If I want to look inside a file in a remote repository, is this possible without cloning the whole repository?

I tried

git ls-remote [email protected]:repo.git

but that only displays references available in a remote repository along with the associated commit IDs.

There is a solution on the console here but that is quite complicated and not very handy to use on multiple files. You can see the content in some certain file (for ex. ìndex.php) this way.

Optimal for me would be a sort of file-browser (like Krusader) on Linux, where I would just enter the git url [email protected]:repo.git and can browse all files inside the repository.


1 Answer 1


Option 1

Use something as gitweb in the pc that have the original repository.

Option 2

If you can't do that, you can make a shallow clone with depth=1 that should be as fast as downloading an snapshot.

Option 3

If you don't want that it will depend on the actual protocol you are using to get the repo, usually it is ssh or http, so you can mount a virtual file-system pointing there with the right credentials.


May be you should be looking for a service like github that will help browsing repos without download.

  • 1
    Option 1 might be understood as "install github webapp in the pc that have the original repository", which is impossible. A clarification would be welcome.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Apr 4, 2014 at 2:17
  • 1
    Option 3 is a good idea, a bit of details could be useful. The repo is [email protected]:repo.git so the protocol is SSH.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Apr 4, 2014 at 2:21
  • That's why I say that gitweb can be used instead of github.
    – eloyesp
    Apr 4, 2014 at 2:22
  • 1
    @NicolasRaoul I moved github as an alternative approach.
    – eloyesp
    Apr 4, 2014 at 2:35

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