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Install Git hooks into the DVC repository to automate certain common actions.


usage: dvc install [-h] [-q | -v] [--use-pre-commit-tool]


DVC provides an intelligent data repository on top of a regular Git repo to store code and configuration files. With dvc install, the two are more tightly integrated in order to cause certain convenient actions to happen automatically.

Note that this command requires the DVC project to be a Git repository. But the hooks won't activate if the current branch (commit, tag, etc.) doesn't have DVC initialized (no .dvc/ directory present).


Checkout: For any commit hash, branch or tag, git checkout restores the DVC project files corresponding to that version. Some of these files, in turn refer to data stored in cache, but not necessarily current in the workspace. Normally, it's necessary to use dvc checkout to also update the workspace accordingly.

This hook automates dvc checkout after git checkout.

Commit/Reproduce: Before committing DVC changes with Git, it may be necessary using dvc commit to store new data files not yet in cache. Or the changes might require reproducing the corresponding pipeline (with dvc repro) to regenerate the project's results (which implicitly commits them to DVC as well).

This hook automates dvc status before git commit when needed, to remind the user to employ either dvc commit or dvc repro.

Push: While publishing changes to the Git remote with git push, its easy to forget that the dvc push command is necessary to upload new or updated data files and directories tracked by DVC to remote storage.

This hook automates dvc push before git push.

Installed Git hooks

  • A post-checkout hook executes dvc checkout after git checkout to automatically update the workspace with the correct data file versions.
  • A pre-commit hook executes dvc status before git commit to inform the user about the differences between cache and workspace.
  • A pre-push hook executes dvc push before git push to upload files and directories tracked by DVC to the dvc remote default.

If a hook already exists, DVC will raise an exception. In that case, try to manually edit the existing file or remove it and retry install.

For more information about git hooks, refer to the git-scm documentation.

Disable Git hooks

When you use dvc install, it creates three files under the .git/hooks directory:

โ”œโ”€โ”€ post-checkout
โ”œโ”€โ”€ pre-commit
โ””โ”€โ”€ pre-push

To disable them, you need to remove or edit those files (i.e. rm .git/hooks/post-checkout, vim .git/hooks/pre-commit).

Using the Pre-commit tool

DVC provides support to manage Git hooks with pre-commit. To adjust .pre-commit-config.yaml, you can either use dvc install --use-pre-commit-tool or add these entries by hand:

  - hooks:
      - id: dvc-pre-commit
        language_version: python3
          - commit
      - id: dvc-pre-push
        # use s3/gs/etc instead of all to only install specific cloud support
        additional_dependencies: ['.[all]']
        language_version: python3
          - push
      - always_run: true
        id: dvc-post-checkout
        language_version: python3
          - post-checkout
    repo: https://github.com/iterative/dvc
    rev: main
    # rev should be set to a specific revision (e.g. 2.9.5) since pre-commit
    # does not allow using mutable references.
    # If using `main`, see pre-commit guide:
    #    https://pre-commit.com/#using-the-latest-version-for-a-repository

Note that by default, the pre-commit tool only installs pre-commit hooks. To enable the pre-push and post-checkout hooks, you must explicitly configure the tool this way:

$ pre-commit install --hook-type pre-push --hook-type post-checkout --hook-type pre-commit


  • --use-pre-commit-tool - configures DVC pre-commit, pre-push, post-checkout Git hooks in the pre-commit config file (.pre-commit-config.yaml).

  • -h, --help - prints the usage/help message, and exit.

  • -q, --quiet - do not write anything to standard output. Exit with 0 if no problems arise, otherwise 1.

  • -v, --verbose - displays detailed tracing information.


Let's employ a simple workspace with some data, code, ML models, pipeline stages, such as the DVC project created in our Get Started section. Then we can see what happens with dvc install in different situations.

Start by cloning our example repo if you don't already have it:

$ git clone https://github.com/iterative/example-get-started
$ cd example-get-started

Now let's install the requirements. But before we do that, we strongly recommend creating a virtual environment:

$ python3 -m venv .env
$ source .env/bin/activate
$ pip install -r src/requirements.txt

Download the precomputed data using:

$ dvc pull -aT

Example: Checkout both Git and DVC

Switching from one Git commit to another (with git checkout) may change the set of DVC files in the workspace. This could mean that the currently present data no longer matches the project's version (which can be fixed with dvc checkout).

Let's first list the available tags in the Get Started repo:

$ git tag

These tags are used to mark points in the development of the project, and to document specific experiments conducted in it. To take a look at one, we checkout the 7-ml-pipeline tag:

$ git checkout 7-ml-pipeline
Note: checking out '7-ml-pipeline'.

You are in 'detached HEAD' state...

$ dvc status
	changed outs:
		modified:           data/features
$ dvc checkout

$ dvc status
Data and pipelines are up to date.

After running git checkout we are also shown a message saying You are in 'detached HEAD' state. Returning the workspace to a normal state requires running git checkout master.

We also see that the first dvc status tells us about differences between the project's cache and the data files currently in the workspace. Git changed the DVC files in the workspace, which changed references to data files. dvc status first informed us that the data files in the workspace no longer matched the hash values in the corresponding .dvc and dvc.lock files. Running dvc checkout then brings them up to date, and a second dvc status tells us that the data files now do match the DVC files.

$ git checkout master
Previous HEAD position was 6666298 Create ML pipeline stages
Switched to branch 'master'
Your branch is up to date with 'origin/master'.

$ dvc checkout

We've seen the default behavior with there being no Git hooks installed. We want to see how the behavior changes after installing the Git hooks. We must first reset the workspace to the HEAD commit before installing the hooks.

$ dvc install

$ cat .git/hooks/pre-commit
exec dvc status

$ cat .git/hooks/post-checkout
exec dvc checkout

The two Git hooks have been installed, and the one of interest for this exercise is the post-checkout script that runs after git checkout.

We can now repeat the command run earlier, to see the difference.

$ git checkout 7-ml-pipeline
HEAD is now at 6666298 Create ML pipeline stages
M       model.pkl
M	data/features/

$ dvc status
Data and pipelines are up to date.

Look carefully at this output and it is clear that the dvc checkout command has indeed been run. As a result the workspace is up to date with the data files matching what is referenced in the DVC files.

Example: Showing DVC status when committing with Git

To follow this example, start with the same workspace as before, making sure it is not in a detached HEAD state by running git checkout master.

If we simply edit one of the code files:

$ vi src/featurization.py

$ git commit -a -m "modified featurization"

    changed deps:
        modified:           src/featurization.py
[master 1116ddc] modified featurization
 1 file changed, 1 insertion(+), 1 deletion(-)

We see that the output of dvc status has appeared in the git commit interaction. This new behavior corresponds to the Git hook installed, and it informs us that the workspace is out of sync. Therefore, we know that dvc repro command is needed:

$ dvc repro
To track the changes with git run:

    git add dvc.lock

$ git status -s
M dvc.lock

$ git commit -a -m "updated data after modified featurization"
Data and pipelines are up to date.

[master 78d0c44] modified featurization
 5 files changed, 12 insertions(+), 12 deletions(-)

After reproducing the pipeline, the data files should be in sync with the code and configuration, and we want to commit the changes with Git. In doing so, dvc status is run automatically again, informing us that the data files have been updated indeed, with the Data and pipelines are up to date. message.