git-worktree(1) — Linux manual page


GIT-WORKTREE(1)                Git Manual                GIT-WORKTREE(1)

NAME         top

       git-worktree - Manage multiple working trees

SYNOPSIS         top

       git worktree add [-f] [--detach] [--checkout] [--lock [--reason <string>]] [-b <new-branch>] <path> [<commit-ish>]
       git worktree list [--porcelain]
       git worktree lock [--reason <string>] <worktree>
       git worktree move <worktree> <new-path>
       git worktree prune [-n] [-v] [--expire <expire>]
       git worktree remove [-f] <worktree>
       git worktree repair [<path>...]
       git worktree unlock <worktree>

DESCRIPTION         top

       Manage multiple working trees attached to the same repository.

       A git repository can support multiple working trees, allowing you
       to check out more than one branch at a time. With git worktree
       add a new working tree is associated with the repository. This
       new working tree is called a "linked working tree" as opposed to
       the "main working tree" prepared by git-init(1) or git-clone(1).
       A repository has one main working tree (if it’s not a bare
       repository) and zero or more linked working trees. When you are
       done with a linked working tree, remove it with git worktree

       In its simplest form, git worktree add <path> automatically
       creates a new branch whose name is the final component of <path>,
       which is convenient if you plan to work on a new topic. For
       instance, git worktree add ../hotfix creates new branch hotfix
       and checks it out at path ../hotfix. To instead work on an
       existing branch in a new working tree, use git worktree add
       <path> <branch>. On the other hand, if you just plan to make some
       experimental changes or do testing without disturbing existing
       development, it is often convenient to create a throwaway working
       tree not associated with any branch. For instance, git worktree
       add -d <path> creates a new working tree with a detached HEAD at
       the same commit as the current branch.

       If a working tree is deleted without using git worktree remove,
       then its associated administrative files, which reside in the
       repository (see "DETAILS" below), will eventually be removed
       automatically (see gc.worktreePruneExpire in git-config(1)), or
       you can run git worktree prune in the main or any linked working
       tree to clean up any stale administrative files.

       If a linked working tree is stored on a portable device or
       network share which is not always mounted, you can prevent its
       administrative files from being pruned by issuing the git
       worktree lock command, optionally specifying --reason to explain
       why the working tree is locked.

COMMANDS         top

       add <path> [<commit-ish>]
           Create <path> and checkout <commit-ish> into it. The new
           working directory is linked to the current repository,
           sharing everything except working directory specific files
           such as HEAD, index, etc. As a convenience, <commit-ish> may
           be a bare "-", which is synonymous with @{-1}.

           If <commit-ish> is a branch name (call it <branch>) and is
           not found, and neither -b nor -B nor --detach are used, but
           there does exist a tracking branch in exactly one remote
           (call it <remote>) with a matching name, treat as equivalent

               $ git worktree add --track -b <branch> <path> <remote>/<branch>

           If the branch exists in multiple remotes and one of them is
           named by the checkout.defaultRemote configuration variable,
           we’ll use that one for the purposes of disambiguation, even
           if the <branch> isn’t unique across all remotes. Set it to
           e.g.  checkout.defaultRemote=origin to always checkout remote
           branches from there if <branch> is ambiguous but exists on
           the origin remote. See also checkout.defaultRemote in

           If <commit-ish> is omitted and neither -b nor -B nor --detach
           used, then, as a convenience, the new working tree is
           associated with a branch (call it <branch>) named after
           $(basename <path>). If <branch> doesn’t exist, a new branch
           based on HEAD is automatically created as if -b <branch> was
           given. If <branch> does exist, it will be checked out in the
           new working tree, if it’s not checked out anywhere else,
           otherwise the command will refuse to create the working tree
           (unless --force is used).

           List details of each working tree. The main working tree is
           listed first, followed by each of the linked working trees.
           The output details include whether the working tree is bare,
           the revision currently checked out, the branch currently
           checked out (or "detached HEAD" if none), "locked" if the
           worktree is locked, "prunable" if the worktree can be pruned
           by prune command.

           If a working tree is on a portable device or network share
           which is not always mounted, lock it to prevent its
           administrative files from being pruned automatically. This
           also prevents it from being moved or deleted. Optionally,
           specify a reason for the lock with --reason.

           Move a working tree to a new location. Note that the main
           working tree or linked working trees containing submodules
           cannot be moved with this command. (The git worktree repair
           command, however, can reestablish the connection with linked
           working trees if you move the main working tree manually.)

           Prune working tree information in $GIT_DIR/worktrees.

           Remove a working tree. Only clean working trees (no untracked
           files and no modification in tracked files) can be removed.
           Unclean working trees or ones with submodules can be removed
           with --force. The main working tree cannot be removed.

       repair [<path>...]
           Repair working tree administrative files, if possible, if
           they have become corrupted or outdated due to external

           For instance, if the main working tree (or bare repository)
           is moved, linked working trees will be unable to locate it.
           Running repair in the main working tree will reestablish the
           connection from linked working trees back to the main working

           Similarly, if a linked working tree is moved without using
           git worktree move, the main working tree (or bare repository)
           will be unable to locate it. Running repair within the
           recently-moved working tree will reestablish the connection.
           If multiple linked working trees are moved, running repair
           from any working tree with each tree’s new <path> as an
           argument, will reestablish the connection to all the
           specified paths.

           If both the main working tree and linked working trees have
           been moved manually, then running repair in the main working
           tree and specifying the new <path> of each linked working
           tree will reestablish all connections in both directions.

           Unlock a working tree, allowing it to be pruned, moved or

OPTIONS         top

       -f, --force
           By default, add refuses to create a new working tree when
           <commit-ish> is a branch name and is already checked out by
           another working tree, or if <path> is already assigned to
           some working tree but is missing (for instance, if <path> was
           deleted manually). This option overrides these safeguards. To
           add a missing but locked working tree path, specify --force

           move refuses to move a locked working tree unless --force is
           specified twice. If the destination is already assigned to
           some other working tree but is missing (for instance, if
           <new-path> was deleted manually), then --force allows the
           move to proceed; use --force twice if the destination is

           remove refuses to remove an unclean working tree unless
           --force is used. To remove a locked working tree, specify
           --force twice.

       -b <new-branch>, -B <new-branch>
           With add, create a new branch named <new-branch> starting at
           <commit-ish>, and check out <new-branch> into the new working
           tree. If <commit-ish> is omitted, it defaults to HEAD. By
           default, -b refuses to create a new branch if it already
           exists.  -B overrides this safeguard, resetting <new-branch>
           to <commit-ish>.

       -d, --detach
           With add, detach HEAD in the new working tree. See "DETACHED
           HEAD" in git-checkout(1).

           By default, add checks out <commit-ish>, however,
           --no-checkout can be used to suppress checkout in order to
           make customizations, such as configuring sparse-checkout. See
           "Sparse checkout" in git-read-tree(1).

           With worktree add <path>, without <commit-ish>, instead of
           creating a new branch from HEAD, if there exists a tracking
           branch in exactly one remote matching the basename of <path>,
           base the new branch on the remote-tracking branch, and mark
           the remote-tracking branch as "upstream" from the new branch.

           This can also be set up as the default behaviour by using the
           worktree.guessRemote config option.

           When creating a new branch, if <commit-ish> is a branch, mark
           it as "upstream" from the new branch. This is the default if
           <commit-ish> is a remote-tracking branch. See --track in
           git-branch(1) for details.

           Keep the working tree locked after creation. This is the
           equivalent of git worktree lock after git worktree add, but
           without a race condition.

       -n, --dry-run
           With prune, do not remove anything; just report what it would

           With list, output in an easy-to-parse format for scripts.
           This format will remain stable across Git versions and
           regardless of user configuration. See below for details.

       -q, --quiet
           With add, suppress feedback messages.

       -v, --verbose
           With prune, report all removals.

           With list, output additional information about worktrees (see

       --expire <time>
           With prune, only expire unused working trees older than

           With list, annotate missing working trees as prunable if they
           are older than <time>.

       --reason <string>
           With lock or with add --lock, an explanation why the working
           tree is locked.

           Working trees can be identified by path, either relative or

           If the last path components in the working tree’s path is
           unique among working trees, it can be used to identify a
           working tree. For example if you only have two working trees,
           at /abc/def/ghi and /abc/def/ggg, then ghi or def/ghi is
           enough to point to the former working tree.

REFS         top

       In multiple working trees, some refs may be shared between all
       working trees and some refs are local. One example is HEAD which
       is different for each working tree. This section is about the
       sharing rules and how to access refs of one working tree from

       In general, all pseudo refs are per working tree and all refs
       starting with refs/ are shared. Pseudo refs are ones like HEAD
       which are directly under $GIT_DIR instead of inside
       $GIT_DIR/refs. There are exceptions, however: refs inside
       refs/bisect and refs/worktree are not shared.

       Refs that are per working tree can still be accessed from another
       working tree via two special paths, main-worktree and worktrees.
       The former gives access to per-working tree refs of the main
       working tree, while the latter to all linked working trees.

       For example, main-worktree/HEAD or main-worktree/refs/bisect/good
       resolve to the same value as the main working tree’s HEAD and
       refs/bisect/good respectively. Similarly, worktrees/foo/HEAD or
       worktrees/bar/refs/bisect/bad are the same as
       $GIT_COMMON_DIR/worktrees/foo/HEAD and

       To access refs, it’s best not to look inside $GIT_DIR directly.
       Instead use commands such as git-rev-parse(1) or
       git-update-ref(1) which will handle refs correctly.


       By default, the repository config file is shared across all
       working trees. If the config variables core.bare or core.worktree
       are already present in the config file, they will be applied to
       the main working trees only.

       In order to have configuration specific to working trees, you can
       turn on the worktreeConfig extension, e.g.:

           $ git config extensions.worktreeConfig true

       In this mode, specific configuration stays in the path pointed by
       git rev-parse --git-path config.worktree. You can add or update
       configuration in this file with git config --worktree. Older Git
       versions will refuse to access repositories with this extension.

       Note that in this file, the exception for core.bare and
       core.worktree is gone. If they exist in $GIT_DIR/config, you must
       move them to the config.worktree of the main working tree. You
       may also take this opportunity to review and move other
       configuration that you do not want to share to all working trees:

       •   core.worktree and core.bare should never be shared

       •   core.sparseCheckout is recommended per working tree, unless
           you are sure you always use sparse checkout for all working

DETAILS         top

       Each linked working tree has a private sub-directory in the
       repository’s $GIT_DIR/worktrees directory. The private
       sub-directory’s name is usually the base name of the linked
       working tree’s path, possibly appended with a number to make it
       unique. For example, when $GIT_DIR=/path/main/.git the command
       git worktree add /path/other/test-next next creates the linked
       working tree in /path/other/test-next and also creates a
       $GIT_DIR/worktrees/test-next directory (or
       $GIT_DIR/worktrees/test-next1 if test-next is already taken).

       Within a linked working tree, $GIT_DIR is set to point to this
       private directory (e.g. /path/main/.git/worktrees/test-next in
       the example) and $GIT_COMMON_DIR is set to point back to the main
       working tree’s $GIT_DIR (e.g. /path/main/.git). These settings
       are made in a .git file located at the top directory of the
       linked working tree.

       Path resolution via git rev-parse --git-path uses either $GIT_DIR
       or $GIT_COMMON_DIR depending on the path. For example, in the
       linked working tree git rev-parse --git-path HEAD returns
       /path/main/.git/worktrees/test-next/HEAD (not
       /path/other/test-next/.git/HEAD or /path/main/.git/HEAD) while
       git rev-parse --git-path refs/heads/master uses $GIT_COMMON_DIR
       and returns /path/main/.git/refs/heads/master, since refs are
       shared across all working trees, except refs/bisect and

       See gitrepository-layout(5) for more information. The rule of
       thumb is do not make any assumption about whether a path belongs
       to $GIT_DIR or $GIT_COMMON_DIR when you need to directly access
       something inside $GIT_DIR. Use git rev-parse --git-path to get
       the final path.

       If you manually move a linked working tree, you need to update
       the gitdir file in the entry’s directory. For example, if a
       linked working tree is moved to /newpath/test-next and its .git
       file points to /path/main/.git/worktrees/test-next, then update
       /path/main/.git/worktrees/test-next/gitdir to reference
       /newpath/test-next instead. Better yet, run git worktree repair
       to reestablish the connection automatically.

       To prevent a $GIT_DIR/worktrees entry from being pruned (which
       can be useful in some situations, such as when the entry’s
       working tree is stored on a portable device), use the git
       worktree lock command, which adds a file named locked to the
       entry’s directory. The file contains the reason in plain text.
       For example, if a linked working tree’s .git file points to
       /path/main/.git/worktrees/test-next then a file named
       /path/main/.git/worktrees/test-next/locked will prevent the
       test-next entry from being pruned. See gitrepository-layout(5)
       for details.

       When extensions.worktreeConfig is enabled, the config file
       .git/worktrees/<id>/config.worktree is read after .git/config is.


       The worktree list command has two output formats. The default
       format shows the details on a single line with columns. For

           $ git worktree list
           /path/to/bare-source            (bare)
           /path/to/linked-worktree        abcd1234 [master]
           /path/to/other-linked-worktree  1234abc  (detached HEAD)

       The command also shows annotations for each working tree,
       according to its state. These annotations are:

       •   locked, if the working tree is locked.

       •   prunable, if the working tree can be pruned via git worktree

           $ git worktree list
           /path/to/linked-worktree    abcd1234 [master]
           /path/to/locked-worktree    acbd5678 (brancha) locked
           /path/to/prunable-worktree  5678abc  (detached HEAD) prunable

       For these annotations, a reason might also be available and this
       can be seen using the verbose mode. The annotation is then moved
       to the next line indented followed by the additional information.

           $ git worktree list --verbose
           /path/to/linked-worktree              abcd1234 [master]
           /path/to/locked-worktree-no-reason    abcd5678 (detached HEAD) locked
           /path/to/locked-worktree-with-reason  1234abcd (brancha)
                   locked: working tree path is mounted on a portable device
           /path/to/prunable-worktree            5678abc1 (detached HEAD)
                   prunable: gitdir file points to non-existent location

       Note that the annotation is moved to the next line if the
       additional information is available, otherwise it stays on the
       same line as the working tree itself.

   Porcelain Format
       The porcelain format has a line per attribute. Attributes are
       listed with a label and value separated by a single space.
       Boolean attributes (like bare and detached) are listed as a label
       only, and are present only if the value is true. Some attributes
       (like locked) can be listed as a label only or with a value
       depending upon whether a reason is available. The first attribute
       of a working tree is always worktree, an empty line indicates the
       end of the record. For example:

           $ git worktree list --porcelain
           worktree /path/to/bare-source

           worktree /path/to/linked-worktree
           HEAD abcd1234abcd1234abcd1234abcd1234abcd1234
           branch refs/heads/master

           worktree /path/to/other-linked-worktree
           HEAD 1234abc1234abc1234abc1234abc1234abc1234a

           worktree /path/to/linked-worktree-locked-no-reason
           HEAD 5678abc5678abc5678abc5678abc5678abc5678c
           branch refs/heads/locked-no-reason

           worktree /path/to/linked-worktree-locked-with-reason
           HEAD 3456def3456def3456def3456def3456def3456b
           branch refs/heads/locked-with-reason
           locked reason why is locked

           worktree /path/to/linked-worktree-prunable
           HEAD 1233def1234def1234def1234def1234def1234b
           prunable gitdir file points to non-existent location

       If the lock reason contains "unusual" characters such as newline,
       they are escaped and the entire reason is quoted as explained for
       the configuration variable core.quotePath (see git-config(1)).
       For Example:

           $ git worktree list --porcelain
           locked "reason\nwhy is locked"

EXAMPLES         top

       You are in the middle of a refactoring session and your boss
       comes in and demands that you fix something immediately. You
       might typically use git-stash(1) to store your changes away
       temporarily, however, your working tree is in such a state of
       disarray (with new, moved, and removed files, and other bits and
       pieces strewn around) that you don’t want to risk disturbing any
       of it. Instead, you create a temporary linked working tree to
       make the emergency fix, remove it when done, and then resume your
       earlier refactoring session.

           $ git worktree add -b emergency-fix ../temp master
           $ pushd ../temp
           # ... hack hack hack ...
           $ git commit -a -m 'emergency fix for boss'
           $ popd
           $ git worktree remove ../temp

BUGS         top

       Multiple checkout in general is still experimental, and the
       support for submodules is incomplete. It is NOT recommended to
       make multiple checkouts of a superproject.

GIT         top

       Part of the git(1) suite

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 2021-08-27.  (At that time,
       the date of the most recent commit that was found in the
       repository was 2021-08-24.)  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         08/27/2021                GIT-WORKTREE(1)

Pages that refer to this page: git(1)git-config(1)git-log(1)git-rev-list(1)git-shortlog(1)gitrepository-layout(5)