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GIT-SYMBOLIC-REF(1)                              Git Manual                              GIT-SYMBOLIC-REF(1)

       git-symbolic-ref - Read, modify and delete symbolic refs

       git symbolic-ref [-m <reason>] <name> <ref>
       git symbolic-ref [-q] [--short] <name>
       git symbolic-ref --delete [-q] <name>

       Given one argument, reads which branch head the given symbolic ref refers to and outputs its path,
       relative to the .git/ directory. Typically you would give HEAD as the <name> argument to see which
       branch your working tree is on.

       Given two arguments, creates or updates a symbolic ref <name> to point at the given branch <ref>.

       Given --delete and an additional argument, deletes the given symbolic ref.

       A symbolic ref is a regular file that stores a string that begins with ref: refs/. For example, your
       .git/HEAD is a regular file whose contents is ref: refs/heads/master.

       -d, --delete
           Delete the symbolic ref <name>.

       -q, --quiet
           Do not issue an error message if the <name> is not a symbolic ref but a detached HEAD; instead
           exit with non-zero status silently.

           When showing the value of <name> as a symbolic ref, try to shorten the value, e.g. from
           refs/heads/master to master.

           Update the reflog for <name> with <reason>. This is valid only when creating or updating a
           symbolic ref.

       In the past, .git/HEAD was a symbolic link pointing at refs/heads/master. When we wanted to switch to
       another branch, we did ln -sf refs/heads/newbranch .git/HEAD, and when we wanted to find out which
       branch we are on, we did readlink .git/HEAD. But symbolic links are not entirely portable, so they
       are now deprecated and symbolic refs (as described above) are used by default.

       git symbolic-ref will exit with status 0 if the contents of the symbolic ref were printed correctly,
       with status 1 if the requested name is not a symbolic ref, or 128 if another error occurs.

       Part of the git(1) suite

Git 1.8.3                                        05/24/2013                              GIT-SYMBOLIC-REF(1)

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