checkout.txt: note about losing staged changes with --merge
[git/git.git] / Documentation / git-checkout.txt
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1git-checkout(1)
2===============
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3
4NAME
5----
c4ac525c 6git-checkout - Switch branches or restore working tree files
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7
8SYNOPSIS
9--------
71bb1033 10[verse]
76cfadfc 11'git checkout' [-q] [-f] [-m] [<branch>]
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12'git checkout' [-q] [-f] [-m] --detach [<branch>]
13'git checkout' [-q] [-f] [-m] [--detach] <commit>
02ac9837 14'git checkout' [-q] [-f] [-m] [[-b|-B|--orphan] <new_branch>] [<start_point>]
eac5a401 15'git checkout' [-f|--ours|--theirs|-m|--conflict=<style>] [<tree-ish>] [--] <paths>...
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16'git checkout' [<tree-ish>] [--] <pathspec>...
17'git checkout' (-p|--patch) [<tree-ish>] [--] [<paths>...]
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18
19DESCRIPTION
20-----------
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21Updates files in the working tree to match the version in the index
22or the specified tree. If no paths are given, 'git checkout' will
23also update `HEAD` to set the specified branch as the current
76cfadfc 24branch.
4aaa7027 25
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26'git checkout' <branch>::
27 To prepare for working on <branch>, switch to it by updating
28 the index and the files in the working tree, and by pointing
29 HEAD at the branch. Local modifications to the files in the
30 working tree are kept, so that they can be committed to the
31 <branch>.
32+
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33If <branch> is not found but there does exist a tracking branch in
34exactly one remote (call it <remote>) with a matching name, treat as
35equivalent to
36+
37------------
38$ git checkout -b <branch> --track <remote>/<branch>
39------------
40+
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41If the branch exists in multiple remotes and one of them is named by
42the `checkout.defaultRemote` configuration variable, we'll use that
43one for the purposes of disambiguation, even if the `<branch>` isn't
44unique across all remotes. Set it to
45e.g. `checkout.defaultRemote=origin` to always checkout remote
46branches from there if `<branch>` is ambiguous but exists on the
47'origin' remote. See also `checkout.defaultRemote` in
48linkgit:git-config[1].
49+
e1cdf633 50You could omit <branch>, in which case the command degenerates to
be94568b 51"check out the current branch", which is a glorified no-op with
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52rather expensive side-effects to show only the tracking information,
53if exists, for the current branch.
54
02ac9837 55'git checkout' -b|-B <new_branch> [<start point>]::
4aaa7027 56
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57 Specifying `-b` causes a new branch to be created as if
58 linkgit:git-branch[1] were called and then checked out. In
59 this case you can use the `--track` or `--no-track` options,
60 which will be passed to 'git branch'. As a convenience,
61 `--track` without `-b` implies branch creation; see the
62 description of `--track` below.
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63+
64If `-B` is given, <new_branch> is created if it doesn't exist; otherwise, it
65is reset. This is the transactional equivalent of
66+
67------------
68$ git branch -f <branch> [<start point>]
69$ git checkout <branch>
70------------
71+
72that is to say, the branch is not reset/created unless "git checkout" is
73successful.
bb0ceb62 74
e1cdf633 75'git checkout' --detach [<branch>]::
26776c97 76'git checkout' [--detach] <commit>::
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77
78 Prepare to work on top of <commit>, by detaching HEAD at it
79 (see "DETACHED HEAD" section), and updating the index and the
80 files in the working tree. Local modifications to the files
81 in the working tree are kept, so that the resulting working
82 tree will be the state recorded in the commit plus the local
83 modifications.
84+
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85When the <commit> argument is a branch name, the `--detach` option can
86be used to detach HEAD at the tip of the branch (`git checkout
87<branch>` would check out that branch without detaching HEAD).
88+
89Omitting <branch> detaches HEAD at the tip of the current branch.
e1cdf633 90
b59698ae 91'git checkout' [<tree-ish>] [--] <pathspec>...::
4aaa7027 92
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93 Overwrite paths in the working tree by replacing with the
94 contents in the index or in the <tree-ish> (most often a
95 commit). When a <tree-ish> is given, the paths that
96 match the <pathspec> are updated both in the index and in
97 the working tree.
c4ac525c 98+
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99The index may contain unmerged entries because of a previous failed merge.
100By default, if you try to check out such an entry from the index, the
db941099 101checkout operation will fail and nothing will be checked out.
b831deda 102Using `-f` will ignore these unmerged entries. The contents from a
38901a48 103specific side of the merge can be checked out of the index by
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104using `--ours` or `--theirs`. With `-m`, changes made to the working tree
105file can be discarded to re-create the original conflicted merge result.
7fc9d69f 106
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107'git checkout' (-p|--patch) [<tree-ish>] [--] [<pathspec>...]::
108 This is similar to the "check out paths to the working tree
109 from either the index or from a tree-ish" mode described
110 above, but lets you use the interactive interface to show
111 the "diff" output and choose which hunks to use in the
112 result. See below for the description of `--patch` option.
113
114
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115OPTIONS
116-------
6124aee5 117-q::
f7aec129 118--quiet::
2be7fcb4 119 Quiet, suppress feedback messages.
6124aee5 120
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121--[no-]progress::
122 Progress status is reported on the standard error stream
123 by default when it is attached to a terminal, unless `--quiet`
124 is specified. This flag enables progress reporting even if not
125 attached to a terminal, regardless of `--quiet`.
126
0270f7c5 127-f::
f7aec129 128--force::
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129 When switching branches, proceed even if the index or the
130 working tree differs from HEAD. This is used to throw away
131 local changes.
132+
133When checking out paths from the index, do not fail upon unmerged
134entries; instead, unmerged entries are ignored.
0270f7c5 135
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136--ours::
137--theirs::
138 When checking out paths from the index, check out stage #2
139 ('ours') or #3 ('theirs') for unmerged paths.
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140+
141Note that during `git rebase` and `git pull --rebase`, 'ours' and
142'theirs' may appear swapped; `--ours` gives the version from the
143branch the changes are rebased onto, while `--theirs` gives the
144version from the branch that holds your work that is being rebased.
145+
146This is because `rebase` is used in a workflow that treats the
147history at the remote as the shared canonical one, and treats the
148work done on the branch you are rebasing as the third-party work to
149be integrated, and you are temporarily assuming the role of the
150keeper of the canonical history during the rebase. As the keeper of
151the canonical history, you need to view the history from the remote
152as `ours` (i.e. "our shared canonical history"), while what you did
153on your side branch as `theirs` (i.e. "one contributor's work on top
154of it").
0270f7c5 155
45aaf031 156-b <new_branch>::
2b1f4247 157 Create a new branch named <new_branch> and start it at
76cfadfc 158 <start_point>; see linkgit:git-branch[1] for details.
7fc9d69f 159
45aaf031 160-B <new_branch>::
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161 Creates the branch <new_branch> and start it at <start_point>;
162 if it already exists, then reset it to <start_point>. This is
163 equivalent to running "git branch" with "-f"; see
164 linkgit:git-branch[1] for details.
165
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166-t::
167--track::
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168 When creating a new branch, set up "upstream" configuration. See
169 "--track" in linkgit:git-branch[1] for details.
bb0ceb62 170+
23f8239b 171If no `-b` option is given, the name of the new branch will be
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172derived from the remote-tracking branch, by looking at the local part of
173the refspec configured for the corresponding remote, and then stripping
174the initial part up to the "*".
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175This would tell us to use "hack" as the local branch when branching
176off of "origin/hack" (or "remotes/origin/hack", or even
177"refs/remotes/origin/hack"). If the given name has no slash, or the above
178guessing results in an empty name, the guessing is aborted. You can
23f8239b 179explicitly give a name with `-b` in such a case.
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180
181--no-track::
167d7445 182 Do not set up "upstream" configuration, even if the
da0005b8 183 branch.autoSetupMerge configuration variable is true.
0746d19a 184
969d326d 185-l::
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186 Create the new branch's reflog; see linkgit:git-branch[1] for
187 details.
969d326d 188
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189--detach::
190 Rather than checking out a branch to work on it, check out a
191 commit for inspection and discardable experiments.
192 This is the default behavior of "git checkout <commit>" when
193 <commit> is not a branch name. See the "DETACHED HEAD" section
194 below for details.
195
45aaf031 196--orphan <new_branch>::
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197 Create a new 'orphan' branch, named <new_branch>, started from
198 <start_point> and switch to it. The first commit made on this
199 new branch will have no parents and it will be the root of a new
200 history totally disconnected from all the other branches and
201 commits.
9db5ebf4 202+
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203The index and the working tree are adjusted as if you had previously run
204"git checkout <start_point>". This allows you to start a new history
205that records a set of paths similar to <start_point> by easily running
206"git commit -a" to make the root commit.
9db5ebf4 207+
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208This can be useful when you want to publish the tree from a commit
209without exposing its full history. You might want to do this to publish
210an open source branch of a project whose current tree is "clean", but
211whose full history contains proprietary or otherwise encumbered bits of
212code.
213+
214If you want to start a disconnected history that records a set of paths
215that is totally different from the one of <start_point>, then you should
216clear the index and the working tree right after creating the orphan
217branch by running "git rm -rf ." from the top level of the working tree.
218Afterwards you will be ready to prepare your new files, repopulating the
219working tree, by copying them from elsewhere, extracting a tarball, etc.
9db5ebf4 220
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221--ignore-skip-worktree-bits::
222 In sparse checkout mode, `git checkout -- <paths>` would
223 update only entries matched by <paths> and sparse patterns
224 in $GIT_DIR/info/sparse-checkout. This option ignores
225 the sparse patterns and adds back any files in <paths>.
226
1be0659e 227-m::
eac5a401 228--merge::
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229 When switching branches,
230 if you have local modifications to one or more files that
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231 are different between the current branch and the branch to
232 which you are switching, the command refuses to switch
233 branches in order to preserve your modifications in context.
234 However, with this option, a three-way merge between the current
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235 branch, your working tree contents, and the new branch
236 is done, and you will be on the new branch.
237+
238When a merge conflict happens, the index entries for conflicting
239paths are left unmerged, and you need to resolve the conflicts
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240and mark the resolved paths with `git add` (or `git rm` if the merge
241should result in deletion of the path).
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242+
243When checking out paths from the index, this option lets you recreate
244the conflicted merge in the specified paths.
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245+
246When switching branches with `--merge`, staged changes may be lost.
1be0659e 247
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248--conflict=<style>::
249 The same as --merge option above, but changes the way the
250 conflicting hunks are presented, overriding the
da0005b8 251 merge.conflictStyle configuration variable. Possible values are
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252 "merge" (default) and "diff3" (in addition to what is shown by
253 "merge" style, shows the original contents).
1be0659e 254
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255-p::
256--patch::
257 Interactively select hunks in the difference between the
258 <tree-ish> (or the index, if unspecified) and the working
259 tree. The chosen hunks are then applied in reverse to the
260 working tree (and if a <tree-ish> was specified, the index).
261+
262This means that you can use `git checkout -p` to selectively discard
a31538e2 263edits from your current working tree. See the ``Interactive Mode''
6cf378f0 264section of linkgit:git-add[1] to learn how to operate the `--patch` mode.
4f353658 265
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266--ignore-other-worktrees::
267 `git checkout` refuses when the wanted ref is already checked
268 out by another worktree. This option makes it check the ref
269 out anyway. In other words, the ref can be held by more than one
270 worktree.
271
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272--[no-]recurse-submodules::
273 Using --recurse-submodules will update the content of all initialized
274 submodules according to the commit recorded in the superproject. If
275 local modifications in a submodule would be overwritten the checkout
276 will fail unless `-f` is used. If nothing (or --no-recurse-submodules)
277 is used, the work trees of submodules will not be updated.
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278 Just like linkgit:git-submodule[1], this will detach the
279 submodules HEAD.
1fc458d9 280
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281--no-guess::
282 Do not attempt to create a branch if a remote tracking branch
283 of the same name exists.
284
0270f7c5 285<branch>::
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286 Branch to checkout; if it refers to a branch (i.e., a name that,
287 when prepended with "refs/heads/", is a valid ref), then that
288 branch is checked out. Otherwise, if it refers to a valid
289 commit, your HEAD becomes "detached" and you are no longer on
290 any branch (see below for details).
696acf45 291+
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292You can use the `"@{-N}"` syntax to refer to the N-th last
293branch/commit checked out using "git checkout" operation. You may
c5c0a5ff 294also specify `-` which is synonymous to `"@{-1}"`.
873c3472 295+
75ce1495 296As a special case, you may use `"A...B"` as a shortcut for the
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297merge base of `A` and `B` if there is exactly one merge base. You can
298leave out at most one of `A` and `B`, in which case it defaults to `HEAD`.
5e1a2e8c 299
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300<new_branch>::
301 Name for the new branch.
302
303<start_point>::
304 The name of a commit at which to start the new branch; see
305 linkgit:git-branch[1] for details. Defaults to HEAD.
306
307<tree-ish>::
308 Tree to checkout from (when paths are given). If not specified,
309 the index will be used.
310
311
5e1a2e8c 312
32669671 313DETACHED HEAD
5e1a2e8c 314-------------
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315HEAD normally refers to a named branch (e.g. 'master'). Meanwhile, each
316branch refers to a specific commit. Let's look at a repo with three
317commits, one of them tagged, and with branch 'master' checked out:
5e1a2e8c 318
be8ef33c 319------------
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320 HEAD (refers to branch 'master')
321 |
322 v
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323a---b---c branch 'master' (refers to commit 'c')
324 ^
325 |
326 tag 'v2.0' (refers to commit 'b')
327------------
328
329When a commit is created in this state, the branch is updated to refer to
330the new commit. Specifically, 'git commit' creates a new commit 'd', whose
331parent is commit 'c', and then updates branch 'master' to refer to new
332commit 'd'. HEAD still refers to branch 'master' and so indirectly now refers
333to commit 'd':
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334
335------------
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336$ edit; git add; git commit
337
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338 HEAD (refers to branch 'master')
339 |
340 v
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341a---b---c---d branch 'master' (refers to commit 'd')
342 ^
343 |
344 tag 'v2.0' (refers to commit 'b')
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345------------
346
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347It is sometimes useful to be able to checkout a commit that is not at
348the tip of any named branch, or even to create a new commit that is not
349referenced by a named branch. Let's look at what happens when we
350checkout commit 'b' (here we show two ways this may be done):
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351
352------------
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353$ git checkout v2.0 # or
354$ git checkout master^^
355
356 HEAD (refers to commit 'b')
357 |
358 v
359a---b---c---d branch 'master' (refers to commit 'd')
360 ^
361 |
362 tag 'v2.0' (refers to commit 'b')
363------------
5e1a2e8c 364
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365Notice that regardless of which checkout command we use, HEAD now refers
366directly to commit 'b'. This is known as being in detached HEAD state.
367It means simply that HEAD refers to a specific commit, as opposed to
368referring to a named branch. Let's see what happens when we create a commit:
cec8d146 369
cec8d146 370------------
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371$ edit; git add; git commit
372
373 HEAD (refers to commit 'e')
374 |
375 v
376 e
377 /
378a---b---c---d branch 'master' (refers to commit 'd')
379 ^
380 |
381 tag 'v2.0' (refers to commit 'b')
cec8d146 382------------
7fc9d69f 383
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384There is now a new commit 'e', but it is referenced only by HEAD. We can
385of course add yet another commit in this state:
7fc9d69f 386
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387------------
388$ edit; git add; git commit
389
390 HEAD (refers to commit 'f')
391 |
392 v
393 e---f
394 /
395a---b---c---d branch 'master' (refers to commit 'd')
396 ^
397 |
398 tag 'v2.0' (refers to commit 'b')
399------------
400
2de9b711 401In fact, we can perform all the normal Git operations. But, let's look
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402at what happens when we then checkout master:
403
404------------
405$ git checkout master
406
39a36827 407 HEAD (refers to branch 'master')
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408 e---f |
409 / v
410a---b---c---d branch 'master' (refers to commit 'd')
411 ^
412 |
413 tag 'v2.0' (refers to commit 'b')
414------------
415
416It is important to realize that at this point nothing refers to commit
417'f'. Eventually commit 'f' (and by extension commit 'e') will be deleted
2de9b711 418by the routine Git garbage collection process, unless we create a reference
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419before that happens. If we have not yet moved away from commit 'f',
420any of these will create a reference to it:
421
422------------
423$ git checkout -b foo <1>
424$ git branch foo <2>
425$ git tag foo <3>
426------------
427
428<1> creates a new branch 'foo', which refers to commit 'f', and then
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429 updates HEAD to refer to branch 'foo'. In other words, we'll no longer
430 be in detached HEAD state after this command.
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431
432<2> similarly creates a new branch 'foo', which refers to commit 'f',
ba170517 433 but leaves HEAD detached.
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434
435<3> creates a new tag 'foo', which refers to commit 'f',
ba170517 436 leaving HEAD detached.
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437
438If we have moved away from commit 'f', then we must first recover its object
439name (typically by using git reflog), and then we can create a reference to
440it. For example, to see the last two commits to which HEAD referred, we
441can use either of these commands:
442
443------------
444$ git reflog -2 HEAD # or
445$ git log -g -2 HEAD
446------------
4aaa7027 447
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448ARGUMENT DISAMBIGUATION
449-----------------------
450
451When there is only one argument given and it is not `--` (e.g. "git
452checkout abc"), and when the argument is both a valid `<tree-ish>`
453(e.g. a branch "abc" exists) and a valid `<pathspec>` (e.g. a file
454or a directory whose name is "abc" exists), Git would usually ask
455you to disambiguate. Because checking out a branch is so common an
456operation, however, "git checkout abc" takes "abc" as a `<tree-ish>`
457in such a situation. Use `git checkout -- <pathspec>` if you want
458to checkout these paths out of the index.
459
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460EXAMPLES
461--------
4aaa7027 462
1be0659e 463. The following sequence checks out the `master` branch, reverts
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464 the `Makefile` to two revisions back, deletes hello.c by
465 mistake, and gets it back from the index.
1be0659e 466+
4aaa7027 467------------
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468$ git checkout master <1>
469$ git checkout master~2 Makefile <2>
4aaa7027 470$ rm -f hello.c
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471$ git checkout hello.c <3>
472------------
473+
1e2ccd3a 474<1> switch branch
c7cb12b8 475<2> take a file out of another commit
ce8936c3 476<3> restore hello.c from the index
1be0659e 477+
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478If you want to check out _all_ C source files out of the index,
479you can say
480+
481------------
482$ git checkout -- '*.c'
483------------
484+
485Note the quotes around `*.c`. The file `hello.c` will also be
486checked out, even though it is no longer in the working tree,
487because the file globbing is used to match entries in the index
488(not in the working tree by the shell).
489+
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490If you have an unfortunate branch that is named `hello.c`, this
491step would be confused as an instruction to switch to that branch.
492You should instead write:
1be0659e 493+
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494------------
495$ git checkout -- hello.c
496------------
497
c7cb12b8 498. After working in the wrong branch, switching to the correct
ba170517 499 branch would be done using:
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500+
501------------
502$ git checkout mytopic
503------------
504+
505However, your "wrong" branch and correct "mytopic" branch may
c7cb12b8 506differ in files that you have modified locally, in which case
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507the above checkout would fail like this:
508+
509------------
510$ git checkout mytopic
142183d0 511error: You have local changes to 'frotz'; not switching branches.
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512------------
513+
514You can give the `-m` flag to the command, which would try a
515three-way merge:
516+
517------------
518$ git checkout -m mytopic
519Auto-merging frotz
520------------
521+
522After this three-way merge, the local modifications are _not_
523registered in your index file, so `git diff` would show you what
524changes you made since the tip of the new branch.
525
526. When a merge conflict happens during switching branches with
ba170517 527 the `-m` option, you would see something like this:
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528+
529------------
530$ git checkout -m mytopic
531Auto-merging frotz
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532ERROR: Merge conflict in frotz
533fatal: merge program failed
534------------
535+
536At this point, `git diff` shows the changes cleanly merged as in
537the previous example, as well as the changes in the conflicted
538files. Edit and resolve the conflict and mark it resolved with
d7f078b8 539`git add` as usual:
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540+
541------------
542$ edit frotz
d7f078b8 543$ git add frotz
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544------------
545
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546GIT
547---
9e1f0a85 548Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite