The current documentation mentions the private ref namespace, but does
not really explain why it can be useful.

Signed-off-by: Matthieu Moy <>
This small patch was sent inline during a previous conversation, but
did not really catch attention ;-).

Resending as a proper patch.

 Documentation/gitremote-helpers.txt | 6 ++++++
 1 file changed, 6 insertions(+)

diff --git a/Documentation/gitremote-helpers.txt 
index 0827f69..9ae36da 100644
--- a/Documentation/gitremote-helpers.txt
+++ b/Documentation/gitremote-helpers.txt
@@ -176,6 +176,12 @@ applicable refspec takes precedence.  The left-hand of 
 advertised with this capability must cover all refs reported by
 the list command.  If no 'refspec' capability is advertised,
 there is an implied `refspec *:*`.
+When writing remote-helpers for decentralized version control
+systems, it is advised to keep a local copy of the repository to
+interact with, and to let the private namespace refs point to this
+local repository, while the refs/remotes namespace is used to track
+the remote repository.
        This modifies the 'import' capability.

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