References

Get a Reference

GET /repos/:owner/:repo/git/refs/:ref

The ref in the URL must be formatted as heads/branch, not just branch. For example, the call to get the data for a branch named skunkworkz/featureA would be:

GET /repos/:owner/:repo/git/refs/heads/skunkworkz/featureA
Status: 200 OK
{
  "ref": "refs/heads/featureA",
  "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/refs/heads/featureA",
  "object": {
    "type": "commit",
    "sha": "aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd",
    "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/commits/aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd"
  }
}

If the ref doesn't exist in the repository, but existing refs start with ref they will be returned as an array. For example, a call to get the data for a branch named feature, which doesn't exist, would return head refs including featureA and featureB which do.

GET /repos/:owner/:repo/git/refs/heads/feature
Status: 200 OK
[
  {
    "ref": "refs/heads/feature-a",
    "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/refs/heads/feature-a",
    "object": {
      "type": "commit",
      "sha": "aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd",
      "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/commits/aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd"
    }
  },
  {
    "ref": "refs/heads/feature-b",
    "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/refs/heads/feature-b",
    "object": {
      "type": "commit",
      "sha": "612077ae6dffb4d2fbd8ce0cccaa58893b07b5ac",
      "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/commits/612077ae6dffb4d2fbd8ce0cccaa58893b07b5ac"
    }
  }
]

If the ref doesn't match an existing ref or any prefixes a 404 will be returned.

GET /repos/:owner/:repo/git/refs/heads/feature-branch-that-no-longer-exists
Status: 404 Not Found
{
  "message": "Not Found",
  "documentation_url": "https://developer.github.com/v3"
}

Get all References

GET /repos/:owner/:repo/git/refs

This will return an array of all the references on the system, including things like notes and stashes if they exist on the server. Anything in the namespace, not just heads and tags, though that would be the most common.

You can also request a sub-namespace. For example, to get all the tag references, you can call:

GET /repos/:owner/:repo/git/refs/tags

For a full refs listing, you'll get something that looks like:

Status: 200 OK
Link: <https://api.github.com/resource?page=2>; rel="next",
      <https://api.github.com/resource?page=5>; rel="last"
[
  {
    "ref": "refs/heads/master",
    "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/refs/heads/master",
    "object": {
      "type": "commit",
      "sha": "aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd",
      "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/commits/aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd"
    }
  },
  {
    "ref": "refs/heads/gh-pages",
    "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/refs/heads/gh-pages",
    "object": {
      "type": "commit",
      "sha": "612077ae6dffb4d2fbd8ce0cccaa58893b07b5ac",
      "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/commits/612077ae6dffb4d2fbd8ce0cccaa58893b07b5ac"
    }
  },
  {
    "ref": "refs/tags/v0.0.1",
    "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/refs/tags/v0.0.1",
    "object": {
      "type": "tag",
      "sha": "940bd336248efae0f9ee5bc7b2d5c985887b16ac",
      "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/tags/940bd336248efae0f9ee5bc7b2d5c985887b16ac"
    }
  }
]

Create a Reference

POST /repos/:owner/:repo/git/refs

Parameters

Name Type Description
ref type Required. The name of the fully qualified reference (ie: refs/heads/master). If it doesn't start with 'refs' and have at least two slashes, it will be rejected.
sha type Required. The SHA1 value to set this reference to

Input

{
  "ref": "refs/heads/featureA",
  "sha": "aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd"
}

Response

Status: 201 Created
Location: https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/refs/heads/featureA
{
  "ref": "refs/heads/featureA",
  "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/refs/heads/featureA",
  "object": {
    "type": "commit",
    "sha": "aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd",
    "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/commits/aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd"
  }
}

Update a Reference

PATCH /repos/:owner/:repo/git/refs/:ref

Parameters

Name Type Description
sha type Required. The SHA1 value to set this reference to
force boolean Indicates whether to force the update or to make sure the update is a fast-forward update. Leaving this out or setting it to false will make sure you're not overwriting work. Default: false

Input

{
  "sha": "aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd",
  "force": true
}

Response

Status: 200 OK
{
  "ref": "refs/heads/featureA",
  "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/refs/heads/featureA",
  "object": {
    "type": "commit",
    "sha": "aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd",
    "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/commits/aa218f56b14c9653891f9e74264a383fa43fefbd"
  }
}

Delete a Reference

DELETE /repos/:owner/:repo/git/refs/:ref

Example: Deleting a branch:

DELETE /repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/refs/heads/feature-a

Example: Deleting a tag:

DELETE /repos/octocat/Hello-World/git/refs/tags/v1.0

Response

Status: 204 No Content