git-branch(1) — Linux manual page


GIT-BRANCH(1)                  Git Manual                  GIT-BRANCH(1)

NAME         top

       git-branch - List, create, or delete branches

SYNOPSIS         top

       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>]

DESCRIPTION         top

       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

       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 branch).

       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 HEAD.

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

OPTIONS         top

       -d, --delete
           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

       -f, --force
           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

           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

       -m, --move
           Move/rename a branch, together with its config and reflog.

           Shortcut for --move --force.

       -c, --copy
           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.

       -i, --ignore-case
           Sorting and filtering branches are case insensitive.

           Do not print a newline after formatted refs where the format
           expands to the empty string.

       --column[=<options>], --no-column
           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

           This option is only applicable in non-verbose mode.

       -r, --remotes
           List or delete (if used with -d) the remote-tracking
           branches. Combine with --list to match the optional

       -a, --all
           List both remote-tracking branches and local branches.
           Combine with --list to match optional pattern(s).

       -l, --list
           List branches. With optional <pattern>..., e.g.  git branch
           --list 'maint-*', list only the branches that match the

           Print the name of the current branch. In detached HEAD state,
           nothing is printed.

       -v, -vv, --verbose
           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).

       -q, --quiet
           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.

       -t, --track[=(direct|inherit)]
           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

           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 git-pull(1) and 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 git-config(1).
           Currently, only branch creation is supported.

           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-upstream-to=<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 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. If this option is omitted,
           the name of the current branch will be used instead.

           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 it 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 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 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

       Everything above this line in this section isn’t included from
       the git-config(1) documentation. The content that follows is the
       same as what’s found there:

           Tells git branch, git switch and git checkout to set up new
           branches so that git-pull(1) will appropriately merge from
           the starting point branch. Note that even if this option is
           not set, this behavior can be chosen per-branch using the
           --track and --no-track options. The valid settings are: false
           — no automatic setup is done; true — automatic setup is done
           when the starting point is a remote-tracking branch; always —
           automatic setup is done when the starting point is either a
           local branch or remote-tracking branch; inherit — if the
           starting point has a tracking configuration, it is copied to
           the new branch; simple — automatic setup is done only when
           the starting point is a remote-tracking branch and the new
           branch has the same name as the remote branch. This option
           defaults to true.

           When a new branch is created with git branch, git switch or
           git checkout that tracks another branch, this variable tells
           Git to set up pull to rebase instead of merge (see
           "branch.<name>.rebase"). When never, rebase is never
           automatically set to true. When local, rebase is set to true
           for tracked branches of other local branches. When remote,
           rebase is set to true for tracked branches of remote-tracking
           branches. When always, rebase will be set to true for all
           tracking branches. See "branch.autoSetupMerge" for details on
           how to set up a branch to track another branch. This option
           defaults to never.

           This variable controls the sort ordering of branches when
           displayed by git-branch(1). Without the "--sort=<value>"
           option provided, the value of this variable will be used as
           the default. See git-for-each-ref(1) field names for valid

           When on branch <name>, it tells git fetch and git push which
           remote to fetch from or push to. The remote to push to may be
           overridden with remote.pushDefault (for all branches). The
           remote to push to, for the current branch, may be further
           overridden by branch.<name>.pushRemote. If no remote is
           configured, or if you are not on any branch and there is more
           than one remote defined in the repository, it defaults to
           origin for fetching and remote.pushDefault for pushing.
           Additionally, .  (a period) is the current local repository
           (a dot-repository), see branch.<name>.merge's final note

           When on branch <name>, it overrides branch.<name>.remote for
           pushing. It also overrides remote.pushDefault for pushing
           from branch <name>. When you pull from one place (e.g. your
           upstream) and push to another place (e.g. your own publishing
           repository), you would want to set remote.pushDefault to
           specify the remote to push to for all branches, and use this
           option to override it for a specific branch.

           Defines, together with branch.<name>.remote, the upstream
           branch for the given branch. It tells git fetch/git pull/git
           rebase which branch to merge and can also affect git push
           (see push.default). When in branch <name>, it tells git fetch
           the default refspec to be marked for merging in FETCH_HEAD.
           The value is handled like the remote part of a refspec, and
           must match a ref which is fetched from the remote given by
           "branch.<name>.remote". The merge information is used by git
           pull (which first calls git fetch) to lookup the default
           branch for merging. Without this option, git pull defaults to
           merge the first refspec fetched. Specify multiple values to
           get an octopus merge. If you wish to setup git pull so that
           it merges into <name> from another branch in the local
           repository, you can point branch.<name>.merge to the desired
           branch, and use the relative path setting .  (a period) for

           Sets default options for merging into branch <name>. The
           syntax and supported options are the same as those of
           git-merge(1), but option values containing whitespace
           characters are currently not supported.

           When true, rebase the branch <name> on top of the fetched
           branch, instead of merging the default branch from the
           default remote when "git pull" is run. See "pull.rebase" for
           doing this in a non branch-specific manner.

           When merges (or just m), pass the --rebase-merges option to
           git rebase so that the local merge commits are included in
           the rebase (see git-rebase(1) for details).

           When the value is interactive (or just i), the rebase is run
           in interactive mode.

           NOTE: this is a possibly dangerous operation; do not use it
           unless you understand the implications (see git-rebase(1) for

           Branch description, can be edited with git branch
           --edit-description. Branch description is automatically added
           to the format-patch cover letter or request-pull summary.

EXAMPLES         top

       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 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

       Patterns will normally need quoting.

NOTES         top

       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.

       When combining multiple --contains and --no-contains filters,
       only references that contain at least one of the --contains
       commits and contain none of the --no-contains commits are shown.

       When combining multiple --merged and --no-merged filters, only
       references that are reachable from at least one of the --merged
       commits and from none of the --no-merged commits are shown.

SEE ALSO         top

       git-check-ref-format(1), git-fetch(1), git-remote(1),
       “Understanding history: What is a branch?”[1] in the Git User’s

GIT         top

       Part of the git(1) suite

NOTES         top

        1. “Understanding history: What is a branch?”

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the git (Git distributed version control
       system) project.  Information about the project can be found at
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug report for this manual
       page, see ⟨⟩.  This page was obtained
       from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨⟩ on 2024-06-14.  (At that time,
       the date of the most recent commit that was found in the
       repository was 2024-06-12.)  If you discover any rendering
       problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe there
       is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
       corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to

Git         2024-06-12                  GIT-BRANCH(1)

Pages that refer to this page: git(1)git-branch(1)git-checkout(1)git-config(1)git-p4(1)git-pull(1)git-remote(1)git-replace(1)git-switch(1)git-worktree(1)giteveryday(7)