branch: support configuring --sort via .gitconfig
[git/git.git] / Documentation / git-branch.txt
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1git-branch(1)
2=============
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3
4NAME
5----
c3f0baac 6git-branch - List, create, or delete branches
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7
8SYNOPSIS
9--------
dd181119 10[verse]
73e9da01 11'git branch' [--color[=<when>] | --no-color] [-r | -a]
cddd127b 12 [--list] [-v [--abbrev=<length> | --no-abbrev]]
783b8292 13 [--column[=<options>] | --no-column] [--sort=<key>]
ac3f5a34 14 [(--merged | --no-merged) [<commit>]]
783b8292 15 [--contains [<commit]] [--no-contains [<commit>]]
3d9e4ce3 16 [--points-at <object>] [--format=<format>] [<pattern>...]
a060f3d3 17'git branch' [--track | --no-track] [-l] [-f] <branchname> [<start-point>]
6183d826 18'git branch' (--set-upstream-to=<upstream> | -u <upstream>) [<branchname>]
b84869ef 19'git branch' --unset-upstream [<branchname>]
b1889c36 20'git branch' (-m | -M) [<oldbranch>] <newbranch>
52d59cc6 21'git branch' (-c | -C) [<oldbranch>] <newbranch>
b1889c36 22'git branch' (-d | -D) [-r] <branchname>...
b7200e83 23'git branch' --edit-description [<branchname>]
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24
25DESCRIPTION
26-----------
049716b3 27
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28If `--list` is given, or if there are no non-option arguments, existing
29branches are listed; the current branch will be highlighted with an
30asterisk. Option `-r` causes the remote-tracking branches to be listed,
31and option `-a` shows both local and remote branches. If a `<pattern>`
32is given, it is used as a shell wildcard to restrict the output to
33matching branches. If multiple patterns are given, a branch is shown if
34it matches any of the patterns. Note that when providing a
35`<pattern>`, you must use `--list`; otherwise the command is interpreted
36as branch creation.
049716b3 37
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38With `--contains`, shows only the branches that contain the named commit
39(in other words, the branches whose tip commits are descendants of the
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40named commit), `--no-contains` inverts it. With `--merged`, only branches
41merged into the named commit (i.e. the branches whose tip commits are
42reachable from the named commit) will be listed. With `--no-merged` only
43branches not merged into the named commit will be listed. If the <commit>
44argument is missing it defaults to `HEAD` (i.e. the tip of the current
45branch).
7fc9d69f 46
bb35f35e 47The command's second form creates a new branch head named <branchname>
661c3e9b 48which points to the current `HEAD`, or <start-point> if given.
2eaf273d 49
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50Note that this will create the new branch, but it will not switch the
51working tree to it; use "git checkout <newbranch>" to switch to the
52new branch.
53
2de9b711 54When a local branch is started off a remote-tracking branch, Git sets up the
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55branch (specifically the `branch.<name>.remote` and `branch.<name>.merge`
56configuration entries) so that 'git pull' will appropriately merge from
29b9a66f 57the remote-tracking branch. This behavior may be changed via the global
da0005b8 58`branch.autoSetupMerge` configuration flag. That setting can be
4eec6f98 59overridden by using the `--track` and `--no-track` options, and
6183d826 60changed later using `git branch --set-upstream-to`.
0746d19a 61
3ea2232d 62With a `-m` or `-M` option, <oldbranch> will be renamed to <newbranch>.
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63If <oldbranch> had a corresponding reflog, it is renamed to match
64<newbranch>, and a reflog entry is created to remember the branch
65renaming. If <newbranch> exists, -M must be used to force the rename
66to happen.
67
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68The `-c` and `-C` options have the exact same semantics as `-m` and
69`-M`, except instead of the branch being renamed it along with its
70config and reflog will be copied to a new name.
71
2eaf273d 72With a `-d` or `-D` option, `<branchname>` will be deleted. You may
3a4b3f26 73specify more than one branch for deletion. If the branch currently
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74has a reflog then the reflog will also be deleted.
75
3ea2232d 76Use `-r` together with `-d` to delete remote-tracking branches. Note, that it
1e72a40d 77only makes sense to delete remote-tracking branches if they no longer exist
0b444cdb 78in the remote repository or if 'git fetch' was configured not to fetch
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79them again. See also the 'prune' subcommand of linkgit:git-remote[1] for a
80way to clean up all obsolete remote-tracking branches.
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81
82
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83OPTIONS
84-------
d4072c97 85-d::
171edcbb 86--delete::
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87 Delete a branch. The branch must be fully merged in its
88 upstream branch, or in `HEAD` if no upstream was set with
a060f3d3 89 `--track` or `--set-upstream-to`.
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90
91-D::
83fe1670 92 Shortcut for `--delete --force`.
d4072c97 93
171edcbb 94--create-reflog::
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95 Create the branch's reflog. This activates recording of
96 all changes made to the branch ref, enabling use of date
967506bb 97 based sha1 expressions such as "<branchname>@\{yesterday}".
4c35f0db 98 Note that in non-bare repositories, reflogs are usually
c3342b36 99 enabled by default by the `core.logAllRefUpdates` config option.
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100 The negated form `--no-create-reflog` only overrides an earlier
101 `--create-reflog`, but currently does not negate the setting of
c3342b36 102 `core.logAllRefUpdates`.
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104The `-l` option is a deprecated synonym for `--create-reflog`.
3a4b3f26 105
075dd8ee 106-f::
f7aec129 107--force::
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108 Reset <branchname> to <startpoint>, even if <branchname> exists
109 already. Without `-f`, 'git branch' refuses to change an existing branch.
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110 In combination with `-d` (or `--delete`), allow deleting the
111 branch irrespective of its merged status. In combination with
112 `-m` (or `--move`), allow renaming the branch even if the new
52d59cc6 113 branch name already exists, the same applies for `-c` (or `--copy`).
2eaf273d 114
c976d415 115-m::
171edcbb 116--move::
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117 Move/rename a branch and the corresponding reflog.
118
119-M::
83fe1670 120 Shortcut for `--move --force`.
c976d415 121
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122-c::
123--copy::
124 Copy a branch and the corresponding reflog.
125
126-C::
127 Shortcut for `--copy --force`.
128
73e9da01 129--color[=<when>]::
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130 Color branches to highlight current, local, and
131 remote-tracking branches.
73e9da01 132 The value must be always (the default), never, or auto.
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133
134--no-color::
135 Turn off branch colors, even when the configuration file gives the
136 default to color output.
73e9da01 137 Same as `--color=never`.
f3673988 138
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139-i::
140--ignore-case::
141 Sorting and filtering branches are case insensitive.
142
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143--column[=<options>]::
144--no-column::
145 Display branch listing in columns. See configuration variable
146 column.branch for option syntax.`--column` and `--no-column`
147 without options are equivalent to 'always' and 'never' respectively.
148+
149This option is only applicable in non-verbose mode.
150
2eaf273d 151-r::
171edcbb 152--remotes::
7dda22e3 153 List or delete (if used with -d) the remote-tracking branches.
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154
155-a::
171edcbb 156--all::
bfcc9214 157 List both remote-tracking branches and local branches.
075dd8ee 158
cddd127b 159--list::
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160 List branches. With optional `<pattern>...`, e.g. `git
161 branch --list 'maint-*'`, list only the branches that match
162 the pattern(s).
163+
164This should not be confused with `git branch -l <branchname>`,
165which creates a branch named `<branchname>` with a reflog.
166See `--create-reflog` above for details.
cddd127b 167
3240240f 168-v::
f0970faa 169-vv::
3240240f 170--verbose::
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171 When in list mode,
172 show sha1 and commit subject line for each head, along with
2d8a7f0b 173 relationship to upstream branch (if any). If given twice, print
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174 the name of the upstream branch, as well (see also `git remote
175 show <remote>`).
75e6e213 176
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177-q::
178--quiet::
179 Be more quiet when creating or deleting a branch, suppressing
180 non-error messages.
181
75e6e213 182--abbrev=<length>::
e5ac1217 183 Alter the sha1's minimum display length in the output listing.
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184 The default value is 7 and can be overridden by the `core.abbrev`
185 config option.
75e6e213 186
5e00f6fa 187--no-abbrev::
e5ac1217 188 Display the full sha1s in the output listing rather than abbreviating them.
5e00f6fa 189
be427d75 190-t::
84d176ce 191--track::
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192 When creating a new branch, set up `branch.<name>.remote` and
193 `branch.<name>.merge` configuration entries to mark the
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194 start-point branch as "upstream" from the new branch. This
195 configuration will tell git to show the relationship between the
196 two branches in `git status` and `git branch -v`. Furthermore,
197 it directs `git pull` without arguments to pull from the
198 upstream when the new branch is checked out.
199+
29b9a66f 200This behavior is the default when the start point is a remote-tracking branch.
da0005b8 201Set the branch.autoSetupMerge configuration variable to `false` if you
bcf9626a 202want `git checkout` and `git branch` to always behave as if `--no-track`
167d7445 203were given. Set it to `always` if you want this behavior when the
29b9a66f 204start-point is either a local or remote-tracking branch.
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205
206--no-track::
167d7445 207 Do not set up "upstream" configuration, even if the
da0005b8 208 branch.autoSetupMerge configuration variable is true.
84d176ce 209
4fc50066 210--set-upstream::
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211 As this option had confusing syntax, it is no longer supported.
212 Please use `--track` or `--set-upstream-to` instead.
4fc50066 213
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214-u <upstream>::
215--set-upstream-to=<upstream>::
216 Set up <branchname>'s tracking information so <upstream> is
217 considered <branchname>'s upstream branch. If no <branchname>
218 is specified, then it defaults to the current branch.
219
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220--unset-upstream::
221 Remove the upstream information for <branchname>. If no branch
222 is specified it defaults to the current branch.
223
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224--edit-description::
225 Open an editor and edit the text to explain what the branch is
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226 for, to be used by various other commands (e.g. `format-patch`,
227 `request-pull`, and `merge` (if enabled)). Multi-line explanations
228 may be used.
b7200e83 229
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230--contains [<commit>]::
231 Only list branches which contain the specified commit (HEAD
d0403508 232 if not specified). Implies `--list`.
9a7ea2b1 233
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234--no-contains [<commit>]::
235 Only list branches which don't contain the specified commit
236 (HEAD if not specified). Implies `--list`.
237
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238--merged [<commit>]::
239 Only list branches whose tips are reachable from the
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240 specified commit (HEAD if not specified). Implies `--list`,
241 incompatible with `--no-merged`.
9a7ea2b1 242
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243--no-merged [<commit>]::
244 Only list branches whose tips are not reachable from the
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245 specified commit (HEAD if not specified). Implies `--list`,
246 incompatible with `--merged`.
9a7ea2b1 247
52a22d1e 248<branchname>::
d4072c97 249 The name of the branch to create or delete.
2b1f4247 250 The new branch name must pass all checks defined by
5162e697 251 linkgit:git-check-ref-format[1]. Some of these checks
2b1f4247 252 may restrict the characters allowed in a branch name.
7fc9d69f 253
075dd8ee 254<start-point>::
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255 The new branch head will point to this commit. It may be
256 given as a branch name, a commit-id, or a tag. If this
257 option is omitted, the current HEAD will be used instead.
2eaf273d 258
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259<oldbranch>::
260 The name of an existing branch to rename.
261
262<newbranch>::
263 The new name for an existing branch. The same restrictions as for
e5ac1217 264 <branchname> apply.
7fc9d69f 265
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266--sort=<key>::
267 Sort based on the key given. Prefix `-` to sort in descending
268 order of the value. You may use the --sort=<key> option
269 multiple times, in which case the last key becomes the primary
270 key. The keys supported are the same as those in `git
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271 for-each-ref`. Sort order defaults to the value configured for the
272 `branch.sort` variable if exists, or to sorting based on the
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273 full refname (including `refs/...` prefix). This lists
274 detached HEAD (if present) first, then local branches and
560ae1c1 275 finally remote-tracking branches. See linkgit:git-config[1].
aedcb7dc 276
1e2ccd3a 277
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278--points-at <object>::
279 Only list branches of the given object.
1e2ccd3a 280
3d9e4ce3 281--format <format>::
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282 A string that interpolates `%(fieldname)` from a branch ref being shown
283 and the object it points at. The format is the same as
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284 that of linkgit:git-for-each-ref[1].
285
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286CONFIGURATION
287-------------
288`pager.branch` is only respected when listing branches, i.e., when
0ae19de7 289`--list` is used or implied. The default is to use a pager.
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290See linkgit:git-config[1].
291
76a8788c 292EXAMPLES
2eaf273d 293--------
1e2ccd3a 294
e5ac1217 295Start development from a known tag::
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296+
297------------
298$ git clone git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/.../linux-2.6 my2.6
299$ cd my2.6
2eaf273d 300$ git branch my2.6.14 v2.6.14 <1>
1e2ccd3a 301$ git checkout my2.6.14
1e2ccd3a 302------------
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303+
304<1> This step and the next one could be combined into a single step with
305"checkout -b my2.6.14 v2.6.14".
1e2ccd3a 306
e5ac1217 307Delete an unneeded branch::
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308+
309------------
310$ git clone git://git.kernel.org/.../git.git my.git
311$ cd my.git
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312$ git branch -d -r origin/todo origin/html origin/man <1>
313$ git branch -D test <2>
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314------------
315+
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316<1> Delete the remote-tracking branches "todo", "html" and "man". The next
317'fetch' or 'pull' will create them again unless you configure them not to.
318See linkgit:git-fetch[1].
319<2> Delete the "test" branch even if the "master" branch (or whichever branch
320is currently checked out) does not have all commits from the test branch.
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321
322
76a8788c 323NOTES
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324-----
325
e5ac1217 326If you are creating a branch that you want to checkout immediately, it is
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327easier to use the git checkout command with its `-b` option to create
328a branch and check it out with a single command.
329
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330The options `--contains`, `--no-contains`, `--merged` and `--no-merged`
331serve four related but different purposes:
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332
333- `--contains <commit>` is used to find all branches which will need
334 special attention if <commit> were to be rebased or amended, since those
335 branches contain the specified <commit>.
336
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337- `--no-contains <commit>` is the inverse of that, i.e. branches that don't
338 contain the specified <commit>.
339
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340- `--merged` is used to find all branches which can be safely deleted,
341 since those branches are fully contained by HEAD.
342
343- `--no-merged` is used to find branches which are candidates for merging
344 into HEAD, since those branches are not fully contained by HEAD.
1e2ccd3a 345
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346SEE ALSO
347--------
348linkgit:git-check-ref-format[1],
349linkgit:git-fetch[1],
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350linkgit:git-remote[1],
351link:user-manual.html#what-is-a-branch[``Understanding history: What is
352a branch?''] in the Git User's Manual.
b85e6c5f 353
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354GIT
355---
9e1f0a85 356Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite