Git --distributed-is-the-new-centralized
Topics ▾ Version 1.7.5 ▾ git-branch last updated in 2.0.3

SYNOPSIS

git branch [--color[=<when>] | --no-color] [-r | -a]
[-v [--abbrev=<length> | --no-abbrev]]
[(--merged | --no-merged | --contains) [<commit>]]
git branch [--set-upstream | --track | --no-track] [-l] [-f] <branchname> [<start-point>]
git branch (-m | -M) [<oldbranch>] <newbranch>
git branch (-d | -D) [-r] <branchname>...

DESCRIPTION

With no arguments, existing branches are listed and the current branch will be highlighted with an asterisk. Option -r causes the remote-tracking branches to be listed, and option -a shows both.

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). 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 branch).

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 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.

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.

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 git-remote(1) for a way to clean up all obsolete remote-tracking branches.

OPTIONS

-d

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.

-D

Delete a branch irrespective of its merged status.

-l

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.

-f
--force

Reset <branchname> to <startpoint> if <branchname> exists already. Without -f git branch refuses to change an existing branch.

-m

Move/rename a branch and the corresponding reflog.

-M

Move/rename a branch even if the new branch name already exists.

--color[=<when>]

Color branches to highlight current, local, and remote-tracking branches. The value must be always (the default), never, or auto.

--no-color

Turn off branch colors, even when the configuration file gives the default to color output. Same as --color=never.

-r

List or delete (if used with -d) the remote-tracking branches.

-a

List both remote-tracking branches and local branches.

-v
--verbose

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.

--abbrev=<length>

Alter the sha1's minimum display length in the output listing. The default value is 7.

--no-abbrev

Display the full sha1s in the output listing rather than abbreviating them.

-t
--track

When creating a new branch, set up configuration 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.

--no-track

Do not set up "upstream" configuration, even if the branch.autosetupmerge configuration variable is true.

--set-upstream

If specified branch does not exist yet or if --force has been given, acts exactly like --track. Otherwise sets up configuration like --track would when creating the branch, except that where branch points to is not changed.

--contains <commit>

Only list branches which contain the specified commit.

--merged [<commit>]

Only list branches whose tips are reachable from the specified commit (HEAD if not specified).

--no-merged [<commit>]

Only list branches whose tips are not reachable from the specified commit (HEAD if not specified).

<branchname>

The name of the branch to create or delete. The new branch name must pass all checks defined by git-check-ref-format(1). Some of these checks may restrict the characters allowed in a branch name.

<start-point>

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.

<oldbranch>

The name of an existing branch to rename.

<newbranch>

The new name for an existing branch. The same restrictions as for <branchname> apply.

Examples

Start development from a known tag
$ git clone git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/.../linux-2.6 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://git.kernel.org/.../git.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 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.

Notes

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, --merged and --no-merged serve three 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>.

  • --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.

GIT

Part of the git(1) suite