Ramkumar Ramachandra committed 00b84e9

Documentation/remote-helpers: Rewrite description

Rewrite the description section to describe what exactly remote
helpers are and the need for them. Also mention the curl family of
remote helpers as an example.

[jc: with readability fixes from Jonathan squashed in]

Signed-off-by: Ramkumar Ramachandra <>
Reviewed-by: Jonathan Nieder <>
Acked-by: Sverre Rabbelier <>
Signed-off-by: Junio C Hamano <>

Comments (0)

Files changed (1)


-git-remote-helpers - Helper programs for interoperation with remote git
+git-remote-helpers - Helper programs to interact with remote repositories
-These programs are normally not used directly by end users, but are
-invoked by various git programs that interact with remote repositories
-when the repository they would operate on will be accessed using
-transport code not linked into the main git binary. Various particular
-helper programs will behave as documented here.
+Remote helper programs are normally not used directly by end users,
+but they are invoked by git when it needs to interact with remote
+repositories git does not support natively.  A given helper will
+implement a subset of the capabilities documented here. When git
+needs to interact with a repository using a remote helper, it spawns
+the helper as an independent process, sends commands to the helper's
+standard input, and expects results from the helper's standard
+output. Because a remote helper runs as an independent process from
+git, there is no need to re-link git to add a new helper, nor any
+need to link the helper with the implementation of git.
+Every helper must support the "capabilities" command, which git will
+use to determine what other commands the helper will accept.  Other
+commands generally concern facilities like discovering and updating
+remote refs, transporting objects between the object database and
+the remote repository, and updating the local object store.
+Helpers supporting the 'fetch' capability can discover refs from the
+remote repository and transfer objects reachable from those refs to
+the local object store. Helpers supporting the 'push' capability can
+transfer local objects to the remote repository and update remote refs.
+Git comes with a "curl" family of remote helpers, that handle various
+transport protocols, such as 'git-remote-http', 'git-remote-https',
+'git-remote-ftp' and 'git-remote-ftps'. They implement the capabilities
+'fetch', 'option', and 'push'.