Interacting with remote repositories

A GeoGig repository contains a full history and it is completely autonomous. However, it is possible and useful to interact with remote copies of the same repository, as it allows different people to work collaborateively. By having a designated central repository which keeps a reference history, others can clone it, work on a cloned repo and then add their changes back to the central repository. While designating a repository as “central”, it is in fact no different from the other cloned copies.

All copies of a repository relatvie to the local copy are known as remotes.

Cloning a repository

To clone a repository from a remote location, use the clone command. You must specify the name of the directory where the cloned repository is to be stored as well as a valid URL that points to the original repository.

Here is the command line to be used to clone a repository at into a local directory named repo:

geogig clone repo

Once the repository is cloned, both copies are identical, and you can start working on your copy independently, following the usual GeoGig workflow.


Instead of referring to a remote with its full URL, a GeoGig repository can refer to it by an alias. Remotes are added using the geogig remote command:

geogig remote add origin

This creates an alias called origin for the repository at

You can rename an alias with the rename argument:

geogig remote rename origin canonical

Pushing and pulling

With the remote repositories already configured, you can now interact with them from your local repository via two operations:

  • push, or to apply local changes to a remote repository
  • pull, or to apply remote changes to a local repository

The following figure summarizes the above mechanism.


To push changes from the current branch in the local repository to a remote repository named origin, the following command is used:

geogig push origin

Or to specify a branch:

geogig push origin branch


You must have write access to the remote repository to be able to apply local changes.

To be able to push a branch, you must have in your repository the latest changes made in the remote repository in that branch, so your changes can be added on top of them.

Retrieving the changes from a remote repository is done using the pull command:

geogig pull origin master

That would bring all changes from the master branch in the origin repository into the current branch of the local repository. You can be in a branch other than master. There is no need to specify the same branch as the current branch in the local repository. GeoGig will grab the commits that are missing in your local branch after comparing with the remote branch, and will merge them.

A pull or push is not guaranteed to be clean, and conflicts might appear. They are solved in much the same way as a local merge conflict.

If instead of a merge you want to perform a rebase, then you can use the --rebase option. It will rewind your HEAD to the point were it was before you synchronized it the last time with the remote repository, then apply all the new changes that might exist in the repository, and then re-apply all you local changes on top of the updated HEAD. As in the case of a local rebase, conflicts might also arise when pulling with the --rebase option.


The pull operation is actually a compound of two operations: fetch and merge. The fetch operation brings all the changes from a remote branch, creating a branch in your local repository that contains the changes. Once this is done and the data is stored locally, the merge is performed.

Using the fetch command allows you to track branches in a remote repository, and also to bring new branches into your repository. This allows for a more fine-grained functionality, which allows you to have more flexibility than jusst using the pull command.

The fetch command is used with only the name of the remote repository:

geogig fetch origin

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