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git-checkout-index - Copy files from the index to the working directory
'git-checkout-index' [-u] [-q] [-a] [-f] [-n] [--prefix=<string>]
[--stage=<number>] [--] <file>...
Will copy all files listed from the index to the working directory
(not overwriting existing files).
update stat information for the checked out entries in
the index file.
be quiet if files exist or are not in the index
forces overwrite of existing files
checks out all files in the index. Cannot be used
together with explicit filenames.
Don't checkout new files, only refresh files already checked
When creating files, prepend <string> (usually a directory
including a trailing /)
Instead of checking out unmerged entries, copy out the
files from named stage. <number> must be between 1 and 3.
Do not interpret any more arguments as options.
The order of the flags used to matter, but not anymore.
Just doing `git-checkout-index` does nothing. You probably meant
`git-checkout-index -a`. And if you want to force it, you want
`git-checkout-index -f -a`.
Intuitiveness is not the goal here. Repeatability is. The reason for
the "no arguments means no work" behavior is that from scripts you are
supposed to be able to do:
$ find . -name '*.h' -print0 | xargs -0 git-checkout-index -f --
which will force all existing `*.h` files to be replaced with their
cached copies. If an empty command line implied "all", then this would
force-refresh everything in the index, which was not the point.
The `--` is just a good idea when you know the rest will be filenames;
it will prevent problems with a filename of, for example, `-a`.
Using `--` is probably a good policy in scripts.
To update and refresh only the files already checked out::
$ git-checkout-index -n -f -a && git-update-index --ignore-missing --refresh
Using `git-checkout-index` to "export an entire tree"::
The prefix ability basically makes it trivial to use
`git-checkout-index` as an "export as tree" function.
Just read the desired tree into the index, and do:
$ git-checkout-index --prefix=git-export-dir/ -a
`git-checkout-index` will "export" the index into the specified
The final "/" is important. The exported name is literally just
prefixed with the specified string. Contrast this with the
following example.
Export files with a prefix::
$ git-checkout-index --prefix=.merged- Makefile
This will check out the currently cached copy of `Makefile`
into the file `.merged-Makefile`.
Written by Linus Torvalds <>
Documentation by David Greaves,
Junio C Hamano and the git-list <>.
Part of the gitlink:git[7] suite