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git-checkout - Checkout and switch to a branch
'git-checkout' [-f] [-b <new_branch> [-l]] [-m] [<branch>]
'git-checkout' [-m] [<branch>] <paths>...
When <paths> are not given, this command switches branches by
updating the index and working tree to reflect the specified
branch, <branch>, and updating HEAD to be <branch> or, if
specified, <new_branch>. Using -b will cause <new_branch> to
be created.
When <paths> are given, this command does *not* switch
branches. It updates the named paths in the working tree from
the index file (i.e. it runs `git-checkout-index -f -u`). In
this case, `-f` and `-b` options are meaningless and giving
either of them results in an error. <branch> argument can be
used to specify a specific tree-ish to update the index for the
given paths before updating the working tree.
Force a re-read of everything.
Create a new branch named <new_branch> and start it at
<branch>. The new branch name must pass all checks defined
by gitlink:git-check-ref-format[1]. Some of these checks
may restrict the characters allowed in a branch name.
Create the new branch's ref log. This activates recording of
all changes to made the branch ref, enabling use of date
based sha1 expressions such as "<branchname>@{yesterday}".
If you have local modifications to one or more files that
are different between the current branch and the branch to
which you are switching, the command refuses to switch
branches in order to preserve your modifications in context.
However, with this option, a three-way merge between the current
branch, your working tree contents, and the new branch
is done, and you will be on the new branch.
When a merge conflict happens, the index entries for conflicting
paths are left unmerged, and you need to resolve the conflicts
and mark the resolved paths with `git update-index`.
Name for the new branch.
Branch to checkout; may be any object ID that resolves to a
commit. Defaults to HEAD.
. The following sequence checks out the `master` branch, reverts
the `Makefile` to two revisions back, deletes hello.c by
mistake, and gets it back from the index.
$ git checkout master <1>
$ git checkout master~2 Makefile <2>
$ rm -f hello.c
$ git checkout hello.c <3>
<1> switch branch
<2> take out a file out of other commit
<3> restore hello.c from HEAD of current branch
If you have an unfortunate branch that is named `hello.c`, this
step would be confused as an instruction to switch to that branch.
You should instead write:
$ git checkout -- hello.c
. After working in a wrong branch, switching to the correct
branch would be done using:
$ git checkout mytopic
However, your "wrong" branch and correct "mytopic" branch may
differ in files that you have locally modified, in which case,
the above checkout would fail like this:
$ git checkout mytopic
fatal: Entry 'frotz' not uptodate. Cannot merge.
You can give the `-m` flag to the command, which would try a
three-way merge:
$ git checkout -m mytopic
Auto-merging frotz
After this three-way merge, the local modifications are _not_
registered in your index file, so `git diff` would show you what
changes you made since the tip of the new branch.
. When a merge conflict happens during switching branches with
the `-m` option, you would see something like this:
$ git checkout -m mytopic
Auto-merging frotz
merge: warning: conflicts during merge
ERROR: Merge conflict in frotz
fatal: merge program failed
At this point, `git diff` shows the changes cleanly merged as in
the previous example, as well as the changes in the conflicted
files. Edit and resolve the conflict and mark it resolved with
`git update-index` as usual:
$ edit frotz
$ git update-index frotz
Written by Linus Torvalds <>
Documentation by Junio C Hamano and the git-list <>.
Part of the gitlink:git[7] suite