How to Do a “Git Export” (Like “Svn Export”)?

Better Stack Team
Updated on June 24, 2024

In Git, there isn't a direct equivalent of svn export, which creates a clean copy of a repository without any version control metadata. However, you can achieve a similar result by using git archive combined with a pipe to extract the archive to a directory.

Here's how you can do it:

  1. Navigate to the root directory of your Git repository in your terminal.
  2. Use the git archive command to create an archive of the repository. You can specify the branch or commit you want to export:

    git archive --format=zip --output=<output-file>.zip <branch-or-commit>

    Replace <output-file> with the desired name of the zip file to be created, and <branch-or-commit> with the branch name or commit hash you want to export.

    For example, to export the master branch to a file named, you would run:

    git archive --format=zip master
  3. Extract the zip file to a directory using a tool like unzip:

    unzip -d <output-directory>

    Replace <output-directory> with the directory where you want to extract the contents of the zip file.

    For example, to extract the contents of to a directory named exported-repo, you would run:

    unzip -d exported-repo

This process creates a zip archive of the specified branch or commit without any version control metadata, similar to svn export. Then, it extracts the contents of the archive to a directory, providing a clean copy of the repository.


  • The git archive command can produce archives in various formats (tar, zip, etc.). Adjust the -format option accordingly based on your preference.
  • You can also use other tools like tar instead of zip for creating the archive, depending on your requirements.
  • This approach does not include any untracked files in the export. If you want to include untracked files, you need to add them to the index (git add) before creating the archive.
Got an article suggestion? Let us know
Licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Make your mark

Join the writer's program

Are you a developer and love writing and sharing your knowledge with the world? Join our guest writing program and get paid for writing amazing technical guides. We'll get them to the right readers that will appreciate them.

Write for us
Writer of the month
Marin Bezhanov
Marin is a software engineer and architect with a broad range of experience working...
Build on top of Better Stack

Write a script, app or project on top of Better Stack and share it with the world. Make a public repository and share it with us at our email.

or submit a pull request and help us build better products for everyone.

See the full list of amazing projects on github