From: "Matthieu Moy" <>
Sent: Monday, June 17, 2013 12:09 PM
Junio C Hamano <> writes:

+* `matching` - push the refspec ":".  In other words, push all
+  branches having the same name in both ends, even if it means
+  non-fast-forward updates.  This is for those who prepare all the
+  branches into a publishable shape and then push them out with a
+  single command.  Dangerous, and inappropriate unless you are the
+  only person updating your push destination.

It was already pointed out that unnecessary negativity needs to be
fixed, but more importantly the above "Dangerous" is not even

What's really dangerous is the --force flag. A few weeks ago I had to
help a colleague who did a "git push --force" to update his branch, and
he lost data on his co-worker's branches (thanks to "git reflog", it
wasn't an actual data loss, but still pretty bad).

But then the place to warn loudly is the doc for --force. What about

------- 8< ------- 8< ------- 8< ------- 8< ------- 8< ------- 8<

From a529588dd8df84e54e5ec267068248cc555373f5 Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
From: Matthieu Moy <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2013 13:02:39 +0200
Subject: [PATCH] Documentation/git-push.txt: explain better cases where
--force is dangerous

The behavior of "git push --force" is rather clear when it updates only one remote ref, but running it when pushing several branches can really be dangerous. Warn the users a bit more and give them the alternative to
push only one branch.

Signed-off-by: Matthieu Moy <>
Documentation/git-push.txt | 7 +++++++
1 file changed, 7 insertions(+)

diff --git a/Documentation/git-push.txt b/Documentation/git-push.txt
index 938d1ee..0899a35 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-push.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-push.txt
@@ -136,6 +136,13 @@ already exists on the remote side.
       not an ancestor of the local ref used to overwrite it.
       This flag disables the check.  This can cause the
       remote repository to lose commits; use it with care.
+       Note that `--force` applies to all the refs that are pushed,
+       hence using `git push --all --force`, or `git push --force`
+       with `push.default` set to `matching` may override refs other
+       than the current branch (including local refs that are
+       strictly behind their remote counterpart). To force a push to
+       only one branch, use `git push <remote> +<branch>` instead of
+       `--force`.

It would be useful to include a real example "e.g. `git push origin +master`", or a link to specifying a refspec "see <refspec>... above", such that the "+" doesn't get lost in the general text, as push is one of the first few commands a new user is likely to be looking up (and misunderstanding ;-), so let's make the + obvious

I did notice that the <refspec>... section doesn't actually associate the "+" with the force action - Am I misunderstanding this?

       This option is only relevant if no <repository> argument is

Matthieu Moy
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