Usually git gc runs very quickly while providing
good disk space utilization and performance. This option will cause git
gc to more aggressively optimize the repository at the expense of taking
much more time. The effects of this optimization are mostly persistent. See
the "AGGRESSIVE" section below for details.
With this option, git gc
checks whether any
housekeeping is required; if not, it exits without performing any work.
See the gc.auto option in the "CONFIGURATION"
section below for how this heuristic works.
Once housekeeping is triggered by exceeding the limits of
configuration options such as gc.auto and gc.autoPackLimit,
all other housekeeping tasks (e.g. rerere, working trees, reflog...) will be
performed as well.
Prune loose objects older than date (default is 2 weeks
ago, overridable by the config variable gc.pruneExpire). --prune=now
prunes loose objects regardless of their age and increases the risk of
corruption if another process is writing to the repository concurrently; see
"NOTES" below. --prune is on by default.
Do not prune any loose objects.
Suppress all progress reports.
Force git gc to run even if there may be another
git gc instance running on this repository.
All packs except the largest pack and those marked with a
.keep files are consolidated into a single pack. When this option is
used, gc.bigPackThreshold is ignored.
When the --aggressive option is supplied, git-repack(1) will be
invoked with the -f flag, which in turn will pass
--no-reuse-delta to git-pack-objects(1). This will throw away
any existing deltas and re-compute them, at the expense of spending much more
time on the repacking.
The effects of this are mostly persistent, e.g. when packs and
loose objects are coalesced into one another pack the existing deltas in
that pack might get re-used, but there are also various cases where we might
pick a sub-optimal delta from a newer pack instead.
Furthermore, supplying --aggressive will tweak the
--depth and --window options passed to git-repack(1).
See the gc.aggressiveDepth and gc.aggressiveWindow settings
below. By using a larger window size we’re more likely to find more
It’s probably not worth it to use this option on a given
repository without running tailored performance benchmarks on it. It takes a
lot more time, and the resulting space/delta optimization may or may not be
worth it. Not using this at all is the right trade-off for most users and
The below documentation is the same as what’s found in
The depth parameter used in the delta compression
algorithm used by git gc --aggressive
. This defaults to 50, which is
the default for the --depth
option when --aggressive
isn’t in use.
See the documentation for the --depth option in
git-repack(1) for more details.
The window size parameter used in the delta compression
algorithm used by git gc --aggressive
. This defaults to 250, which is a
much more aggressive window size than the default --window
See the documentation for the --window option in
git-repack(1) for more details.
When there are approximately more than this many loose
objects in the repository, git gc --auto
will pack them. Some Porcelain
commands use this command to perform a light-weight garbage collection from
time to time. The default value is 6700.
Setting this to 0 disables not only automatic packing based on the
number of loose objects, but any other heuristic git gc --auto will
otherwise use to determine if there’s work to do, such as
When there are more than this many packs that are not
marked with *.keep
file in the repository, git gc --auto
consolidates them into one larger pack. The default value is 50. Setting this
to 0 disables it. Setting gc.auto
to 0 will also disable this.
See the gc.bigPackThreshold configuration variable below.
When in use, it’ll affect how the auto pack limit works.
Make git gc --auto return immediately and run in
background if the system supports it. Default is true.
If non-zero, all packs larger than this limit are kept
when git gc
is run. This is very similar to --keep-base-pack
except that all packs that meet the threshold are kept, not just the base
pack. Defaults to zero. Common unit suffixes of k
Note that if the number of kept packs is more than
gc.autoPackLimit, this configuration variable is ignored, all packs except
the base pack will be repacked. After this the number of packs should go
below gc.autoPackLimit and gc.bigPackThreshold should be respected
If the amount of memory estimated for git repack to run
smoothly is not available and gc.bigPackThreshold is not set, the
largest pack will also be excluded (this is the equivalent of running git
gc with --keep-base-pack).
If true, then gc will rewrite the commit-graph file when
is run. When using git gc --auto
the commit-graph will
be updated if housekeeping is required. Default is false. See
If the file gc.log exists, then git gc --auto will
print its content and exit with status zero instead of running unless that
file is more than gc.logExpiry old. Default is "1.day". See
gc.pruneExpire for more ways to specify its value.
Running git pack-refs in a repository renders it
unclonable by Git versions prior to 18.104.22.168 over dumb transports such as HTTP.
This variable determines whether git gc runs git pack-refs. This
can be set to notbare to enable it within all non-bare repos or it can
be set to a boolean value. The default is true.
When git gc
is run, it will call prune --expire
. Override the grace period with this config variable. The
value "now" may be used to disable this grace period and always
prune unreachable objects immediately, or "never" may be used to
suppress pruning. This feature helps prevent corruption when git gc
runs concurrently with another process writing to the repository; see the
"NOTES" section of git-gc(1)
When git gc is run, it calls git worktree prune
--expire 3.months.ago. This config variable can be used to set a different
grace period. The value "now" may be used to disable the grace
period and prune $GIT_DIR/worktrees immediately, or "never"
may be used to suppress pruning.
git reflog expire removes reflog entries older
than this time; defaults to 90 days. The value "now" expires all
entries immediately, and "never" suppresses expiration altogether.
With "<pattern>" (e.g. "refs/stash") in the middle
the setting applies only to the refs that match the <pattern>.
git reflog expire
removes reflog entries older
than this time and are not reachable from the current tip; defaults to 30
days. The value "now" expires all entries immediately, and
"never" suppresses expiration altogether. With
"<pattern>" (e.g. "refs/stash") in the middle, the
setting applies only to the refs that match the <pattern>.
These types of entries are generally created as a result of using
git commit --amend or git rebase and are the commits prior to
the amend or rebase occurring. Since these changes are not part of the
current project most users will want to expire them sooner, which is why the
default is more aggressive than gc.reflogExpire.
Records of conflicted merge you resolved earlier are kept
for this many days when git rerere gc
is run. You can also use more
human-readable "1.month.ago", etc. The default is 60 days. See
git gc tries very hard not to delete objects that are referenced anywhere
in your repository. In particular, it will keep not only objects referenced by
your current set of branches and tags, but also objects referenced by the
index, remote-tracking branches, refs saved by git filter-branch in
refs/original/, reflogs (which may reference commits in branches that were
later amended or rewound), and anything else in the refs/* namespace. If you
are expecting some objects to be deleted and they aren’t, check all of
those locations and decide whether it makes sense in your case to remove those
Records of conflicted merge you have not resolved are
kept for this many days when git rerere gc
is run. You can also use
more human-readable "1.month.ago", etc. The default is 15 days. See
On the other hand, when git gc runs concurrently with
another process, there is a risk of it deleting an object that the other
process is using but hasn’t created a reference to. This may just
cause the other process to fail or may corrupt the repository if the other
process later adds a reference to the deleted object. Git has two features
that significantly mitigate this problem:
1.Any object with modification time newer than the
--prune date is kept, along with everything reachable from it.
2.Most operations that add an object to the database
update the modification time of the object if it is already present so that #1
However, these features fall short of a complete solution, so
users who run commands concurrently have to live with some risk of
corruption (which seems to be low in practice).