Move the check for check_refname_format from lock_any_ref_for_update
to lock_ref_sha1_basic. At some later stage we will get rid of
lock_any_ref_for_update completely.

If lock_ref_sha1_basic fails the check_refname_format test, set errno to
EINVAL before returning NULL. This to guarantee that we will not return an
error without updating errno.

This leaves lock_any_ref_for_updates as a no-op wrapper which could be removed.
But this wrapper is also called from an external caller and we will soon
make changes to the signature to lock_ref_sha1_basic that we do not want to
expose to that caller.

This changes semantics for lock_ref_sha1_basic slightly. With this change
it is no longer possible to open a ref that has a badly name which breaks
any codepaths that tries to open and repair badly named refs. The normal refs
API should not allow neither creating nor accessing refs with invalid names.
If we need such recovery code we could add it as an option to git fsck and have
git fsck be the only sanctioned way of bypassing the normal API and checks.

Signed-off-by: Ronnie Sahlberg <>
 refs.c | 7 +++++--
 1 file changed, 5 insertions(+), 2 deletions(-)

diff --git a/refs.c b/refs.c
index d6467c8..5a7fb34 100644
--- a/refs.c
+++ b/refs.c
@@ -2088,6 +2088,11 @@ static struct ref_lock *lock_ref_sha1_basic(const char 
        int missing = 0;
        int attempts_remaining = 3;
+       if (check_refname_format(refname, REFNAME_ALLOW_ONELEVEL)) {
+               errno = EINVAL;
+               return NULL;
+       }
        lock = xcalloc(1, sizeof(struct ref_lock));
        lock->lock_fd = -1;
@@ -2179,8 +2184,6 @@ struct ref_lock *lock_any_ref_for_update(const char 
                                         const unsigned char *old_sha1,
                                         int flags, int *type_p)
-       if (check_refname_format(refname, REFNAME_ALLOW_ONELEVEL))
-               return NULL;
        return lock_ref_sha1_basic(refname, old_sha1, flags, type_p);

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