Version control systems (VCS) are essential tools in software development, allowing developers to keep track of changes, collaborate efficiently, and manage multiple versions of their code. However, at times, developers might encounter an error like “Error obtaining VCS status: exit status 128.” This error can be frustrating and time-consuming to solve, but fear not – we’re here to help you through it.

In this blog post, we will explore the causes of the “Error obtaining VCS status: exit status 128” error, walk through potential solutions, and provide tips to prevent this issue from occurring in the future.

Understanding the error message

First, let’s break down the error message itself:

  • “Error obtaining VCS status” indicates that there’s an issue with your version control system while attempting to retrieve the repository status.
  • “Exit status 128” is a standard error code that suggests a fatal error occurred during the execution of a Git command.

In short, this error usually occurs when there’s an issue with your Git repository, preventing you from accessing or updating the repository status.

Common causes of “Error obtaining VCS status: exit status 128”

There are several reasons why you might encounter this error, including:

  • Corrupted repository data
  • Missing or misconfigured Git configuration files
  • Incorrect file permissions
  • Network issues or firewalls preventing access to the remote repository

Troubleshooting and fixing the error

To resolve the “Error obtaining VCS status: exit status 128” error, try the following steps:

a. Verify your Git installation and configuration

First, ensure that Git is installed correctly and that you can access the Git command line. You can do this by running the following command in your terminal:

git --version

If Git is installed, this command will display the current version number. If not, consider reinstalling Git or updating your system’s PATH variable to include the Git executable.

b. Check the repository status

Run the following command in your terminal to check the repository status:

git status

If you receive an error message, this could indicate that your repository is corrupted or has missing configuration files. In this case, you might need to clone the repository again or manually fix the configuration files.

c. Verify file permissions

Check your file permissions to ensure you have the necessary read and write access to your repository. On Unix-based systems, you can use the following command to display file permissions:

ls -la

If necessary, update the permissions using the chmod command, or consult your system administrator for assistance.

d. Investigate network issues

Ensure that you have a stable internet connection and that there are no firewalls or proxies blocking access to your remote repository. You can test your connectivity by running the following command:

git ls-remote <repository-url>

Replace <repository-url> with the URL of your remote repository. If you can’t connect, consider adjusting your firewall settings or contacting your network administrator.

Preventing the error in the future

To avoid encountering the “Error obtaining VCS status: exit status 128” error in the future, consider the following best practices:

  • Regularly update your Git installation to the latest version
  • Keep backups of your repository to quickly restore in case of corruption
  • Use consistent naming conventions and folder structures for your repositories
  • Periodically review your network settings and firewall configurations


The “Error obtaining VCS status: exit status 128” error can be frustrating, but with the right troubleshooting steps and preventative measures, you can quickly resolve the issue and get back to developing your project. Remember, understanding the root cause of the error, checking your Git installation and configuration, verifying file permissions, and investigating network issues are crucial steps in resolving this problem. By implementing the best practices mentioned above, you’ll minimize the chances of encountering this error in the future.

Disclaimer: The code snippets and examples provided on this blog are for educational and informational purposes only. You are free to use, modify, and distribute the code as you see fit, but I make no warranties or guarantees regarding its accuracy or suitability for any specific purpose. By using the code from this blog, you agree that I will not be held responsible for any issues or damages that may arise from its use. Always exercise caution and thoroughly test any code in your own development environment before using it in a production setting.

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