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How to add a tag to a git commit

Kenny DuMez
Kenny DuMez
Graphite software engineer


This guide explains this concept in vanilla Git. For Graphite documentation, see our CLI docs.

Adding tags to commits in Git is a crucial part of version control practices, especially when you want to mark specific points in your repository's history as important. Tags are commonly used for marking release points (v1.0, v2.0, etc.). This guide will walk you through the process of adding tags to your commits in Git, including how to add tags to specific commits, retrieve the hash for tags, and edit tags after they have been set.

What is a tag? A tag in Git is a pointer to a specific commit, used to capture a snapshot of the project at a particular point in time. Unlike branches, tags, after being created, do not change as new commits are made.

1. Adding a lightweight tag: A lightweight tag is like a bookmark to a specific commit. It’s a simple pointer to a commit and doesn’t include additional tag information.

git tag <tagname>

If you execute this command without specifying a commit, Git automatically assigns the tag to the current commit.

2. Adding an annotated tag: Annotated tags are stored as full objects in the Git database. They include the tagger name, email, date, and have a tagging message, and can be GPG signed.

git tag -a <tagname> -m "your message"

Like lightweight tags, if no commit is specified, it defaults to the current commit.

If you need to tag a commit that isn't the most recent, you first need to find the commit hash associated with the commit to which you want to add a tag.

git log --pretty=oneline

This command will list all commits with their hashes. Once you have identified the correct commit hash, you can add a tag to it.

git tag <tagname> <commit-hash>

Here, replace <commit-hash> with the actual hash of the commit you wish to tag.

To find the hash associated with a specific tag, you can use the following command:

git rev-list -n 1 <tagname>

This command returns the commit hash pointed to by the tag.

Moving a tag to a different commit: To move a tag to a different commit, you might need to delete the old tag and then add it to another commit.

git tag -d <tagname>
git tag <tagname> <new-commit-hash>

Deleting a tag: If you simply need to delete a tag, use:

git tag -d <tagname>

Tags are not automatically pushed to your remote repository when you push your commits. You need to push them explicitly.

git push origin <tagname>

To push all tags at once, use:

git push origin --tags

For further reading on Git tags, see the official Git documentation.

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