Git Clone Into Another Existing Git Repo

Am I going to run into any issues if I git clone a repo into an existing git repo?

For sake of simplification, I am developing a library “lib/” that should be available to all of my projects. This is a separate git repo. I’d like to import this lib/ into all of my projects, and update it only in one place, never touch it from any of the projects, just use it.

I am assuming this is ok, just wondered if there is anything I should watch out for. Thanks!

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Answers

Just for the record, you can clone a git repo within another one:
Everything thing under your lib directory will be ignored by the enclosing Git repo, because said lib directory contains a .git.

So it would work, but the enclosing repo would have no idea:

  • it needs a lib directory from another repo
  • it needs a specific revision of that lib to build properly

Those are precisely the two informations recorded by the parent repo (the enclosing one) in order to reference a submodule.
It is made to give you access to a fixed revision of another repo within your repo, but as explained in “True nature of submodules”, that doesn’t prevent you to locally modify lib directly within your parent repo.
(As long as you commit your modifications in lib first, then go one level up back in your parent repo, and commit there as well)

The main benefit to any contributor of your main project is that, when they will clone said project, they will know they also need lib if it is declared as a submodule (as mentioned in “Git Submodule Workflow Advice“).

I’m finding that following this tutorial is helpful for understanding submodules if you don’t have much prior experience.

http://help.github.com/submodules/

http://chrisjean.com/2009/04/20/git-submodules-adding-using-removing-and-updating/