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The Git bundle format is a format that represents both refs and Git objects.
We will use ABNF notation to define the Git bundle format. See protocol-common.txt for the details.
A v2 bundle looks like this:
bundle = signature *prerequisite *reference LF pack signature = "# v2 git bundle" LF prerequisite = "-" obj-id SP comment LF comment = *CHAR reference = obj-id SP refname LF pack = ... ; packfile
A v3 bundle looks like this:
bundle = signature *capability *prerequisite *reference LF pack signature = "# v3 git bundle" LF capability = "@" key ["=" value] LF prerequisite = "-" obj-id SP comment LF comment = *CHAR reference = obj-id SP refname LF key = 1*(ALPHA / DIGIT / "-") value = *(%01-09 / %0b-FF) pack = ... ; packfile
A Git bundle consists of several parts.
"Capabilities", which are only in the v3 format, indicate functionality that the bundle requires to be read properly.
"Prerequisites" lists the objects that are NOT included in the bundle and the reader of the bundle MUST already have, in order to use the data in the bundle. The objects stored in the bundle may refer to prerequisite objects and anything reachable from them (e.g. a tree object in the bundle can reference a blob that is reachable from a prerequisite) and/or expressed as a delta against prerequisite objects.
"References" record the tips of the history graph, iow, what the reader of the bundle CAN "git fetch" from it.
"Pack" is the pack data stream "git fetch" would send, if you fetch from a repository that has the references recorded in the "References" above into a repository that has references pointing at the objects listed in "Prerequisites" above.
In the bundle format, there can be a comment following a prerequisite obj-id. This is a comment and it has no specific meaning. The writer of the bundle MAY put any string here. The reader of the bundle MUST ignore the comment.