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Answers to common questions about Git, Drupal, WordPress and Pantheon.

This section answers many common Git questions. If you're encountering merge conflicts, see Resolve Git Merge Conflicts

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Does Pantheon support Git submodules?

No, Git submodules are not supported at this time. We recommend maintaining custom modules, themes, and/or plugins within separate repositories.

You can remove submodules:

  1. Run the git rm command:

    git rm ./submodule_directory/
  2. Commit and push your changes.

What are the "update_drops" Git tags?

The "update_drops" tags are from our upstream updates in the past (Pantheon no longer tags these).

The tag pantheon.initialize is your initial start state. pantheon_test_N and pantheon_live_N are created when you use workflow actions, so you can potentially revert to that state, produce diffs, etc.

You can create your own pantheon_test_N tag with a higher value N to push changes directly to test.

git tag

How do I revert or undo changes?

See Undo Git commits like overwriting Drupal core.

How do I apply a patch from on Pantheon?

You should use Git if you want to patch core or a module. You will need to switch from On Server Development if it's enabled. has very good instructions about applying patches with Git.

  1. Navigate to your local clone > run the git apply command as per

  2. Commit your change > push to Pantheon. A best practice is to include a link to the issue/comment where the patch came from in your commit message. also has instructions if you're looking to give back by creating patches for Drupal.

How do I import a site with existing Git history?

For detailed instructions, see Manually Migrate Sites to Pantheon.

Can I use Git with SFTP mode?

Not simultaneously, but it's easy to switch back and forth.

When you switch to On Server Development (SFTP), you cannot interact with your code via Git. If you try pushing it will be blocked. When Git mode is enabled, you can interact with your code via Git.

What version of Git does Pantheon run?

We are currently running Git 2.4.x.

Why were pushes denied because of changes in sites/default/files?

If you find that you're running into issues with commits that reference sites/default/files, use the filter-branch command to remove those references from your repository. The engineers at GitHub have documented this technique.

Navigate to the Drupal root of your site:

git filter-branch -f --index-filter 'git rm -rf --cached --ignore-unmatch sites/default/files' --prune-empty -- f4160148..HEAD

The commit f4160148 is one from pretty far back in the Drupal history, guaranteed to pre-date the start of the specific site project. Using the range between that and HEAD prevents filtering the entire Drupal project history, which can take a while. You might also pick a more recent starting point for Drupal if you're in a hurry.

If you're on WordPress, you'll need to find your starting point by looking at the Git log.

Why can't I connect to Git?

If you're having problems cloning your Git repository, verify that the SSH key in your Personal Settings is enabled. For more information, see Generating SSH Keys.

Why am I being prompted for my password after adding the public key?

This occurs when you have multiple SSH keys. For more information, see Permission Denied.

  1. Use Terminus to identify the Git host:

    terminus connection:info <site>.dev --fields=git_host

    This will return:

      Git Host
  2. Copy the URL.

  3. Find out which SSH keys your Git client is using with the following command, replacing<SITE_UUID> with the URL copied in step 2:

    ssh -vT<SITE_UUID>

    The output should be similar to this:

    OpenSSH_7.3p1, LibreSSL 2.4.1
    debug1: Reading configuration data /etc/ssh/ssh_config
    debug1: /etc/ssh/ssh_config line 20: Applying options for *
    debug1: Connecting to port 2222.
    debug1: Connection established.
    debug1: Offering RSA public key: /Users/username/.ssh/id_rsa
    debug1: Server accepts key: pkalg ssh-rsa blen 279
    debug1: Authentication succeeded (publickey).
    Authenticated to

    Line six in our example output (Offering RSA public key...) is the information we're looking for. This is the RSA key being used to initiate the connection. You should now be able to configure Git with the matching SSH public key, and clone your repository.

How do I fix fast forward errors?

If you're getting errors after committing your reverted changes, make sure you have included the -f option, as you will be forcing a fast-forward update. Without this, you will receive an error similar to the one below:

git push
To [email protected]:3ef6264e-51d9-43b9-a60b-6cc22c3081c9
 ! [rejected] master -> master (non-fast-forward)
error: failed to push some refs to '[email protected]:3ef6264e-51d9-43b9-a60b-6cc22c3081c9'
To prevent you from losing history, non-fast-forward updates were rejected
Merge the remote changes (e.g. 'git pull') before pushing again. See the
'Note about fast-forwards' section of 'git push --help' for details.

I have a Git conflict; can you fix it for me?

No. Git is a powerful and useful tool, but it does take some practice to effectively use it. We provide a number of resources and documentation to address various issues such as, importing a site and keeping the Git history, Git issues performing core updates, and resetting your code to a specific commit.

There are a number of patterns and strategies of Git code management for single users to large teams, and each has its own merits, drawbacks, and nuances.

As a result of the varying techniques and to prevent code from being accidentally overwritten, it is up to the developer to address these when they occur as Git conflict resolution is a critical and important part of your workflow. See Resolve Git Merge Conflicts for more information.

How do I delete a remote branch?

Use the --delete option:

git push origin --delete branchname

Alternatively, you can prefix the branch with a colon.

How do I keep multiple remote repositories in sync?

A simple option is to configure Git with a multi-remote origin within .git/config, such as:

[remote "origin"]
  url = ssh://
  url = [email protected]:systemseed/example.git

Commits will be pushed to both remote destinations automatically on git push origin. Enforce this configuration with all team members when working collaboratively. Props to Tom Kirkpatrick for contributing this tip in the Pantheon Community.

Why are some merged commits hidden?

Pantheon uses the following command to display commits in the Dashboard:

git log --first-parent

According to the Git Manual:

This option can give a better overview when viewing the evolution of a particular topic branch, because merges into a topic branch tend to be only about adjusting to updated upstream from time to time, and this option allows you to ignore the individual commits brought in to your history by such a merge.

Pantheon does this so upstream updates or merges from Multidev environments show up as a cohesive whole, rather than individual commits. For granular details about your Git history, use a Git UI client like SourceTree, or visualize the full history with:

git log --graph

Can I use .gitignore on Pantheon?

Pantheon provides default .gitignore files in the base of each site's code repository. It includes the path sites/default/files for Drupal sites, and wp-contents/uploads for WordPress sites. The .gitignore files can be modified locally and committed, but changes to them that will allow additional files will not be respected on Pantheon's servers. For example, if you modify your local .gitignore to allow caches and push the changed .gitignore to Pantheon, you will not be able to commit generated caches using the Pantheon Dashboard.

Troubleshoot Commit Issues

Check the following if you encounter an error when trying to make a commit:

  • Commit Size: If the commit is too large, it will be rejected.

    • Check the commit for non-codebase files that have been added to the site.

    • Does the commit contain a full overwrite of the entire site? Rather than overwrite the site in place, we suggest migrating to a new site to avoid downtime and potential conflicts. See Relaunch Existing Pantheon Site for more information.

  • Confirm that the file isn't listed in .gitignore

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