warning Git: refname 'master' is ambiguous
warning: refname is ambiguous. (3)
I've looked at all of the other ambiguous refname questions and none of them seem to help. Why am I getting this warning?
$ git checkout master warning: refname 'master' is ambiguous. $ git show-ref master eef61c00da690f093063ac5a728e22fd21648104 refs/heads/master $ git branch -a checkers exercises * master $ git remote -v $
This just happened to me. I somehow had a file .git/master containing a sha. Not sure how that got there, but when I deleted it, the error went away. If you read the accepted answer carefully, this is "expected behavior" but you won't see that .git/master if you do e.g. git show-ref master because it follows slightly different rules.
TL;DR: save and delete the tag, as Ashutosh Jindal comments (see "Rename a tag in git?"):
git tag tag-master master git tag -d master
Most of the sources I see (like this FAQ) point to the same cause:
When you try to checkout a local branch, you get a
warning: refname 'branch-name' is ambiguous
This can happen if you've created a local branch with the same name as a remote tag.
Git should be checking out your local branch, but instead it's trying to checkout the tag, and it gets confused.
The initial import of several trees were problematic, since they contained identically named branches and tags. We have since addressed a lot of these issues, by renaming away the tags.
In your case, you don't have a remote, but local tags named like your branch could be enough.
The ambiguity is specified in gitrevision
A symbolic ref name. E.g.
mastertypically means the commit object referenced by
If you happen to have both
tags/master, you can explicitly say
heads/masterto tell git which one you mean.
When ambiguous, a
<refname>is disambiguated by taking the first match in the following rules:
$GIT_DIR/<refname>exists, that is what you mean (this is usually useful only for
refs/<refname>if it exists;
refs/tags/<refname>if it exists;
refs/heads/<refname>if it exists;
refs/remotes/<refname>if it exists;
refs/remotes/<refname>/HEADif it exists.
So check where
master can be found in your repo.
git checkout heads/master would always work.
Warning: by default, this would checkout the branch in a DETACHED HEAD mode. See "Why does
git checkout with explicit '
refs/heads/branch' give detached HEAD?".
To avoid that, and still use an unambiguous ref, type:
git checkout -B master heads/master
Although this doesn't apply to the OP's situation, I got myself a
refname is ambiguous warning after accidentally doing a
git branch origin/branch instead of a
git checkout origin/branch. This created a local branch named
origin/branch, which made it ambiguous with the remote branch. Solving the problem was as simple as
git branch -D origin/branch (safe because
-D operates on local branches).