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git-checkout(1)                   Git Manual                   git-checkout(1)


       git-checkout - Switch branches or restore working tree files


       git checkout [-q] [-f] [-m] [<branch>]
       git checkout [-q] [-f] [-m] --detach [<branch>]
       git checkout [-q] [-f] [-m] [--detach] <commit>
       git checkout [-q] [-f] [-m] [[-b|-B|--orphan] <new-branch>] [<start-point>]
       git checkout [-f] <tree-ish> [--] <pathspec>...
       git checkout [-f] <tree-ish> --pathspec-from-file=<file> [--pathspec-file-nul]
       git checkout [-f|--ours|--theirs|-m|--conflict=<style>] [--] <pathspec>...
       git checkout [-f|--ours|--theirs|-m|--conflict=<style>] --pathspec-from-file=<file> [--pathspec-file-nul]
       git checkout (-p|--patch) [<tree-ish>] [--] [<pathspec>...]


       Updates files in the working tree to match the version in the index or
       the specified tree. If no pathspec was given, git checkout will also
       update HEAD to set the specified branch as the current branch.

       git checkout [<branch>]
           To prepare for working on <branch>, switch to it by updating the
           index and the files in the working tree, and by pointing HEAD at
           the branch. Local modifications to the files in the working tree
           are kept, so that they can be committed to the <branch>.

           If <branch> is not found but there does exist a tracking branch in
           exactly one remote (call it <remote>) with a matching name and
           --no-guess is not specified, treat as equivalent to

               $ git checkout -b <branch> --track <remote>/<branch>

           You could omit <branch>, in which case the command degenerates to
           "check out the current branch", which is a glorified no-op with
           rather expensive side-effects to show only the tracking
           information, if it exists, for the current branch.

       git checkout -b|-B <new-branch> [<start-point>]
           Specifying -b causes a new branch to be created as if git-branch(1)
           were called and then checked out. In this case you can use the
           --track or --no-track options, which will be passed to git branch.
           As a convenience, --track without -b implies branch creation; see
           the description of --track below.

           If -B is given, <new-branch> is created if it doesn't exist;
           otherwise, it is reset. This is the transactional equivalent of

               $ git branch -f <branch> [<start-point>]
               $ git checkout <branch>

           that is to say, the branch is not reset/created unless "git
           checkout" is successful (e.g., when the branch is in use in another
           worktree, not just the current branch stays the same, but the
           branch is not reset to the start-point, either).

       git checkout --detach [<branch>], git checkout [--detach] <commit>
           Prepare to work on top of <commit>, by detaching HEAD at it (see
           "DETACHED HEAD" section), and updating the index and the files in
           the working tree. Local modifications to the files in the working
           tree are kept, so that the resulting working tree will be the state
           recorded in the commit plus the local modifications.

           When the <commit> argument is a branch name, the --detach option
           can be used to detach HEAD at the tip of the branch (git checkout
           <branch> would check out that branch without detaching HEAD).

           Omitting <branch> detaches HEAD at the tip of the current branch.

       git checkout [-f|--ours|--theirs|-m|--conflict=<style>] [<tree-ish>]
       [--] <pathspec>..., git checkout
       [-f|--ours|--theirs|-m|--conflict=<style>] [<tree-ish>]
       --pathspec-from-file=<file> [--pathspec-file-nul]
           Overwrite the contents of the files that match the pathspec. When
           the <tree-ish> (most often a commit) is not given, overwrite
           working tree with the contents in the index. When the <tree-ish> is
           given, overwrite both the index and the working tree with the
           contents at the <tree-ish>.

           The index may contain unmerged entries because of a previous failed
           merge. By default, if you try to check out such an entry from the
           index, the checkout operation will fail and nothing will be checked
           out. Using -f will ignore these unmerged entries. The contents from
           a specific side of the merge can be checked out of the index by
           using --ours or --theirs. With -m, changes made to the working tree
           file can be discarded to re-create the original conflicted merge

       git checkout (-p|--patch) [<tree-ish>] [--] [<pathspec>...]
           This is similar to the previous mode, but lets you use the
           interactive interface to show the "diff" output and choose which
           hunks to use in the result. See below for the description of
           --patch option.


       -q, --quiet
           Quiet, suppress feedback messages.

       --progress, --no-progress
           Progress status is reported on the standard error stream by default
           when it is attached to a terminal, unless --quiet is specified.
           This flag enables progress reporting even if not attached to a
           terminal, regardless of --quiet.

       -f, --force
           When switching branches, proceed even if the index or the working
           tree differs from HEAD, and even if there are untracked files in
           the way. This is used to throw away local changes and any untracked
           files or directories that are in the way.

           When checking out paths from the index, do not fail upon unmerged
           entries; instead, unmerged entries are ignored.

       --ours, --theirs
           When checking out paths from the index, check out stage #2 (ours)
           or #3 (theirs) for unmerged paths.

           Note that during git rebase and git pull --rebase, ours and theirs
           may appear swapped; --ours gives the version from the branch the
           changes are rebased onto, while --theirs gives the version from the
           branch that holds your work that is being rebased.

           This is because rebase is used in a workflow that treats the
           history at the remote as the shared canonical one, and treats the
           work done on the branch you are rebasing as the third-party work to
           be integrated, and you are temporarily assuming the role of the
           keeper of the canonical history during the rebase. As the keeper of
           the canonical history, you need to view the history from the remote
           as ours (i.e. "our shared canonical history"), while what you did
           on your side branch as theirs (i.e. "one contributor's work on top
           of it").

       -b <new-branch>
           Create a new branch named <new-branch>, start it at <start-point>,
           and check the resulting branch out; see git-branch(1) for details.

       -B <new-branch>
           Creates the branch <new-branch>, start it at <start-point>; if it
           already exists, then reset it to <start-point>. And then check the
           resulting branch out. This is equivalent to running "git branch"
           with "-f" followed by "git checkout" of that branch; see git-
       branch(1) for details.

       -t, --track[=(direct|inherit)]
           When creating a new branch, set up "upstream" configuration. See
           "--track" in git-branch(1) for details.

           If no -b option is given, the name of the new branch will be
           derived from the remote-tracking branch, by looking at the local
           part of the refspec configured for the corresponding remote, and
           then stripping the initial part up to the "*". This would tell us
           to use hack as the local branch when branching off of origin/hack
           (or remotes/origin/hack, or even refs/remotes/origin/hack). If the
           given name has no slash, or the above guessing results in an empty
           name, the guessing is aborted. You can explicitly give a name with
           -b in such a case.

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

       --guess, --no-guess
           If <branch> is not found but there does exist a tracking branch in
           exactly one remote (call it <remote>) with a matching name, treat
           as equivalent to

               $ git checkout -b <branch> --track <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 git-config(1).

           --guess is the default behavior. Use --no-guess to disable it.

           The default behavior can be set via the checkout.guess
           configuration variable.

           Create the new branch's reflog; see git-branch(1) for details.

       -d, --detach
           Rather than checking out a branch to work on it, check out a commit
           for inspection and discardable experiments. This is the default
           behavior of git checkout <commit> when <commit> is not a branch
           name. See the "DETACHED HEAD" section below for details.

       --orphan <new-branch>
           Create a new unborn branch, named <new-branch>, started from
           <start-point> and switch to it. The first commit made on this new
           branch will have no parents and it will be the root of a new
           history totally disconnected from all the other branches and

           The index and the working tree are adjusted as if you had
           previously run git checkout <start-point>. This allows you to start
           a new history that records a set of paths similar to <start-point>
           by easily running git commit -a to make the root commit.

           This can be useful when you want to publish the tree from a commit
           without exposing its full history. You might want to do this to
           publish an open source branch of a project whose current tree is
           "clean", but whose full history contains proprietary or otherwise
           encumbered bits of code.

           If you want to start a disconnected history that records a set of
           paths that is totally different from the one of <start-point>, then
           you should clear the index and the working tree right after
           creating the orphan branch by running git rm -rf . from the top
           level of the working tree. Afterwards you will be ready to prepare
           your new files, repopulating the working tree, by copying them from
           elsewhere, extracting a tarball, etc.

           In sparse checkout mode, git checkout -- <paths> would update only
           entries matched by <paths> and sparse patterns in
           $GIT_DIR/info/sparse-checkout. This option ignores the sparse
           patterns and adds back any files in <paths>.

       -m, --merge
           When switching branches, if you have local modifications to one or
           more files that are different between the current branch and the
           branch to which you are switching, the command refuses to switch
           branches in order to preserve your modifications in context.
           However, with this option, a three-way merge between the current
           branch, your working tree contents, and the new branch is done, and
           you will be on the new branch.

           When a merge conflict happens, the index entries for conflicting
           paths are left unmerged, and you need to resolve the conflicts and
           mark the resolved paths with git add (or git rm if the merge should
           result in deletion of the path).

           When checking out paths from the index, this option lets you
           recreate the conflicted merge in the specified paths. This option
           cannot be used when checking out paths from a tree-ish.

           When switching branches with --merge, staged changes may be lost.

           The same as --merge option above, but changes the way the
           conflicting hunks are presented, overriding the merge.conflictStyle
           configuration variable. Possible values are "merge" (default),
           "diff3", and "zdiff3".

       -p, --patch
           Interactively select hunks in the difference between the <tree-ish>
           (or the index, if unspecified) and the working tree. The chosen
           hunks are then applied in reverse to the working tree (and if a
           <tree-ish> was specified, the index).

           This means that you can use git checkout -p to selectively discard
           edits from your current working tree. See the "Interactive Mode"
           section of git-add(1) to learn how to operate the --patch mode.

           Note that this option uses the no overlay mode by default (see also
           --overlay), and currently doesn't support overlay mode.

           git checkout refuses when the wanted ref is already checked out by
           another worktree. This option makes it check the ref out anyway. In
           other words, the ref can be held by more than one worktree.

       --overwrite-ignore, --no-overwrite-ignore
           Silently overwrite ignored files when switching branches. This is
           the default behavior. Use --no-overwrite-ignore to abort the
           operation when the new branch contains ignored files.

       --recurse-submodules, --no-recurse-submodules
           Using --recurse-submodules will update the content of all active
           submodules according to the commit recorded in the superproject. If
           local modifications in a submodule would be overwritten the
           checkout will fail unless -f is used. If nothing (or
           --no-recurse-submodules) is used, submodules working trees will not
           be updated. Just like git-submodule(1), this will detach HEAD of
           the submodule.

       --overlay, --no-overlay
           In the default overlay mode, git checkout never removes files from
           the index or the working tree. When specifying --no-overlay, files
           that appear in the index and working tree, but not in <tree-ish>
           are removed, to make them match <tree-ish> exactly.

           Pathspec is passed in <file> instead of commandline args. If <file>
           is exactly - then standard input is used. Pathspec elements are
           separated by LF or CR/LF. Pathspec elements can be quoted as
           explained for the configuration variable core.quotePath (see git-
       config(1)). See also --pathspec-file-nul and global

           Only meaningful with --pathspec-from-file. Pathspec elements are
           separated with NUL character and all other characters are taken
           literally (including newlines and quotes).

           Branch to checkout; if it refers to a branch (i.e., a name that,
           when prepended with "refs/heads/", is a valid ref), then that
           branch is checked out. Otherwise, if it refers to a valid commit,
           your HEAD becomes "detached" and you are no longer on any branch
           (see below for details).

           You can use the @{-N} syntax to refer to the N-th last
           branch/commit checked out using "git checkout" operation. You may
           also specify - which is synonymous to @{-1}.

           As a special case, 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.

           Name for the new branch.

           The name of a commit at which to start the new branch; see git-
       branch(1) for details. Defaults to HEAD.

           As a special case, 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.

           Tree to checkout from (when paths are given). If not specified, the
           index will be used.

           As a special case, 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.

           Do not interpret any more arguments as options.

           Limits the paths affected by the operation.

           For more details, see the pathspec entry in gitglossary(7).


       HEAD normally refers to a named branch (e.g. master). Meanwhile, each
       branch refers to a specific commit. Let's look at a repo with three
       commits, one of them tagged, and with branch master checked out:

                      HEAD (refers to branch 'master')
           a---b---c  branch 'master' (refers to commit 'c')
             tag 'v2.0' (refers to commit 'b')

       When a commit is created in this state, the branch is updated to refer
       to the new commit. Specifically, git commit creates a new commit d,
       whose parent is commit c, and then updates branch master to refer to
       new commit d. HEAD still refers to branch master and so indirectly now
       refers to commit d:

           $ edit; git add; git commit

                          HEAD (refers to branch 'master')
           a---b---c---d  branch 'master' (refers to commit 'd')
             tag 'v2.0' (refers to commit 'b')

       It is sometimes useful to be able to checkout a commit that is not at
       the tip of any named branch, or even to create a new commit that is not
       referenced by a named branch. Let's look at what happens when we
       checkout commit b (here we show two ways this may be done):

           $ git checkout v2.0  # or
           $ git checkout master^^

              HEAD (refers to commit 'b')
           a---b---c---d  branch 'master' (refers to commit 'd')
             tag 'v2.0' (refers to commit 'b')

       Notice that regardless of which checkout command we use, HEAD now
       refers directly to commit b. This is known as being in detached HEAD
       state. It means simply that HEAD refers to a specific commit, as
       opposed to referring to a named branch. Let's see what happens when we
       create a commit:

           $ edit; git add; git commit

                HEAD (refers to commit 'e')
           a---b---c---d  branch 'master' (refers to commit 'd')
             tag 'v2.0' (refers to commit 'b')

       There is now a new commit e, but it is referenced only by HEAD. We can
       of course add yet another commit in this state:

           $ edit; git add; git commit

                    HEAD (refers to commit 'f')
           a---b---c---d  branch 'master' (refers to commit 'd')
             tag 'v2.0' (refers to commit 'b')

       In fact, we can perform all the normal Git operations. But, let's look
       at what happens when we then checkout master:

           $ git checkout master

                          HEAD (refers to branch 'master')
                 e---f     |
                /          v
           a---b---c---d  branch 'master' (refers to commit 'd')
             tag 'v2.0' (refers to commit 'b')

       It is important to realize that at this point nothing refers to commit
       f. Eventually commit f (and by extension commit e) will be deleted by
       the routine Git garbage collection process, unless we create a
       reference before that happens. If we have not yet moved away from
       commit f, any of these will create a reference to it:

           $ git checkout -b foo  # or "git switch -c foo"  (1)
           $ git branch foo                                 (2)
           $ git tag foo                                    (3)

       1.   creates a new branch foo,
            which refers to commit f,
            and then updates HEAD to
            refer to branch foo. In
            other words, we'll no
            longer be in detached HEAD
            state after this command.
       2.   similarly creates a new
            branch foo, which refers
            to commit f, but leaves
            HEAD detached.
       3.   creates a new tag foo,
            which refers to commit f,
            leaving HEAD detached.

       If we have moved away from commit f, then we must first recover its
       object name (typically by using git reflog), and then we can create a
       reference to it. For example, to see the last two commits to which HEAD
       referred, we can use either of these commands:

           $ git reflog -2 HEAD # or
           $ git log -g -2 HEAD


       When there is only one argument given and it is not -- (e.g. git
       checkout abc), and when the argument is both a valid <tree-ish> (e.g. a
       branch abc exists) and a valid <pathspec> (e.g. a file or a directory
       whose name is "abc" exists), Git would usually ask you to disambiguate.
       Because checking out a branch is so common an operation, however, git
       checkout abc takes "abc" as a <tree-ish> in such a situation. Use git
       checkout -- <pathspec> if you want to checkout these paths out of the


   1. Paths
       The following sequence checks out the master branch, reverts the
       Makefile to two revisions back, deletes hello.c by mistake, and gets it
       back from the index.

           $ git checkout master             (1)
           $ git checkout master~2 Makefile  (2)
           $ rm -f hello.c
           $ git checkout hello.c            (3)

       1.   switch branch
       2.   take a file out of another
       3.   restore hello.c from the

       If you want to check out all C source files out of the index, you can

           $ git checkout -- '*.c'

       Note the quotes around *.c. The file hello.c will also be checked out,
       even though it is no longer in the working tree, because the file
       globbing is used to match entries in the index (not in the working tree
       by the shell).

       If you have an unfortunate branch that is named hello.c, this step
       would be confused as an instruction to switch to that branch. You
       should instead write:

           $ git checkout -- hello.c

   2. Merge
       After working in the wrong branch, switching to the correct branch
       would be done using:

           $ git checkout mytopic

       However, your "wrong" branch and correct mytopic branch may differ in
       files that you have modified locally, in which case the above checkout
       would fail like this:

           $ git checkout mytopic
           error: You have local changes to 'frotz'; not switching branches.

       You can give the -m flag to the command, which would try a three-way

           $ git checkout -m mytopic
           Auto-merging frotz

       After this three-way merge, the local modifications are not registered
       in your index file, so git diff would show you what changes you made
       since the tip of the new branch.

   3. Merge conflict
       When a merge conflict happens during switching branches with the -m
       option, you would see something like this:

           $ git checkout -m mytopic
           Auto-merging frotz
           ERROR: Merge conflict in frotz
           fatal: merge program failed

       At this point, git diff shows the changes cleanly merged as in the
       previous example, as well as the changes in the conflicted files. Edit
       and resolve the conflict and mark it resolved with git add as usual:

           $ edit frotz
           $ git add frotz


       Everything below this line in this section is selectively included from
       the git-config(1) documentation. The content is the same as what's
       found there:

           When you run git checkout <something> or git switch <something> and
           only have one remote, it may implicitly fall back on checking out
           and tracking e.g.  origin/<something>. This stops working as soon
           as you have more than one remote with a <something> reference. This
           setting allows for setting the name of a preferred remote that
           should always win when it comes to disambiguation. The typical
           use-case is to set this to origin.

           Currently this is used by git-checkout(1) when
           git checkout <something> or git switch <something> will checkout
           the <something> branch on another remote, and by git-worktree(1)
           when git worktree add refers to a remote branch. This setting might
           be used for other checkout-like commands or functionality in the

           Provides the default value for the --guess or --no-guess option in

           The number of parallel workers to use when updating the working
           tree. The default is one, i.e. sequential execution. If set to a
           value less than one, Git will use as many workers as the number of
           logical cores available. This setting and
           checkout.thresholdForParallelism affect all commands that perform
           checkout. E.g. checkout, clone, reset, sparse-checkout, etc.

           Note: Parallel checkout usually delivers better performance for
           repositories located on SSDs or over NFS. For repositories on
           spinning disks and/or machines with a small number of cores, the
           default sequential checkout often performs better. The size and
           compression level of a repository might also influence how well the
           parallel version performs.

           When running parallel checkout with a small number of files, the
           cost of subprocess spawning and inter-process communication might
           outweigh the parallelization gains. This setting allows you to
           define the minimum number of files for which parallel checkout
           should be attempted. The default is 100.


       git-switch(1), git-restore(1)


       Part of the git(1) suite

Git 2.44.0                        2024-02-22                   git-checkout(1)

git 2.44.0 - Generated Sat Feb 24 08:18:02 CST 2024
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