Is “git push –mirror” sufficient for backing up my repository?

The reason you see something pushed the second time is that --mirror pushes a little more than you expect. Apart from your local branches, it also pushes your remote branches, because mirror implies everything. So when you push normally (or with --mirror), mybranch is pushed and origin/mybranch is updated to reflect the new status on origin. When you push with --mirror, origin/mybranch is also pushed.

This results in the strangeness you see, and also in a worse strangeness when you pull from that remote; you would get branches named origin/origin/mybranch etc. So it’s usually best to use --mirror for one time copies, and just use normal push (maybe with --all) for normal uses.

To always push all branches and tags, you can update .git/config like so:

[remote "origin"]
  url = ...
  fetch = ...
  push = +refs/heads/*
  push = +refs/tags/*

That will make a normal push similar to a mirror, except that it won’t delete branches that don’t exist at the source or for non-fast-forward updates.

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