git-branch - List, create, or delete branches
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 | --no-track] [-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 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 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 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.
This option is only applicable in non-verbose mode.
-v, -vv, --verbose
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 switch, 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.
-u <upstream>, --set-upstream-to=<upstream>
pager.branch is only respected when listing branches, i.e., when --list is used or implied. The default is to use a pager. See git-config(1).
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 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://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
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>
2. for-each-ref can take a wide range of options. See git-for-each-ref(1)
Patterns will normally need quoting.
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:
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.
Part of the git(1) suite
- “Understanding history: What is a branch?”