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Git seems to support configuration values at three levels:

  • Per-system global settings (stored in /etc/git-core)
  • Per-user global settings (stored in ~/.gitconfig)
  • Per-repository local settings (stored in $REPO/.git/config)

These options cover most of the basis but I'm looking for a way to handle a fourth level. I have a (very) large collection of repositories for which I need to use a different value for than my usual. These repositories are often created and manipulated through automated scripts, and setting up per repository local settings is cumbersome.

All of the repositories in question are located under a certain path prefix on my local system. Is there a way to set a configuration value somewhere that will be inherited by all repositories under that path? (Sort of like .htaccess settings inherit all the way up the file system.) Perhaps there would be a way to set conditional values in the global config file? What other arrangements could be made in a UNIX environment to cope with a set of repositories like mine?

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My first reflex is to hack the scripts to tweak .gitconfig in each directory they create. For example, IIRC Android's repo can do this, but you have to read the source carefully to find out. (I'm not completely sure, I haven't done that in a while.) – Gilles Jul 11 '12 at 22:37
@Gilles: That's certainly a possibility. The repos in question are the package repository for a Linux distro that has recently migrated from CVS to Git. We're still working on redoing all our tooling. In the long term that's probably where this gets fixed, but in the short term those of us working on it are experimenting with what the options are. – Caleb Jul 12 '12 at 9:04

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I have found no way to configure git at this fourth level. The only solution seems to be per-command configuration value over-rides using git -c key=value.

My current hack solution is to define a shell function that serves as a wrapper for git. When called, it passes the arguments on to the system git command, but not before checking on the present working directory and adding an extra argument to the command if applicable.

function git () {
    case "$PWD"; in
            command git -c "$@"
            command git "$@"
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can I do command git -c"Alter Ego" "$@" or how should I go about that? Searched high & low and the only reference to this -c flag I found was yours, thanks, much appreciated. – Vic Goldfeld Jan 28 '13 at 17:36
for the record, I got it working with command git -c -c"Alter Ego" "$@" – Vic Goldfeld Jan 28 '13 at 18:07

You can configure the email address for git with the environment variable GIT_AUTHOR_EMAIL. If you combine this with Execute bash scripts on entering a directory or directory specific shell configuration with zsh you can easily change the settings per directory or parent directory, e.g. if you enter into a directory in ~/work you can automatically adjust the environment variables to change your email address.

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