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git-branch - List, create, or delete branches
'git branch' [--color[=<when>] | --no-color] [-r | -a]
[--list] [-v [--abbrev=<length> | --no-abbrev]]
[--column[=<options>] | --no-column] [--sort=<key>]
[(--merged | --no-merged) [<commit>]]
[--contains [<commit]] [--no-contains [<commit>]]
[--points-at <object>] [--format=<format>] [<pattern>...]
'git branch' [--track | --no-track] [-l] [-f] <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 with an
asterisk. 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 is 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.
Note that this will create the new branch, but it will not switch the
working tree to it; use "git checkout <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 along with its
config and reflog will be copied to a new name.
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
The `-l` option is a deprecated synonym for `--create-reflog`.
Reset <branchname> to <startpoint>, 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. 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`).
Move/rename a branch and the corresponding reflog.
Shortcut for `--move --force`.
Copy a branch and the corresponding 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.
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.
List both remote-tracking branches and local branches.
List branches. With optional `<pattern>...`, e.g. `git
branch --list 'maint-*'`, list only the branches that match
the pattern(s).
This should not be confused with `git branch -l <branchname>`,
which creates a branch named `<branchname>` with a reflog.
See `--create-reflog` above for details.
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 name of the upstream branch, as well (see also `git remote
show <remote>`).
Be more quiet when creating or deleting a branch, suppressing
non-error messages.
Alter the sha1's minimum display length in the output listing.
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 mark the
start-point branch as "upstream" from 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.
This behavior is the default when the start point is a remote-tracking branch.
Set the branch.autoSetupMerge configuration variable to `false` if you
want `git checkout` and `git branch` to always behave as if `--no-track`
were given. Set it to `always` if you want this behavior when the
start-point is either a local or remote-tracking branch.
Do not set up "upstream" configuration, even if the
branch.autoSetupMerge configuration variable is true.
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`,
incompatible with `--no-merged`.
--no-merged [<commit>]::
Only list branches whose tips are not reachable from the
specified commit (HEAD if not specified). Implies `--list`,
incompatible with `--merged`.
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 checkout 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.
If you are creating a branch that you want to checkout immediately, it is
easier to use the git checkout command with its `-b` option to create
a branch and check it out 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