branch: make create_branch accept a merge base rev
[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>...]
94a13806 17'git branch' [--track | --no-track] [-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>
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48which points to the current `HEAD`, or <start-point> if given. As a
49special case, for <start-point>, you may use `"A...B"` as a shortcut for
50the merge base of `A` and `B` if there is exactly one merge base. You
51can leave out at most one of `A` and `B`, in which case it defaults to
52`HEAD`.
2eaf273d 53
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54Note that this will create the new branch, but it will not switch the
55working tree to it; use "git checkout <newbranch>" to switch to the
56new branch.
57
2de9b711 58When a local branch is started off a remote-tracking branch, Git sets up the
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59branch (specifically the `branch.<name>.remote` and `branch.<name>.merge`
60configuration entries) so that 'git pull' will appropriately merge from
29b9a66f 61the remote-tracking branch. This behavior may be changed via the global
da0005b8 62`branch.autoSetupMerge` configuration flag. That setting can be
4eec6f98 63overridden by using the `--track` and `--no-track` options, and
6183d826 64changed later using `git branch --set-upstream-to`.
0746d19a 65
3ea2232d 66With a `-m` or `-M` option, <oldbranch> will be renamed to <newbranch>.
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67If <oldbranch> had a corresponding reflog, it is renamed to match
68<newbranch>, and a reflog entry is created to remember the branch
69renaming. If <newbranch> exists, -M must be used to force the rename
70to happen.
71
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72The `-c` and `-C` options have the exact same semantics as `-m` and
73`-M`, except instead of the branch being renamed it along with its
74config and reflog will be copied to a new name.
75
2eaf273d 76With a `-d` or `-D` option, `<branchname>` will be deleted. You may
3a4b3f26 77specify more than one branch for deletion. If the branch currently
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78has a reflog then the reflog will also be deleted.
79
3ea2232d 80Use `-r` together with `-d` to delete remote-tracking branches. Note, that it
1e72a40d 81only makes sense to delete remote-tracking branches if they no longer exist
0b444cdb 82in the remote repository or if 'git fetch' was configured not to fetch
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83them again. See also the 'prune' subcommand of linkgit:git-remote[1] for a
84way to clean up all obsolete remote-tracking branches.
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85
86
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87OPTIONS
88-------
d4072c97 89-d::
171edcbb 90--delete::
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91 Delete a branch. The branch must be fully merged in its
92 upstream branch, or in `HEAD` if no upstream was set with
a060f3d3 93 `--track` or `--set-upstream-to`.
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94
95-D::
83fe1670 96 Shortcut for `--delete --force`.
d4072c97 97
171edcbb 98--create-reflog::
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99 Create the branch's reflog. This activates recording of
100 all changes made to the branch ref, enabling use of date
967506bb 101 based sha1 expressions such as "<branchname>@\{yesterday}".
4c35f0db 102 Note that in non-bare repositories, reflogs are usually
c3342b36 103 enabled by default by the `core.logAllRefUpdates` config option.
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104 The negated form `--no-create-reflog` only overrides an earlier
105 `--create-reflog`, but currently does not negate the setting of
c3342b36 106 `core.logAllRefUpdates`.
3a4b3f26 107
075dd8ee 108-f::
f7aec129 109--force::
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110 Reset <branchname> to <startpoint>, even if <branchname> exists
111 already. Without `-f`, 'git branch' refuses to change an existing branch.
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112 In combination with `-d` (or `--delete`), allow deleting the
113 branch irrespective of its merged status. In combination with
114 `-m` (or `--move`), allow renaming the branch even if the new
52d59cc6 115 branch name already exists, the same applies for `-c` (or `--copy`).
2eaf273d 116
c976d415 117-m::
171edcbb 118--move::
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119 Move/rename a branch and the corresponding reflog.
120
121-M::
83fe1670 122 Shortcut for `--move --force`.
c976d415 123
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124-c::
125--copy::
126 Copy a branch and the corresponding reflog.
127
128-C::
129 Shortcut for `--copy --force`.
130
73e9da01 131--color[=<when>]::
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132 Color branches to highlight current, local, and
133 remote-tracking branches.
73e9da01 134 The value must be always (the default), never, or auto.
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135
136--no-color::
137 Turn off branch colors, even when the configuration file gives the
138 default to color output.
73e9da01 139 Same as `--color=never`.
f3673988 140
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141-i::
142--ignore-case::
143 Sorting and filtering branches are case insensitive.
144
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145--column[=<options>]::
146--no-column::
147 Display branch listing in columns. See configuration variable
148 column.branch for option syntax.`--column` and `--no-column`
149 without options are equivalent to 'always' and 'never' respectively.
150+
151This option is only applicable in non-verbose mode.
152
2eaf273d 153-r::
171edcbb 154--remotes::
7dda22e3 155 List or delete (if used with -d) the remote-tracking branches.
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156
157-a::
171edcbb 158--all::
bfcc9214 159 List both remote-tracking branches and local branches.
075dd8ee 160
a15d5981 161-l::
cddd127b 162--list::
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163 List branches. With optional `<pattern>...`, e.g. `git
164 branch --list 'maint-*'`, list only the branches that match
165 the pattern(s).
cddd127b 166
3240240f 167-v::
f0970faa 168-vv::
3240240f 169--verbose::
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170 When in list mode,
171 show sha1 and commit subject line for each head, along with
2d8a7f0b 172 relationship to upstream branch (if any). If given twice, print
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173 the name of the upstream branch, as well (see also `git remote
174 show <remote>`).
75e6e213 175
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176-q::
177--quiet::
178 Be more quiet when creating or deleting a branch, suppressing
179 non-error messages.
180
75e6e213 181--abbrev=<length>::
e5ac1217 182 Alter the sha1's minimum display length in the output listing.
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183 The default value is 7 and can be overridden by the `core.abbrev`
184 config option.
75e6e213 185
5e00f6fa 186--no-abbrev::
e5ac1217 187 Display the full sha1s in the output listing rather than abbreviating them.
5e00f6fa 188
be427d75 189-t::
84d176ce 190--track::
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191 When creating a new branch, set up `branch.<name>.remote` and
192 `branch.<name>.merge` configuration entries to mark the
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193 start-point branch as "upstream" from the new branch. This
194 configuration will tell git to show the relationship between the
195 two branches in `git status` and `git branch -v`. Furthermore,
196 it directs `git pull` without arguments to pull from the
197 upstream when the new branch is checked out.
198+
29b9a66f 199This behavior is the default when the start point is a remote-tracking branch.
da0005b8 200Set the branch.autoSetupMerge configuration variable to `false` if you
bcf9626a 201want `git checkout` and `git branch` to always behave as if `--no-track`
167d7445 202were given. Set it to `always` if you want this behavior when the
29b9a66f 203start-point is either a local or remote-tracking branch.
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204
205--no-track::
167d7445 206 Do not set up "upstream" configuration, even if the
da0005b8 207 branch.autoSetupMerge configuration variable is true.
84d176ce 208
4fc50066 209--set-upstream::
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210 As this option had confusing syntax, it is no longer supported.
211 Please use `--track` or `--set-upstream-to` instead.
4fc50066 212
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213-u <upstream>::
214--set-upstream-to=<upstream>::
215 Set up <branchname>'s tracking information so <upstream> is
216 considered <branchname>'s upstream branch. If no <branchname>
217 is specified, then it defaults to the current branch.
218
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219--unset-upstream::
220 Remove the upstream information for <branchname>. If no branch
221 is specified it defaults to the current branch.
222
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223--edit-description::
224 Open an editor and edit the text to explain what the branch is
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225 for, to be used by various other commands (e.g. `format-patch`,
226 `request-pull`, and `merge` (if enabled)). Multi-line explanations
227 may be used.
b7200e83 228
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229--contains [<commit>]::
230 Only list branches which contain the specified commit (HEAD
d0403508 231 if not specified). Implies `--list`.
9a7ea2b1 232
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233--no-contains [<commit>]::
234 Only list branches which don't contain the specified commit
235 (HEAD if not specified). Implies `--list`.
236
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237--merged [<commit>]::
238 Only list branches whose tips are reachable from the
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239 specified commit (HEAD if not specified). Implies `--list`,
240 incompatible with `--no-merged`.
9a7ea2b1 241
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242--no-merged [<commit>]::
243 Only list branches whose tips are not reachable from the
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244 specified commit (HEAD if not specified). Implies `--list`,
245 incompatible with `--merged`.
9a7ea2b1 246
52a22d1e 247<branchname>::
d4072c97 248 The name of the branch to create or delete.
2b1f4247 249 The new branch name must pass all checks defined by
5162e697 250 linkgit:git-check-ref-format[1]. Some of these checks
2b1f4247 251 may restrict the characters allowed in a branch name.
7fc9d69f 252
075dd8ee 253<start-point>::
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254 The new branch head will point to this commit. It may be
255 given as a branch name, a commit-id, or a tag. If this
256 option is omitted, the current HEAD will be used instead.
2eaf273d 257
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258<oldbranch>::
259 The name of an existing branch to rename.
260
261<newbranch>::
262 The new name for an existing branch. The same restrictions as for
e5ac1217 263 <branchname> apply.
7fc9d69f 264
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265--sort=<key>::
266 Sort based on the key given. Prefix `-` to sort in descending
267 order of the value. You may use the --sort=<key> option
268 multiple times, in which case the last key becomes the primary
269 key. The keys supported are the same as those in `git
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270 for-each-ref`. Sort order defaults to the value configured for the
271 `branch.sort` variable if exists, or to sorting based on the
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272 full refname (including `refs/...` prefix). This lists
273 detached HEAD (if present) first, then local branches and
560ae1c1 274 finally remote-tracking branches. See linkgit:git-config[1].
aedcb7dc 275
1e2ccd3a 276
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277--points-at <object>::
278 Only list branches of the given object.
1e2ccd3a 279
3d9e4ce3 280--format <format>::
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281 A string that interpolates `%(fieldname)` from a branch ref being shown
282 and the object it points at. The format is the same as
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283 that of linkgit:git-for-each-ref[1].
284
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285CONFIGURATION
286-------------
287`pager.branch` is only respected when listing branches, i.e., when
0ae19de7 288`--list` is used or implied. The default is to use a pager.
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289See linkgit:git-config[1].
290
76a8788c 291EXAMPLES
2eaf273d 292--------
1e2ccd3a 293
e5ac1217 294Start development from a known tag::
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295+
296------------
297$ git clone git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/.../linux-2.6 my2.6
298$ cd my2.6
2eaf273d 299$ git branch my2.6.14 v2.6.14 <1>
1e2ccd3a 300$ git checkout my2.6.14
1e2ccd3a 301------------
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302+
303<1> This step and the next one could be combined into a single step with
ba170517 304 "checkout -b my2.6.14 v2.6.14".
1e2ccd3a 305
e5ac1217 306Delete an unneeded branch::
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307+
308------------
309$ git clone git://git.kernel.org/.../git.git my.git
310$ cd my.git
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311$ git branch -d -r origin/todo origin/html origin/man <1>
312$ git branch -D test <2>
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313------------
314+
e5ac1217 315<1> Delete the remote-tracking branches "todo", "html" and "man". The next
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316 'fetch' or 'pull' will create them again unless you configure them not to.
317 See linkgit:git-fetch[1].
e5ac1217 318<2> Delete the "test" branch even if the "master" branch (or whichever branch
ba170517 319 is currently checked out) does not have all commits from the test branch.
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320
321
76a8788c 322NOTES
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323-----
324
e5ac1217 325If you are creating a branch that you want to checkout immediately, it is
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326easier to use the git checkout command with its `-b` option to create
327a branch and check it out with a single command.
328
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329The options `--contains`, `--no-contains`, `--merged` and `--no-merged`
330serve four related but different purposes:
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331
332- `--contains <commit>` is used to find all branches which will need
333 special attention if <commit> were to be rebased or amended, since those
334 branches contain the specified <commit>.
335
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336- `--no-contains <commit>` is the inverse of that, i.e. branches that don't
337 contain the specified <commit>.
338
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339- `--merged` is used to find all branches which can be safely deleted,
340 since those branches are fully contained by HEAD.
341
342- `--no-merged` is used to find branches which are candidates for merging
343 into HEAD, since those branches are not fully contained by HEAD.
1e2ccd3a 344
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345SEE ALSO
346--------
347linkgit:git-check-ref-format[1],
348linkgit:git-fetch[1],
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349linkgit:git-remote[1],
350link:user-manual.html#what-is-a-branch[``Understanding history: What is
351a branch?''] in the Git User's Manual.
b85e6c5f 352
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353GIT
354---
9e1f0a85 355Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite