Repo internal filesystem layout

A reference to the .repo/ tree in repo client checkouts. Hopefully it's complete & up-to-date, but who knows!

Warning: This is meant for developers of the repo project itself as a quick reference. Nothing in here must be construed as ABI, or that repo itself will never change its internals in backwards incompatible ways.

.repo/ layout

All content under .repo/ is managed by repo itself with few exceptions.

In general, you should not make manual changes in here. If a setting was initialized using an option to repo init, you should use that command to change the setting later on. It is always safe to re-run repo init in existing repo client checkouts. For example, if you want to change the manifest branch, you can simply run repo init --manifest-branch=<new name> and repo will take care of the rest.

  • config: Per-repo client checkout settings using git-config file format.
  • .repo_config.json: JSON cache of the config file for repo to read/process quickly.

repo/ state

  • repo/: A git checkout of the repo project. This is how repo re-execs itself to get the latest released version.

    It tracks the git repository at REPO_URL using the REPO_REV branch. Those are specified at repo init time using the --repo-url=<REPO_URL> and --repo-rev=<REPO_REV> options.

    Any changes made to this directory will usually be automatically discarded by repo itself when it checks for updates. If you want to update to the latest version of repo, use repo selfupdate instead. If you want to change the git URL/branch that this tracks, re-run repo init with the new settings.

  • .repo_fetchtimes.json: Used by repo sync to record stats when syncing the various projects.


For more documentation on the manifest format, including the local_manifests support, see the file.

  • manifests/: A git checkout of the manifest project. Its .git/ state points to the manifest.git bare checkout (see below). It tracks the git branch specified at repo init time via --manifest-branch.

    The local branch name is always default regardless of the remote tracking branch. Do not get confused if the remote branch is not default, or if there is a remote default that is completely different!

    No manual changes should be made in here as it will just confuse repo and it won't automatically recover causing no new changes to be picked up.

  • manifests.git/: A bare checkout of the manifest project. It tracks the git repository specified at repo init time via --manifest-url.

    No manual changes should be made in here as it will just confuse repo. If you want to switch the tracking settings, re-run repo init with the new settings.

  • manifest.xml: The manifest that repo uses. It is generated at repo init and uses the --manifest-name to determine what manifest file to load next out of manifests/.

    Do not try to modify this to load other manifests as it will confuse repo. If you want to switch manifest files, re-run repo init with the new setting.

    Older versions of repo managed this with symlinks.

  • manifest.xml -> manifests/<manifest-name>.xml: A symlink to the manifest that the user wishes to sync. It is specified at repo init time via --manifest-name.

  • manifests.git/.repo_config.json: JSON cache of the manifests.git/config file for repo to read/process quickly.

  • local_manifest.xml (Deprecated): User-authored tweaks to the manifest used to sync. See local manifests for more details.

  • local_manifests/: Directory of user-authored manifest fragments to tweak the manifest used to sync. See local manifests for more details.

Project objects

Warning: Please do not use repo's approach to projects/ & project-objects/ layouts as a model for other tools to implement similar approaches. It has a number of known downsides like:

  • Symlinks do not work well under Windows.
  • Git sometimes replaces symlinks under .git/ with real files (under unknown circumstances), and then the internal state gets out of sync, and data loss may ensue.
  • When sharing project-objects between multiple project checkouts, Git might automatically run gc or prune which may lead to data loss or corruption (since those operate on leaf projects and miss refs in other leaves). See for more details.

Instead, you should use standard Git workflows like git worktree or gitsubmodules with superprojects.

  • project.list: Tracking file used by repo sync to determine when projects are added or removed and need corresponding updates in the checkout.

  • projects/: Bare checkouts of every project synced by the manifest. The filesystem layout matches the <project path=... setting in the manifest (i.e. where it's checked out in the repo client source tree). Those checkouts will symlink their .git/ state to paths under here.

    Some git state is further split out under project-objects/.

  • project-objects/: Git objects that are safe to share across multiple git checkouts. The filesystem layout matches the <project name=... setting in the manifest (i.e. the path on the remote server) with a .git suffix. This allows for multiple checkouts of the same remote git repo to share their objects. For example, you could have different branches of foo/bar.git checked out to foo/bar-main, foo/bar-release, etc... There will be multiple trees under projects/ for each one, but only one under project-objects/.

    This layout is designed to allow people to sync against different remotes (e.g. a local mirror & a public review server) while avoiding duplicating the content. However, this can run into problems if different remotes use the same path on their respective servers. Best to avoid that.

  • subprojects/: Like projects/, but for git submodules.

  • subproject-objects/: Like project-objects/, but for git submodules.

  • worktrees/: Bare checkouts of every project synced by the manifest. The filesystem layout matches the <project name=... setting in the manifest (i.e. the path on the remote server) with a .git suffix. This has the same advantages as the project-objects/ layout above.

    This is used when git worktree's are enabled.

Global settings

The .repo/manifests.git/config file is used to track settings for the entire repo client checkout. Most settings use the [repo] section to avoid conflicts with git. User controlled settings are initialized when running repo init.

Settingrepo init OptionUse/Meaning
manifest.groups--groups & --platformThe manifest groups to sync
repo.archive--archiveUse git archive for checkouts
repo.clonebundle--clone-bundleWhether the initial sync used clone.bundle explicitly
repo.clonefilter--clone-filterFilter setting when using partial git clones
repo.depth--depthCreate shallow checkouts when cloning
repo.dissociate--dissociateDissociate from any reference/mirrors after initial clone
repo.mirror--mirrorCheckout is a repo mirror
repo.partialclone--partial-cloneCreate partial git clones
repo.partialcloneexclude--partial-clone-excludeComma-delimited list of project names (not paths) to exclude while using partial git clones
repo.reference--referenceReference repo client checkout
repo.submodules--submodulesSync git submodules
repo.superproject--use-superprojectSync superproject
repo.worktree--worktreeUse git worktree for checkouts's e-mail address; Copied into .git/config when checking out a new project's name; Copied into .git/config when checking out a new project

Repo hooks settings

For more details on this feature, see the repo-hooks docs. We'll just discuss the internal configuration settings. These are stored in the registered <repo-hooks> project itself, so if the manifest switches to a different project, the settings will not be copied.

repo.hooks.<hook>.approvedmanifestUser approval for secure manifest sources (e.g. https://)
repo.hooks.<hook>.approvedhashUser approval for insecure manifest sources (e.g. http://)

For example, if our manifest had the following entries, we would store settings under .repo/projects/src/repohooks.git/config (which would be reachable via git --git-dir=src/repohooks/.git config).

  <project path="src/repohooks" name="chromiumos/repohooks" ... />
  <repo-hooks in-project="chromiumos/repohooks" ... />

If <hook> is pre-upload, the .git/config setting might be:

[repo "hooks.pre-upload"]
	approvedmanifest =

Per-project settings

These settings are somewhat meant to be tweaked by the user on a per-project basis (e.g. git config in a checked out source repo).

Where possible, we re-use standard git settings to avoid confusion, and we refrain from documenting those, so see git-config documentation instead.

See repo help upload for documentation on [review] settings.

The [remote] settings are automatically populated/updated from the manifest.

The [branch] settings are updated by repo start and git branch.

review.<url>.autocopyuploadAutomatically add to --cc=<value>
review.<url>.autorevieweruploadAutomatically add to --reviewers=<value>
review.<url>.autouploaduploadAutomatically answer “yes” or “no” to all prompts
review.<url>.uploadhashtagsuploadAutomatically add to --hashtag=<value>
review.<url>.uploadlabelsuploadAutomatically add to --label=<value>
review.<url>.uploadnotifyuploadNotify setting to use
review.<url>.uploadtopicuploadDefault topic to use
review.<url>.usernameuploadOverride username with ssh:// review URIs
remote.<remote>.fetchsyncSet of refs to fetch
remote.<remote>.projectname<network>The name of the project as it exists in Gerrit review
remote.<remote>.pushurluploadThe base URI for pushing CLs
remote.<remote>.reviewuploadThe URI of the Gerrit review server
remote.<remote>.urlsync & uploadThe URI of the git project to fetch
branch.<branch>.mergesync & uploadThe branch to merge & upload & track
branch.<branch>.remotesync & uploadThe remote to track

~/ dotconfig layout

Repo will create & maintain a few files in the user's home directory.

  • .repoconfig/: Repo's per-user directory for all random config files/state.

  • .repoconfig/config: Per-user settings using git-config file format.

  • .repoconfig/keyring-version: Cache file for checking if the gnupg subdir has all the same keys as the repo launcher. Used to avoid running gpg constantly as that can be quite slow.

  • .repoconfig/gnupg/: GnuPG‘s internal state directory used when repo needs to run gpg. This provides isolation from the user’s normal ~/.gnupg/.

  • .repoconfig/.repo_config.json: JSON cache of the .repoconfig/config file for repo to read/process quickly.

  • .repo_.gitconfig.json: JSON cache of the .gitconfig file for repo to read/process quickly.