datalad subdatasets


datalad subdatasets [-h] [-d DATASET] [--fulfilled FULFILLED] [-r] [--recursion-limit LEVELS] [--contains PATH] [--bottomup] [--set-property NAME VALUE] [--delete-property NAME]


Report subdatasets and their properties.

The following properties are reported (if possible) for each matching subdataset record.

Name of the subdataset in the parent (often identical with the relative path in the parent dataset)
Absolute path to the subdataset
Absolute path to the parent dataset
SHA1 of the subdataset commit recorded in the parent dataset
Condition of the subdataset: ‘clean’, ‘modified’, ‘absent’, ‘conflict’ as reported by git submodule
Output of git describe for the subdataset
URL of the subdataset recorded in the parent
Any additional configuration property on record.

Performance note: Property modification, requesting BOTTOMUP reporting order, or a particular numerical RECURSION_LIMIT implies an internal switch to an alternative query implementation for recursive query that is more flexible, but also notably slower (performs one call to Git per dataset versus a single call for all combined).

The following properties for subdatasets are recognized by DataLad (without the ‘gitmodule_’ prefix that is used in the query results):

If set to ‘skip’, the respective subdataset is skipped when DataLad is recursively installing its superdataset. However, the subdataset remains installable when explicitly requested, and no other features are impaired.


-h, –help, –help-np

show this help message. –help-np forcefully disables the use of a pager for displaying the help message

-d DATASET, –dataset DATASET

specify the dataset to query. If no dataset is given, an attempt is made to identify the dataset based on the input and/or the current working directory. Constraints: Value must be a Dataset or a valid identifier of a Dataset (e.g. a path) [Default: None]

–fulfilled FULFILLED

if given, must be a boolean flag indicating whether to report either only locally present or absent datasets. By default subdatasets are reported regardless of their status. Constraints: value must be convertible to type bool [Default: None]

-r, –recursive

if set, recurse into potential subdataset. [Default: False]

–recursion-limit LEVELS

limit recursion into subdataset to the given number of levels. Constraints: value must be convertible to type ‘int’ [Default: None]

–contains PATH

limit report to the subdatasets containing the given path. If a root path of a subdataset is given the last reported dataset will be the subdataset itself. Constraints: value must be a string [Default: None]


whether to report subdatasets in bottom-up order along each branch in the dataset tree, and not top-down. [Default: False]

–set-property NAME VALUE

Name and value of one or more subdataset properties to be set in the parent dataset’s .gitmodules file. The property name is case-insensitive, must start with a letter, and consist only of alphanumeric characters. The value can be a Python format() template string wrapped in ‘<>’ (e.g. ‘<{gitmodule_name}>’). Supported keywords are any item reported in the result properties of this command, plus ‘refds_relpath’ and ‘refds_relname’: the relative path of a subdataset with respect to the base dataset of the command call, and, in the latter case, the same string with all directory separators replaced by dashes. This option can be given multiple times. Constraints: value must be a string [Default: None]

–delete-property NAME

Name of one or more subdataset properties to be removed from the parent dataset’s .gitmodules file. This option can be given multiple times. Constraints: value must be a string [Default: None]


datalad is developed by The DataLad Team and Contributors <>.