Github zip doesn’t include Submodules

Seriously, what were they thinking. This completely invalidates the use of submodules. We want our code to be available without having to know git. That’s the whole reason they have the download a zip link. But not including all of the code means you have to unzip the code and then use git to get the submodules.

Submodules are great for code reuse. But if I can’t intend my project to be downloaded by people that just want to install it and not code anything while using submodules. This is horrible.


  1. abarrett says:

    You aren’t the only one griping about this issue, it seems. See:

    It looks like there might be some workarounds in the comments, but there is no officially supported github solution (yet). I’d be interested to see what kind of response you get from It would be nice to know if they are working on the issue, or have no intention of addressing it.

  2. JaZahn says:

    I emailed github about this, they answered very fast:


    Thanks for the feedback! Currently zip/tarballs are generated using git-archive, which does not include submodules. If the git team adds that functionality to git-archive, we’ll be sure to update it so we can include submodules as well.


  3. abarrett says:

    Wow, you actually got a response from a human. I’m impressed. At least they’re not ruling it out, but it sounds like they have no plans to implement that feature soon.

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