Since 69c3051 (submodules: refactor computation of relative gitdir path)
cloning a submodule recursively fails for nested submodules when a
symbolic link is part of the path to the work tree of the superproject.

This happens when module_clone() tries to find the relative paths between
the work tree and the git dir. When a symbolic link in current $PWD points
to a directory that is at a different level, then determining the number
of "../" needed to traverse to the superproject's work tree leads to a
wrong result.

As there is no portable way to say "pwd -P", use cd_to_toplevel to remove
the link from $PWD, which fixes this problem.

A test for this issue has been added to t7406.

Reported-by: Bob Halley <>
Signed-off-by: Jens Lehmann <>

The changes in this version are:
- the SYMLINKS prerequisite is used for the new test
- a comment explaining why cd_to_toplevel is needed has been added
- small updates to the commit message

Thanks to J6t for the input.            |  6 ++++--
 t/ | 13 +++++++++++++
 2 files changed, 17 insertions(+), 2 deletions(-)

diff --git a/ b/
index 5629d87..dba4d39 100755
--- a/
+++ b/
@@ -186,8 +186,10 @@ module_clone()
                die "$(eval_gettext "Clone of '\$url' into submodule path 
'\$sm_path' failed")"

-       a=$(cd "$gitdir" && pwd)/
-       b=$(cd "$sm_path" && pwd)/
+       # We already are at the root of the work tree but cd_to_toplevel will
+       # resolve any symlinks that might be present in $PWD
+       a=$(cd_to_toplevel && cd "$gitdir" && pwd)/
+       b=$(cd_to_toplevel && cd "$sm_path" && pwd)/
        # normalize Windows-style absolute paths to POSIX-style absolute paths
        case $a in [a-zA-Z]:/*) a=/${a%%:*}${a#*:} ;; esac
        case $b in [a-zA-Z]:/*) b=/${b%%:*}${b#*:} ;; esac
diff --git a/t/ b/t/
index dcb195b..ce61d4c 100755
--- a/t/
+++ b/t/
@@ -636,4 +636,17 @@ test_expect_success 'submodule update properly revives a 
moved submodule' '

+test_expect_success SYMLINKS 'submodule update can handle symbolic links in 
pwd' '
+       mkdir -p linked/dir &&
+       ln -s linked/dir linkto &&
+       (
+               cd linkto &&
+               git clone "$TRASH_DIRECTORY"/super_update_r2 super &&
+               (
+                       cd super &&
+                       git submodule update --init --recursive
+               )
+       )
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