Git branch

Uit De Vliegende Brigade
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Juhu! I created my first branch, called list, eventhough it happened accidentially through git branch list
And here is the same list, now within Sublime Merge

Use git branch to list, create or delete branches.

List branches

  • Use git branch or git branch --list to list branches
  • Note that git branch list will actually create a branch called list.

Create branches

Use git branch <branch-name> to create a new branch. This will be a clone of something, probably of the clone that is active at that moment.

Delete branches

Use git branch -d <branch-name> to delete a branch. E.g.:

$ git branch -d list

Deleted branch list (was 0d49bc5).

to delete the branch called list that was accidentially created earlier.

Appendix: man page

$ git help branch

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

       git-branch - List, create, or delete branches

       git branch 
               [--color[=<when>] | --no-color]
               [-v [--abbrev=<length> | --no-abbrev]]
               [--column[=<options>] | --no-column]
               [(--merged | --no-merged) [<commit>]]
               [--contains [<commit]] [--no-contains [<commit>]]
               [--points-at <object>]
               [(-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 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 git-remote(1) for a way to clean up all obsolete
       remote-tracking branches.

       -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 core.logAllRefUpdates.

       -f, --force
           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).

       -m, --move
           Move/rename a branch and the corresponding reflog.

           Shortcut for --move --force.

       -c, --copy
           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

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

       --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 respectively.

           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 pattern(s).

           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.

           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.

       -t, --track
           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 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.

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

           As this option had confusing syntax, it is no longer supported. Please use --track or --set-upstream-to

       -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

           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 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 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 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 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 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:

       •   --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.

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

       Part of the git(1) suite

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

Git 2.25.1                                           04/26/2023                                       GIT-BRANCH(1)