world can take many forms, in this document the word "credential" always
refers to a username and password pair).
+This document describes two interfaces: the C API that the credential
+subsystem provides to the rest of git, and the protocol that git uses to
+communicate with system-specific "credential helpers". If you are
+writing git code that wants to look up or prompt for credentials, see
+the section "C API" below. If you want to write your own helper, see
+the section on "Credential Helpers" below.
+| git code (C) |--- to server requiring --->
+| C credential API |--- prompt ---> User
+| git credential helper |
+The git code (typically a remote-helper) will call the C API to obtain
+credential data like a login/password pair (credential_fill). The
+API will itself call a remote helper (e.g. "git credential-cache" or
+"git credential-store") that may retrieve credential data from a
+store. If the credential helper cannot find the information, the C API
+will prompt the user. Then, the caller of the API takes care of
+contacting the server, and does the actual authentication.
+The credential C API is meant to be called by git code which needs to
+acquire or store a credential. It is centered around an object
+representing a single credential and provides three basic operations:
+fill (acquire credentials by calling helpers and/or prompting the user),
+approve (mark a credential as successfully used so that it can be stored
+for later use), and reject (mark a credential as unsuccessful so that it
+can be erased from any persistent storage).
Parse a URL into broken-down credential fields.
The example below shows how the functions of the credential API could be
used to login to a fictitious "foo" service on a remote host:
longer than a single git process; e.g., credentials may be stored
in-memory for a few minutes, or indefinitely on disk).
-Each helper is specified by a single string. The string is transformed
-by git into a command to be executed using these rules:
+Each helper is specified by a single string in the configuration
+variable `credential.helper` (and others, see linkgit:../git-config).
+The string is transformed by git into a command to be executed using
1. If the helper string begins with "!", it is considered a shell
snippet, and everything after the "!" becomes the command.
If a helper receives any other operation, it should silently ignore the
request. This leaves room for future operations to be added (older
helpers will just ignore the new requests).
+linkgit:../git-config (See configuration variables `credential.*`)