[git] Retrieve specific commit from a remote Git repository

Is there any way to retrieve only one specific commit from a remote Git repo without cloning it on my PC? The structure of remote repo is absolutely same as that of mine and hence there won't be any conflicts but I have no idea how to do this and I don't want to clone that huge repository.

I am new to git, is there any way?

This question is related to git git-fetch

The answer is

This works best:

git fetch origin specific_commit
git checkout -b temp FETCH_HEAD

name "temp" whatever you want...this branch might be orphaned though

You can simply fetch a single commit of a remote repo with

git fetch <repo> <commit>


  • <repo> can be a remote repo name (e.g. origin) or even a remote repo URL (e.g. https://git.foo.com/myrepo.git)
  • <commit> can be the SHA1 commit

for example

git fetch https://git.foo.com/myrepo.git 0a071603d87e0b89738599c160583a19a6d95545

after you fetched the commit (and the missing ancestors) you can simply checkout it with

git checkout FETCH_HEAD

Note that this will bring you in the "detached head" state.

You only clone once, so if you already have a clone of the remote repository, pulling from it won't download everything again. Just indicate what branch you want to pull, or fetch the changes and checkout the commit you want.

Fetching from a new repository is very cheap in bandwidth, as it will only download the changes you don't have. Think in terms of Git making the right thing, with minimum load.

Git stores everything in .git folder. A commit can't be fetched and stored in isolation, it needs all its ancestors. They are interrelated.

To reduce download size you can however ask git to fetch only objects related to a specific branch or commit:

git fetch origin refs/heads/branch:refs/remotes/origin/branch

This will download only commits contained in remote branch branch (and only the ones that you miss), and store it in origin/branch. You can then merge or checkout.

You can also specify only a SHA1 commit:

git fetch origin 96de5297df870:refs/remotes/origin/foo-commit

This will download only the commit of the specified SHA-1 96de5297df870 (and its ancestors that you miss), and store it as (non-existing) remote branch origin/foo-commit.

Finally i found a way to clone specific commit using git cherry-pick. Assuming you don't have any repository in local and you are pulling specific commit from remote,

1) create empty repository in local and git init

2) git remote add origin "url-of-repository"

3) git fetch origin [this will not move your files to your local workspace unless you merge]

4) git cherry-pick "Enter-long-commit-hash-that-you-need"

Done.This way, you will only have the files from that specific commit in your local.


You can get this using -> git log --pretty=oneline

You can simply fetch the remote repo with:

git fetch <repo>


  • <repo> can be a remote repo name (e.g. origin) or even a remote repo URL (e.g. https://git.foo.com/myrepo.git)

for example:

git fetch https://git.foo.com/myrepo.git 

after you fetched the repos you may merge the commits that you want (since the question is about retrieve one commit, instead merge you may use cherry-pick to pick just one commit):

git merge <commit>
  • <commit> can be the SHA1 commit

for example:

git cherry-pick 0a071603d87e0b89738599c160583a19a6d95545


git merge 0a071603d87e0b89738599c160583a19a6d95545

if is the latest commit that you want to merge, you also may use FETCH_HEAD variable :

git cherry-pick (or merge) FETCH_HEAD

I think 'git ls-remote' ( http://git-scm.com/docs/git-ls-remote ) should do what you want. Without force fetch or pull.

I did a pull on my git repo:

git pull --rebase <repo> <branch>

Allowing git to pull in all the code for the branch and then I went to do a reset over to the commit that interested me.

git reset --hard <commit-hash>

Hope this helps.

In a project we had a problem so that we had to revert back to a certain commit. We made it with the following command successfully:

git reset --hard <commitID>

If the requested commit is in the pull requests of the remote repo, you can get it by its ID:

# Add the remote repo path, let's call it 'upstream':
git remote add upstream https://github.com/repo/project.git

# checkout the pull ID, for example ID '60':
git fetch upstream pull/60/head && git checkout FETCH_HEAD