git-switch(1) — Linux manual page


GIT-SWITCH(1)                  Git Manual                  GIT-SWITCH(1)

NAME         top

       git-switch - Switch branches

SYNOPSIS         top

       git switch [<options>] [--no-guess] <branch>
       git switch [<options>] --detach [<start-point>]
       git switch [<options>] (-c|-C) <new-branch> [<start-point>]
       git switch [<options>] --orphan <new-branch>

DESCRIPTION         top

       Switch to a specified branch. The working tree and the index are
       updated to match the branch. All new commits will be added to the
       tip of this branch.

       Optionally a new branch could be created with either -c, -C,
       automatically from a remote branch of same name (see --guess), or
       detach the working tree from any branch with --detach, along with

       Switching branches does not require a clean index and working
       tree (i.e. no differences compared to HEAD). The operation is
       aborted however if the operation leads to loss of local changes,
       unless told otherwise with --discard-changes or --merge.


OPTIONS         top

           Branch to switch to.

           Name for the new branch.

           The starting point for the new branch. Specifying a
           <start-point> allows you to create a branch based on some
           other point in history than where HEAD currently points. (Or,
           in the case of --detach, allows you to inspect and detach
           from some other point.)

           You can use the @{-N} syntax to refer to the N-th last
           branch/commit switched to using "git switch" or "git
           checkout" operation. You may also specify - which is
           synonymous to @{-1}. This is often used to switch quickly
           between two branches, or to undo a branch switch by mistake.

           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.

       -c <new-branch>, --create <new-branch>
           Create a new branch named <new-branch> starting at
           <start-point> before switching to the branch. This is a
           convenient shortcut for:

               $ git branch <new-branch>
               $ git switch <new-branch>

       -C <new-branch>, --force-create <new-branch>
           Similar to --create except that if <new-branch> already
           exists, it will be reset to <start-point>. This is a
           convenient shortcut for:

               $ git branch -f <new-branch>
               $ git switch <new-branch>

       -d, --detach
           Switch to a commit for inspection and discardable
           experiments. See the "DETACHED HEAD" section in
           git-checkout(1) for details.

       --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 switch -c <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

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

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

       -f, --force
           An alias for --discard-changes.

           Proceed even if the index or the working tree differs from
           HEAD. Both the index and working tree are restored to match
           the switching target. If --recurse-submodules is specified,
           submodule content is also restored to match the switching
           target. This is used to throw away local changes.

       -m, --merge
           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).

           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".

       -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.

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

           If no -c 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 -c in such a

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

       --orphan <new-branch>
           Create a new orphan branch, named <new-branch>. All tracked
           files are removed.

           git switch 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

       --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 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 submodules.

EXAMPLES         top

       The following command switches to the "master" branch:

           $ git switch master

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

           $ git switch mytopic

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

           $ git switch 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 merge:

           $ git switch -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.

       To switch back to the previous branch before we switched to
       mytopic (i.e. "master" branch):

           $ git switch -

       You can grow a new branch from any commit. For example, switch to
       "HEAD~3" and create branch "fixup":

           $ git switch -c fixup HEAD~3
           Switched to a new branch 'fixup'

       If you want to start a new branch from a remote branch of the
       same name:

           $ git switch new-topic
           Branch 'new-topic' set up to track remote branch 'new-topic' from 'origin'
           Switched to a new branch 'new-topic'

       To check out commit HEAD~3 for temporary inspection or experiment
       without creating a new branch:

           $ git switch --detach HEAD~3
           HEAD is now at 9fc9555312 Merge branch 'cc/shared-index-permbits'

       If it turns out whatever you have done is worth keeping, you can
       always create a new name for it (without switching away):

           $ git switch -c good-surprises


       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-switch(1) and 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 future.

           Provides the default value for the --guess or --no-guess
           option in git checkout and git switch. See git-switch(1) and

           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

           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

SEE ALSO         top

       git-checkout(1), git-branch(1)

GIT         top

       Part of the git(1) suite

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the git (Git distributed version control
       system) project.  Information about the project can be found at
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug report for this manual
       page, see ⟨⟩.  This page was obtained
       from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨⟩ on 2023-12-22.  (At that time,
       the date of the most recent commit that was found in the
       repository was 2023-12-20.)  If you discover any rendering
       problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe there
       is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
       corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to

Git         2023-12-20                  GIT-SWITCH(1)

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