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GIT-DESCRIBE(1)                                  Git Manual                                  GIT-DESCRIBE(1)

       git-describe - Show the most recent tag that is reachable from a commit

       git describe [--all] [--tags] [--contains] [--abbrev=<n>] <committish>...
       git describe [--all] [--tags] [--contains] [--abbrev=<n>] --dirty[=<mark>]

       The command finds the most recent tag that is reachable from a commit. If the tag points to the
       commit, then only the tag is shown. Otherwise, it suffixes the tag name with the number of additional
       commits on top of the tagged object and the abbreviated object name of the most recent commit.

       By default (without --all or --tags) git describe only shows annotated tags. For more information
       about creating annotated tags see the -a and -s options to git-tag(1).

           Committish object names to describe.

           Describe the working tree. It means describe HEAD and appends <mark> (-dirty by default) if the
           working tree is dirty.

           Instead of using only the annotated tags, use any ref found in refs/ namespace. This option
           enables matching any known branch, remote-tracking branch, or lightweight tag.

           Instead of using only the annotated tags, use any tag found in refs/tags namespace. This option
           enables matching a lightweight (non-annotated) tag.

           Instead of finding the tag that predates the commit, find the tag that comes after the commit,
           and thus contains it. Automatically implies --tags.

           Instead of using the default 7 hexadecimal digits as the abbreviated object name, use <n> digits,
           or as many digits as needed to form a unique object name. An <n> of 0 will suppress long format,
           only showing the closest tag.

           Instead of considering only the 10 most recent tags as candidates to describe the input
           committish consider up to <n> candidates. Increasing <n> above 10 will take slightly longer but
           may produce a more accurate result. An <n> of 0 will cause only exact matches to be output.

           Only output exact matches (a tag directly references the supplied commit). This is a synonym for

           Verbosely display information about the searching strategy being employed to standard error. The
           tag name will still be printed to standard out.

           Always output the long format (the tag, the number of commits and the abbreviated commit name)
           even when it matches a tag. This is useful when you want to see parts of the commit object name
           in "describe" output, even when the commit in question happens to be a tagged version. Instead of
           just emitting the tag name, it will describe such a commit as v1.2-0-gdeadbee (0th commit since
           tag v1.2 that points at object deadbee....).

       --match <pattern>
           Only consider tags matching the given glob(7) pattern, excluding the "refs/tags/" prefix. This
           can be used to avoid leaking private tags from the repository.

           Show uniquely abbreviated commit object as fallback.

       With something like git.git current tree, I get:

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe parent

       i.e. the current head of my "parent" branch is based on v1.0.4, but since it has a few commits on top
       of that, describe has added the number of additional commits ("14") and an abbreviated object name
       for the commit itself ("2414721") at the end.

       The number of additional commits is the number of commits which would be displayed by "git log
       v1.0.4..parent". The hash suffix is "-g" + 7-char abbreviation for the tip commit of parent (which
       was 2414721b194453f058079d897d13c4e377f92dc6). The "g" prefix stands for "git" and is used to allow
       describing the version of a software depending on the SCM the software is managed with. This is
       useful in an environment where people may use different SCMs.

       Doing a git describe on a tag-name will just show the tag name:

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe v1.0.4

       With --all, the command can use branch heads as references, so the output shows the reference path as

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe --all --abbrev=4 v1.0.5^2

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe --all --abbrev=4 HEAD^

       With --abbrev set to 0, the command can be used to find the closest tagname without any suffix:

           [torvalds@g5 git]$ git describe --abbrev=0 v1.0.5^2

       Note that the suffix you get if you type these commands today may be longer than what Linus saw above
       when he ran these commands, as your Git repository may have new commits whose object names begin with
       975b that did not exist back then, and "-g975b" suffix alone may not be sufficient to disambiguate
       these commits.

       For each committish supplied, git describe will first look for a tag which tags exactly that commit.
       Annotated tags will always be preferred over lightweight tags, and tags with newer dates will always
       be preferred over tags with older dates. If an exact match is found, its name will be output and
       searching will stop.

       If an exact match was not found, git describe will walk back through the commit history to locate an
       ancestor commit which has been tagged. The ancestor's tag will be output along with an abbreviation
       of the input committish's SHA-1.

       If multiple tags were found during the walk then the tag which has the fewest commits different from
       the input committish will be selected and output. Here fewest commits different is defined as the
       number of commits which would be shown by git log tag..input will be the smallest number of commits

       Part of the git(1) suite

Git 1.8.3                                        05/24/2013                                  GIT-DESCRIBE(1)

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