Do not report that an argument to clone's --reference option is not a
local directory.  Nothing checks for the existence or type of the path
as supplied by the user; checks are only done for particular contents of
the supposed directory, so we have no way to know the status of the
supplied path.  Telling the user that a directory doesn't exist when
that isn't actually known may lead him or her on the wrong path to
finding the problem.

Instead just state that the entered path is not a local repository which
is really all that is known about it.  It could be more helpful to state
the actual paths which were checked, but I believe that giving a good
description of that would be too verbose for a simple error message and
would be too dependent on implementation details.

Signed-off-by: Aaron Schrab <>
Reviewed-by: Jonathan Nieder <>

diff --git a/builtin/clone.c b/builtin/clone.c
index f9c380e..0a1e0bf 100644
--- a/builtin/clone.c
+++ b/builtin/clone.c
@@ -241,7 +241,7 @@ static int add_one_reference(struct string_list_item *item, 
void *cb_data)
                ref_git = ref_git_git;
        } else if (!is_directory(mkpath("%s/objects", ref_git)))
-               die(_("reference repository '%s' is not a local directory."),
+               die(_("reference repository '%s' is not a local repository."),
        strbuf_addf(&alternate, "%s/objects", ref_git);

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