Random notes from a security-aware software engineer, open-source advocate and occasional lecturer.

Retrieve Tags From Remote Git Repository

For one project of mine, I needed to know all tags from a remote git repository. If the repository is on one of the larger platforms like Bitbucket or Github, you could possibly use their REST API to get these data. Of course, it was hosted somewhere else. There is also always the solution of cloning the repository and using git tag but that might be very slow and you have a lot of data lying around which you do not need.

Fortunately, git can also get tags from remote repositories. You can use git ls-remote, sed and sort -V to do the job:

git ls-remote --tags ...url.git \
  | sed -n 's_^.*/\([^/}]*\)$_\1_p' \
  | sort -V

Note that I’m dropping all tag references and assume that the tag names do not contain / or } characters. But that should usually be no problem. Also, make sure that you have a recent version of sort that supports sorting of version numbers.

Often, I want only the releases (no RCs, betas, …) for which I use a slightly modified sed command:

git ls-remote -t ...url.git \
  | sed -n 's_^.*/\([0-9\.]*\)$_\1_p' \
  | sort -V

As an example, this would list all Opencast releases:

% git ls-remote -t \
  | sed -n 's_^.*/\([0-9\.]*\)$_\1_p' \
  | sort -V
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