How to rename a git repo (project) which contains submodules in its subdirectories

I never expect renaming a git repo, which, more specifically, is the top-level folder holds the project, would be so hard. Yes, the project containing some submodules, but it is the top-level folder that needs renaming, not the submodule folder. Git, it seems, records some odd absolute paths in its submodule mechanisms.

Let’s assume that

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    1. All your projects locate in /tmp.
    2. You’ve got a proj_master and proj_mod.
    3. You clone porj_master as proj_ALL then clone prom_mod as a submodule in it.
    4. You rename proj_ALL to proj_onebillion. Then black magic happens.

    The following steps will reproduce the problem I mentioned. The version of git I use is:

    $ git --version
    git version 1.7.9.5
    

    1. Initialize proj_master.

      $ cd /tmp
      $ mkdir proj_master; cd proj_master
      $ git init .
      $ touch README
      $ git add .; git commit -m "hello proj_master"
      
    2. Initialize proj_mod.

      $ cd /tmp
      $ mkdir proj_mod; cd proj_mod
      $ git init .
      $ touch README
      $ git add .; git commit -m "hello proj_mod"
      
    3. Clone proj_master as proj_ALL and clone proj_mod as a submodule.

      $ cd /tmp
      $ git clone proj_master proj_ALL
      $ cd proj_ALL
      $ git submodule add /tmp/proj_mod ./mod
      $ git add .; git commit -m "hello proj_ALL"
      $ git status   % Everything is OK.
      
    4. Rename proj_ALL to proj_onebillion. Encounter a fatal error.

      $ cd /tmp
      $ mv proj_ALL proj_onebillion
      $ cd proj_onebillion
      $ git status
      fatal: Not a git repository: /tmp/proj_ALL/.git/modules/mod
      

    One thing to notice is the .git file in the submodule directory.

    $ cat /tmp/proj_ALL/mod/.git 
    gitdir: /tmp/proj_ALL/.git/modules/mod
    

    Yeah, an absolute path. For the first time, I realize that git is aware of something outside the scope of the top-level repo folder.

    That’s it. I repeat that one more time that I rename the top-level project folder, not the submodule folder. I check schmuck’s question, which tried to rename the submodule folder, therefore seems not so helpful to my problem.

    If I miss something that should have been read before, I apologize. To all guys, any advice is welcomed.

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  • 4 Solutions collect form web for “How to rename a git repo (project) which contains submodules in its subdirectories”

    You have a couple of options, they end up being the same thing:

    clone again

    Instead of renaming the folder – just clone again

    $ cd /project/original
    $ cd ..
    $ mkdir moved
    $ git init
    $ git pull ../original master
    $ git submodule init
    $ git submodule update
    

    Compare original/.git/config to moved/.git/config and address any significant differences (missing branches need creating – missing remotes just need adding to the config file).

    fix paths

    You can rename your project folder, it just needs a little tweaking.

    • Fix your submodule .git file references.

    I.e. these files:

    $ cd /project/moved
    $ find -name .git -type f
    

    All you need to do is edit them to point at the right directory

    • Fix your submodule .git config files

    I.e. these files:

    $ cd /project/moved
    $ find .git/modules/ -name config
    

    Here, update the worktree setting:

    [core]
        ...
        worktree = /original/path/submodule
    

    To

    [core]
        ...
        worktree = /moved/path/submodule
    

    And that’s it.

    A note about versions

    1.7.8 introduced the use of a .git file for submodules and used absolute paths, this was fixed in 1.7.10 – therefore the problem only applies to git repos created with git version 1.7.8, and 1.7.9.

    When moving a project that has git submodules from one folder to another, on the same machine, there are some hardcoded links that have to be updated.

    First, all submodules have a .git file where they store the absolute path to their git configuration folder ( these are inside the main’s project .git folder, grouped into the modules folder). To fix all of these, run the following command from the root of the main project:

    find . -name .git -print0 -type f | xargs -0 sed -i 's|<OLD PATH>|<NEW PATH>|g'
    

    Second, the configuration files for the git submodules have a line where the working directory is saved, also absolute. To update all of the references at once, run the following command from the root of the main project:

    find . -name config -print0 -type f | xargs -0 sed -i 's|<OLD PATH>|<NEW PATH>|g'
    

    The assumptions made are that your OS is some form of *nix, and that you have the package sed installed.

    You also need to check each sub-module’s gitdir.

    It should be in sub-module’s folder .git file.

    You need to actually modify two files

    .git/modules/<path-to-submodule>/config
    <path-to-submodule>/.git
    
    Git Baby is a git and github fan, let's start git clone.