Tips To Solve “fatal: not a valid object name: ‘master’”

Git is ideally known as distributed control version software that allows programmers and developers to keep a tab on file changes, manage source code, merge code, and track the history of revision. With Git, you can handle projects with efficiency and speed, be it large or small. It runs locally in your system with files stored in it. you can easily use git hosting such as connecting it with GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket. Programmers create a repository and use the projects to make changes there. The best part of creating git is that the team can also work remotely on a project. Moreover, the project can be set to public to let others see the projects. When working with Git, you may encounter the error “fatal: not a valid object name: ‘master’”.

You may face errors when using Git, which is quite normal. This error makes you wonder what you have done to expose to it. Don’t worry as you are here to get the issue fixed. We provide useful tips and solutions to help you resolve the error. Let’s check how the error shows up

How the error occurs

When you are using git version 1.7 for the private server, you use the below command

git init

No master branch is created. You use this:

git branch 

It hasn’t got anything listed. You try this:

git branch master 

which shows the error. You get the following error message

fatal: Not a valid object name: 'master'.

This is how you implement the commands that result in the error warning.

How To Fix the Error “fatal: not a valid object name: ‘master’”

To fix the error, you need to understand the cause of the error.

No master branch is created when git init a directory

It behaves as expected. It will not help until you commit to Git to create master branch.

To create the files, the git –bare init is typed

The same file creates when using ‘git init’ in a .git hidden directory in the project’s root.

When you write ‘git branch master’, it throws an error.

You will not have a master branch till you commit.

Solution 1

To fix the error, you only need to create commit. This is the simplest solution you need to try. Prepare a commit, and for this, add files to the directory (be it one or more) using ‘git add’. Then you just need to use ‘git commit’ in order to create commit (initial) as well as master branch.

It can simply help you fix the error.

Solution 2

If you want to have a new master branch with no commit, you can simply use the below command

git checkout -b <branchname>

It solves the error efficiently.


In this post, we discussed solutions to get rid of the error “fatal: not a valid object name: ‘master’” efficiently.

I hope you find it helpful! I wish you the best of luck!

Posted in Git

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