3.3.3 Using local branches

Creating and removing branches

Local branches are useful when you’re working on several different projects concurrently. To create a new branch, enter:

git branch name

To delete a branch, enter:

git branch -d name

Git will ask you for confirmation if it sees that data would be lost by deleting the branch. Use ‘-D’ instead of ‘-d’ to bypass this. Note that you cannot delete a branch if it is currently checked out.

Listing branches and remotes

You can get the exact path or URL of all remote branches by running:

git remote -v

To list Git branches on your local repositories, run

git branch     # list local branches only
git branch -r  # list remote branches
git branch -a  # list all branches

Checking out branches

To know the currently checked out branch, i.e. the branch whose source files are present in your working tree, read the first line of the output of

git status

The currently checked out branch is also marked with an asterisk in the output of git branch.

You can check out another branch other_branch, i.e. check out other_branch to the working tree, by running

git checkout other_branch

Note that it is possible to check out another branch while having uncommitted changes, but it is not recommended unless you know what you are doing; it is recommended to run git status to check this kind of issue before checking out another branch.

Merging branches

To merge branch foo into branch bar, i.e. to “add” all changes made in branch foo to branch bar, run

git checkout bar
git merge foo

If any conflict happens, see Resolving conflicts.

There are common usage cases for merging: as a translator, you will often want the Translations meister to merge master into translation; on the other hand, the Translations meister wants to merge translation into staging whenever he has checked that translation builds successfully.

LilyPond — Contributor’s Guide v2.17.97 (development-branch).