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git-branch - List, create, or delete branches
'git branch' [--color[=<when>] | --no-color] [--show-current]
[-v [--abbrev=<n> | --no-abbrev]]
[--column[=<options>] | --no-column] [--sort=<key>]
[--merged [<commit>]] [--no-merged [<commit>]]
[--contains [<commit>]] [--no-contains [<commit>]]
[--points-at <object>] [--format=<format>]
[(-r | --remotes) | (-a | --all)]
[--list] [<pattern>...]
'git branch' [--track[=(direct|inherit)] | --no-track] [-f]
[--recurse-submodules] <branchname> [<start-point>]
'git branch' (--set-upstream-to=<upstream> | -u <upstream>) [<branchname>]
'git branch' --unset-upstream [<branchname>]
'git branch' (-m | -M) [<oldbranch>] <newbranch>
'git branch' (-c | -C) [<oldbranch>] <newbranch>
'git branch' (-d | -D) [-r] <branchname>...
'git branch' --edit-description [<branchname>]
If `--list` is given, or if there are no non-option arguments, existing
branches are listed; the current branch will be highlighted in green and
marked with an asterisk. Any branches checked out in linked worktrees will
be highlighted in cyan and marked with a plus sign. Option `-r` causes the
remote-tracking branches to be listed,
and option `-a` shows both local and remote branches.
If a `<pattern>`
is given, it is used as a shell wildcard to restrict the output to
matching branches. If multiple patterns are given, a branch is shown if
it matches any of the patterns.
Note that when providing a
`<pattern>`, you must use `--list`; otherwise the command may be interpreted
as branch creation.
With `--contains`, shows only the branches that contain the named commit
(in other words, the branches whose tip commits are descendants of the
named commit), `--no-contains` inverts it. With `--merged`, only branches
merged into the named commit (i.e. the branches whose tip commits are
reachable from the named commit) will be listed. With `--no-merged` only
branches not merged into the named commit will be listed. If the <commit>
argument is missing it defaults to `HEAD` (i.e. the tip of the current
The command's second form creates a new branch head named <branchname>
which points to the current `HEAD`, or <start-point> if given. As a
special case, for <start-point>, you may use `"A...B"` as a shortcut for
the merge base of `A` and `B` if there is exactly one merge base. You
can leave out at most one of `A` and `B`, in which case it defaults to
Note that this will create the new branch, but it will not switch the
working tree to it; use "git switch <newbranch>" to switch to the
new branch.
When a local branch is started off a remote-tracking branch, Git sets up the
branch (specifically the `branch.<name>.remote` and `branch.<name>.merge`
configuration entries) so that 'git pull' will appropriately merge from
the remote-tracking branch. This behavior may be changed via the global
`branch.autoSetupMerge` configuration flag. That setting can be
overridden by using the `--track` and `--no-track` options, and
changed later using `git branch --set-upstream-to`.
With a `-m` or `-M` option, <oldbranch> will be renamed to <newbranch>.
If <oldbranch> had a corresponding reflog, it is renamed to match
<newbranch>, and a reflog entry is created to remember the branch
renaming. If <newbranch> exists, -M must be used to force the rename
to happen.
The `-c` and `-C` options have the exact same semantics as `-m` and
`-M`, except instead of the branch being renamed, it will be copied to a
new name, along with its config and reflog.
With a `-d` or `-D` option, `<branchname>` will be deleted. You may
specify more than one branch for deletion. If the branch currently
has a reflog then the reflog will also be deleted.
Use `-r` together with `-d` to delete remote-tracking branches. Note, that it
only makes sense to delete remote-tracking branches if they no longer exist
in the remote repository or if 'git fetch' was configured not to fetch
them again. See also the 'prune' subcommand of linkgit:git-remote[1] for a
way to clean up all obsolete remote-tracking branches.
Delete a branch. The branch must be fully merged in its
upstream branch, or in `HEAD` if no upstream was set with
`--track` or `--set-upstream-to`.
Shortcut for `--delete --force`.
Create the branch's reflog. This activates recording of
all changes made to the branch ref, enabling use of date
based sha1 expressions such as "<branchname>@\{yesterday}".
Note that in non-bare repositories, reflogs are usually
enabled by default by the `core.logAllRefUpdates` config option.
The negated form `--no-create-reflog` only overrides an earlier
`--create-reflog`, but currently does not negate the setting of
Reset <branchname> to <start-point>, even if <branchname> exists
already. Without `-f`, 'git branch' refuses to change an existing branch.
In combination with `-d` (or `--delete`), allow deleting the
branch irrespective of its merged status, or whether it even
points to a valid commit. In combination with
`-m` (or `--move`), allow renaming the branch even if the new
branch name already exists, the same applies for `-c` (or `--copy`).
Note that 'git branch -f <branchname> [<start-point>]', even with '-f',
refuses to change an existing branch `<branchname>` that is checked out
in another worktree linked to the same repository.
Move/rename a branch, together with its config and reflog.
Shortcut for `--move --force`.
Copy a branch, together with its config and reflog.
Shortcut for `--copy --force`.
Color branches to highlight current, local, and
remote-tracking branches.
The value must be always (the default), never, or auto.
Turn off branch colors, even when the configuration file gives the
default to color output.
Same as `--color=never`.
Sorting and filtering branches are case insensitive.
Do not print a newline after formatted refs where the format expands
to the empty string.
Display branch listing in columns. See configuration variable
`column.branch` for option syntax. `--column` and `--no-column`
without options are equivalent to 'always' and 'never' respectively.
This option is only applicable in non-verbose mode.
List or delete (if used with -d) the remote-tracking branches.
Combine with `--list` to match the optional pattern(s).
List both remote-tracking branches and local branches.
Combine with `--list` to match optional pattern(s).
List branches. With optional `<pattern>...`, e.g. `git
branch --list 'maint-*'`, list only the branches that match
the pattern(s).
Print the name of the current branch. In detached HEAD state,
nothing is printed.
When in list mode,
show sha1 and commit subject line for each head, along with
relationship to upstream branch (if any). If given twice, print
the path of the linked worktree (if any) and the name of the upstream
branch, as well (see also `git remote show <remote>`). Note that the
current worktree's HEAD will not have its path printed (it will always
be your current directory).
Be more quiet when creating or deleting a branch, suppressing
non-error messages.
In the verbose listing that show the commit object name,
show the shortest prefix that is at least '<n>' hexdigits
long that uniquely refers the object.
The default value is 7 and can be overridden by the `core.abbrev`
config option.
Display the full sha1s in the output listing rather than abbreviating them.
When creating a new branch, set up `branch.<name>.remote` and
`branch.<name>.merge` configuration entries to set "upstream" tracking
configuration for the new branch. This
configuration will tell git to show the relationship between the
two branches in `git status` and `git branch -v`. Furthermore,
it directs `git pull` without arguments to pull from the
upstream when the new branch is checked out.
The exact upstream branch is chosen depending on the optional argument:
`-t`, `--track`, or `--track=direct` means to use the start-point branch
itself as the upstream; `--track=inherit` means to copy the upstream
configuration of the start-point branch.
The branch.autoSetupMerge configuration variable specifies how `git switch`,
`git checkout` and `git branch` should behave when neither `--track` nor
`--no-track` are specified:
The default option, `true`, behaves as though `--track=direct`
were given whenever the start-point is a remote-tracking branch.
`false` behaves as if `--no-track` were given. `always` behaves as though
`--track=direct` were given. `inherit` behaves as though `--track=inherit`
were given. `simple` behaves as though `--track=direct` were given only when
the start-point is a remote-tracking branch and the new branch has the same
name as the remote branch.
See linkgit:git-pull[1] and linkgit:git-config[1] for additional discussion on
how the `branch.<name>.remote` and `branch.<name>.merge` options are used.
Do not set up "upstream" configuration, even if the
branch.autoSetupMerge configuration variable is set.
THIS OPTION IS EXPERIMENTAL! Causes the current command to
recurse into submodules if `submodule.propagateBranches` is
enabled. See `submodule.propagateBranches` in
linkgit:git-config[1]. Currently, only branch creation is
When used in branch creation, a new branch <branchname> will be created
in the superproject and all of the submodules in the superproject's
<start-point>. In submodules, the branch will point to the submodule
commit in the superproject's <start-point> but the branch's tracking
information will be set up based on the submodule's branches and remotes
e.g. `git branch --recurse-submodules topic origin/main` will create the
submodule branch "topic" that points to the submodule commit in the
superproject's "origin/main", but tracks the submodule's "origin/main".
As this option had confusing syntax, it is no longer supported.
Please use `--track` or `--set-upstream-to` instead.
-u <upstream>::
Set up <branchname>'s tracking information so <upstream> is
considered <branchname>'s upstream branch. If no <branchname>
is specified, then it defaults to the current branch.
Remove the upstream information for <branchname>. If no branch
is specified it defaults to the current branch.
Open an editor and edit the text to explain what the branch is
for, to be used by various other commands (e.g. `format-patch`,
`request-pull`, and `merge` (if enabled)). Multi-line explanations
may be used.
--contains [<commit>]::
Only list branches which contain the specified commit (HEAD
if not specified). Implies `--list`.
--no-contains [<commit>]::
Only list branches which don't contain the specified commit
(HEAD if not specified). Implies `--list`.
--merged [<commit>]::
Only list branches whose tips are reachable from the
specified commit (HEAD if not specified). Implies `--list`.
--no-merged [<commit>]::
Only list branches whose tips are not reachable from the
specified commit (HEAD if not specified). Implies `--list`.
The name of the branch to create or delete.
The new branch name must pass all checks defined by
linkgit:git-check-ref-format[1]. Some of these checks
may restrict the characters allowed in a branch name.
The new branch head will point to this commit. It may be
given as a branch name, a commit-id, or a tag. If this
option is omitted, the current HEAD will be used instead.
The name of an existing branch to rename.
The new name for an existing branch. The same restrictions as for
<branchname> apply.
Sort based on the key given. Prefix `-` to sort in descending
order of the value. You may use the --sort=<key> option
multiple times, in which case the last key becomes the primary
key. The keys supported are the same as those in `git
for-each-ref`. Sort order defaults to the value configured for the
`branch.sort` variable if exists, or to sorting based on the
full refname (including `refs/...` prefix). This lists
detached HEAD (if present) first, then local branches and
finally remote-tracking branches. See linkgit:git-config[1].
--points-at <object>::
Only list branches of the given object.
--format <format>::
A string that interpolates `%(fieldname)` from a branch ref being shown
and the object it points at. The format is the same as
that of linkgit:git-for-each-ref[1].
`pager.branch` is only respected when listing branches, i.e., when
`--list` is used or implied. The default is to use a pager.
See linkgit:git-config[1].
Start development from a known tag::
$ git clone git:// my2.6
$ cd my2.6
$ git branch my2.6.14 v2.6.14 <1>
$ git switch my2.6.14
<1> This step and the next one could be combined into a single step with
"checkout -b my2.6.14 v2.6.14".
Delete an unneeded branch::
$ git clone git:// my.git
$ cd my.git
$ git branch -d -r origin/todo origin/html origin/man <1>
$ git branch -D test <2>
<1> Delete the remote-tracking branches "todo", "html" and "man". The next
'fetch' or 'pull' will create them again unless you configure them not to.
See linkgit:git-fetch[1].
<2> Delete the "test" branch even if the "master" branch (or whichever branch
is currently checked out) does not have all commits from the test branch.
Listing branches from a specific remote::
$ git branch -r -l '<remote>/<pattern>' <1>
$ git for-each-ref 'refs/remotes/<remote>/<pattern>' <2>
<1> Using `-a` would conflate <remote> with any local branches you happen to
have been prefixed with the same <remote> pattern.
<2> `for-each-ref` can take a wide range of options. See linkgit:git-for-each-ref[1]
Patterns will normally need quoting.
If you are creating a branch that you want to switch to immediately,
it is easier to use the "git switch" command with its `-c` option to
do the same thing with a single command.
The options `--contains`, `--no-contains`, `--merged` and `--no-merged`
serve four related but different purposes:
- `--contains <commit>` is used to find all branches which will need
special attention if <commit> were to be rebased or amended, since those
branches contain the specified <commit>.
- `--no-contains <commit>` is the inverse of that, i.e. branches that don't
contain the specified <commit>.
- `--merged` is used to find all branches which can be safely deleted,
since those branches are fully contained by HEAD.
- `--no-merged` is used to find branches which are candidates for merging
into HEAD, since those branches are not fully contained by HEAD.
link:user-manual.html#what-is-a-branch[``Understanding history: What is
a branch?''] in the Git User's Manual.
Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite