path PATH-TO-YOUR-FILE-WITH-SENSITIVE-DATA
        Parsed 197 commits
        New history written in 0.11 seconds; now repacking/cleaning...
        Repacking your repo and cleaning out old unneeded objects
        Enumerating objects: 210, done.
        Counting objects: 100% (210/210), done.
        Delta compression using up to 12 threads
        Compressing objects: 100% (127/127), done.
        Writing objects: 100% (210/210), done.
        Building bitmaps: 100% (48/48), done.
        Total 210 (delta 98), reused 144 (delta 75), pack-reused 0
        Completely finished after 0.64 seconds.


      If the file with sensitive data used to exist at any other paths (because it was moved or renamed), you must run this command on those paths, as well.

  5. Add your file with sensitive data to .gitignore to ensure that you don't accidentally commit it again.

    $ echo "YOUR-FILE-WITH-SENSITIVE-DATA" >> .gitignore
    $ git add .gitignore
    $ git commit -m "Add YOUR-FILE-WITH-SENSITIVE-DATA to .gitignore"
    > [main 051452f] Add YOUR-FILE-WITH-SENSITIVE-DATA to .gitignore
    >  1 files changed, 1 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)
  6. Double-check that you've removed everything you wanted to from your repository's history, and that all of your branches are checked out.

  7. The git filter-repo tool will automatically remove your configured remotes. Use the git remote set-url command to restore your remotes, replacing OWNER and REPO with your repository details. For more information, see "Managing remote repositories."

    git remote add origin
  8. Once you're happy with the state of your repository, and you have set the appropriate remote, force-push your local changes to overwrite your repository on your GitHub Enterprise Server instance, as well as all the branches you've pushed up. A force push is required to remove sensitive data from your commit history.

    $ git push origin --force --all
    > Counting objects: 1074, done.
    > Delta compression using 2 threads.
    > Compressing objects: 100% (677/677), done.
    > Writing objects: 100% (1058/1058), 148.85 KiB, done.
    > Total 1058 (delta 590), reused 602 (delta 378)
    >  + 48dc599...051452f main -> main (forced update)
  9. In order to remove the sensitive file from your tagged releases, you'll also need to force-push against your Git tags:

    $ git push origin --force --tags
    > Counting objects: 321, done.
    > Delta compression using up to 8 threads.
    > Compressing objects: 100% (166/166), done.
    > Writing objects: 100% (321/321), 331.74 KiB | 0 bytes/s, done.
    > Total 321 (delta 124), reused 269 (delta 108)
    >  + 48dc599...051452f main -> main (forced update)

Fully removing the data from GitHub

After using either the BFG tool or git filter-repo to remove the sensitive data and pushing your changes to GitHub Enterprise Server, you must take a few more steps to fully remove the data from GitHub Enterprise Server.

  1. Contact your site administrator, and ask to remove cached views and references to the sensitive data in pull requests on GitHub Enterprise Server. Please provide the name of the repository and/or a link to the commit you need removed. For more information about how site administrators can remove unreachable Git objects, see "Command-line utilities."

  2. Tell your collaborators to rebase, not merge, any branches they created off of your old (tainted) repository history. One merge commit could reintroduce some or all of the tainted history that you just went to the trouble of purging.

  3. If you used git filter-repo, you can skip this step.

    If you used the BFG tool, after rewriting, you can clean up references in your local repository to the old history to be dereferenced and garbage collected with the following commands (using Git 1.8.5 or newer):

    $ git reflog expire --expire=now --all
    $ git gc --prune=now
    > Counting objects: 2437, done.
    > Delta compression using up to 4 threads.
    > Compressing objects: 100% (1378/1378), done.
    > Writing objects: 100% (2437/2437), done.
    > Total 2437 (delta 1461), reused 1802 (delta 1048)


    You can also achieve this by pushing your filtered history to a new or empty repository and then making a fresh clone from GitHub Enterprise Server.

Avoiding accidental commits in the future

Preventing contributors from making accidental commits can help you prevent sensitive information from being exposed. For more information see "Best practices for preventing data leaks in your organization."

There are a few simple tricks to avoid committing things you don't want committed:

  • Use a visual program like GitHub Desktop or gitk to commit changes. Visual programs generally make it easier to see exactly which files will be added, deleted, and modified with each commit.
  • Avoid the catch-all commands git add . and git commit -a on the command line—use git add filename and git rm filename to individually stage files, instead.
  • Use git add --interactive to individually review and stage changes within each file.
  • Use git diff --cached to review the changes that you have staged for commit. This is the exact diff that git commit will produce as long as you don't use the -a flag.
  • Enable push protection for your repository to detect and prevent pushes which contain hardcoded secrets from being committed to your codebase. For more information, see "Push protection for repositories and organizations."

Further reading