git-worktree(1) — Linux manual page


GIT-WORKTREE(1)                Git Manual                GIT-WORKTREE(1)

NAME         top

       git-worktree - Manage multiple working trees

SYNOPSIS         top

       git worktree add [-f] [--detach] [--checkout] [--lock [--reason <string>]]
                          [--orphan] [(-b | -B) <new-branch>] <path> [<commit-ish>]
       git worktree list [-v | --porcelain [-z]]
       git worktree lock [--reason <string>] <worktree>
       git worktree move <worktree> <new-path>
       git worktree prune [-n] [-v] [--expire <expire>]
       git worktree remove [-f] <worktree>
       git worktree repair [<path>...]
       git worktree unlock <worktree>

DESCRIPTION         top

       Manage multiple working trees attached to the same repository.

       A git repository can support multiple working trees, allowing you
       to check out more than one branch at a time. With git worktree
       add a new working tree is associated with the repository, along
       with additional metadata that differentiates that working tree
       from others in the same repository. The working tree, along with
       this metadata, is called a "worktree".

       This new worktree is called a "linked worktree" as opposed to the
       "main worktree" prepared by git-init(1) or git-clone(1). A
       repository has one main worktree (if it’s not a bare repository)
       and zero or more linked worktrees. When you are done with a
       linked worktree, remove it with git worktree remove.

       In its simplest form, git worktree add <path> automatically
       creates a new branch whose name is the final component of <path>,
       which is convenient if you plan to work on a new topic. For
       instance, git worktree add ../hotfix creates new branch hotfix
       and checks it out at path ../hotfix. To instead work on an
       existing branch in a new worktree, use git worktree add <path>
       <branch>. On the other hand, if you just plan to make some
       experimental changes or do testing without disturbing existing
       development, it is often convenient to create a throwaway
       worktree not associated with any branch. For instance, git
       worktree add -d <path> creates a new worktree with a detached
       HEAD at the same commit as the current branch.

       If a working tree is deleted without using git worktree remove,
       then its associated administrative files, which reside in the
       repository (see "DETAILS" below), will eventually be removed
       automatically (see gc.worktreePruneExpire in git-config(1)), or
       you can run git worktree prune in the main or any linked worktree
       to clean up any stale administrative files.

       If the working tree for a linked worktree is stored on a portable
       device or network share which is not always mounted, you can
       prevent its administrative files from being pruned by issuing the
       git worktree lock command, optionally specifying --reason to
       explain why the worktree is locked.

COMMANDS         top

       add <path> [<commit-ish>]
           Create a worktree at <path> and checkout <commit-ish> into
           it. The new worktree is linked to the current repository,
           sharing everything except per-worktree files such as HEAD,
           index, etc. As a convenience, <commit-ish> may be a bare "-",
           which is synonymous with @{-1}.

           If <commit-ish> is a branch name (call it <branch>) and is
           not found, and neither -b nor -B nor --detach are used, but
           there does exist a tracking branch in exactly one remote
           (call it <remote>) with a matching name, treat as equivalent

               $ git worktree add --track -b <branch> <path> <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

           If <commit-ish> is omitted and neither -b nor -B nor --detach
           used, then, as a convenience, the new worktree is associated
           with a branch (call it <branch>) named after $(basename
           <path>). If <branch> doesn’t exist, a new branch based on
           HEAD is automatically created as if -b <branch> was given. If
           <branch> does exist, it will be checked out in the new
           worktree, if it’s not checked out anywhere else, otherwise
           the command will refuse to create the worktree (unless
           --force is used).

           If <commit-ish> is omitted, neither --detach, or --orphan is
           used, and there are no valid local branches (or remote
           branches if --guess-remote is specified) then, as a
           convenience, the new worktree is associated with a new orphan
           branch named <branch> (after $(basename <path>) if neither -b
           or -B is used) as if --orphan was passed to the command. In
           the event the repository has a remote and --guess-remote is
           used, but no remote or local branches exist, then the command
           fails with a warning reminding the user to fetch from their
           remote first (or override by using -f/--force).

           List details of each worktree. The main worktree is listed
           first, followed by each of the linked worktrees. The output
           details include whether the worktree is bare, the revision
           currently checked out, the branch currently checked out (or
           "detached HEAD" if none), "locked" if the worktree is locked,
           "prunable" if the worktree can be pruned by the prune

           If a worktree is on a portable device or network share which
           is not always mounted, lock it to prevent its administrative
           files from being pruned automatically. This also prevents it
           from being moved or deleted. Optionally, specify a reason for
           the lock with --reason.

           Move a worktree to a new location. Note that the main
           worktree or linked worktrees containing submodules cannot be
           moved with this command. (The git worktree repair command,
           however, can reestablish the connection with linked worktrees
           if you move the main worktree manually.)

           Prune worktree information in $GIT_DIR/worktrees.

           Remove a worktree. Only clean worktrees (no untracked files
           and no modification in tracked files) can be removed. Unclean
           worktrees or ones with submodules can be removed with
           --force. The main worktree cannot be removed.

       repair [<path>...]
           Repair worktree administrative files, if possible, if they
           have become corrupted or outdated due to external factors.

           For instance, if the main worktree (or bare repository) is
           moved, linked worktrees will be unable to locate it. Running
           repair in the main worktree will reestablish the connection
           from linked worktrees back to the main worktree.

           Similarly, if the working tree for a linked worktree is moved
           without using git worktree move, the main worktree (or bare
           repository) will be unable to locate it. Running repair
           within the recently-moved worktree will reestablish the
           connection. If multiple linked worktrees are moved, running
           repair from any worktree with each tree’s new <path> as an
           argument, will reestablish the connection to all the
           specified paths.

           If both the main worktree and linked worktrees have been
           moved manually, then running repair in the main worktree and
           specifying the new <path> of each linked worktree will
           reestablish all connections in both directions.

           Unlock a worktree, allowing it to be pruned, moved or

OPTIONS         top

       -f, --force
           By default, add refuses to create a new worktree when
           <commit-ish> is a branch name and is already checked out by
           another worktree, or if <path> is already assigned to some
           worktree but is missing (for instance, if <path> was deleted
           manually). This option overrides these safeguards. To add a
           missing but locked worktree path, specify --force twice.

           move refuses to move a locked worktree unless --force is
           specified twice. If the destination is already assigned to
           some other worktree but is missing (for instance, if
           <new-path> was deleted manually), then --force allows the
           move to proceed; use --force twice if the destination is

           remove refuses to remove an unclean worktree unless --force
           is used. To remove a locked worktree, specify --force twice.

       -b <new-branch>, -B <new-branch>
           With add, create a new branch named <new-branch> starting at
           <commit-ish>, and check out <new-branch> into the new
           worktree. If <commit-ish> is omitted, it defaults to HEAD. By
           default, -b refuses to create a new branch if it already
           exists.  -B overrides this safeguard, resetting <new-branch>
           to <commit-ish>.

       -d, --detach
           With add, detach HEAD in the new worktree. See "DETACHED
           HEAD" in git-checkout(1).

           By default, add checks out <commit-ish>, however,
           --no-checkout can be used to suppress checkout in order to
           make customizations, such as configuring sparse-checkout. See
           "Sparse checkout" in git-read-tree(1).

           With worktree add <path>, without <commit-ish>, instead of
           creating a new branch from HEAD, if there exists a tracking
           branch in exactly one remote matching the basename of <path>,
           base the new branch on the remote-tracking branch, and mark
           the remote-tracking branch as "upstream" from the new branch.

           This can also be set up as the default behaviour by using the
           worktree.guessRemote config option.

           When creating a new branch, if <commit-ish> is a branch, mark
           it as "upstream" from the new branch. This is the default if
           <commit-ish> is a remote-tracking branch. See --track in
           git-branch(1) for details.

           Keep the worktree locked after creation. This is the
           equivalent of git worktree lock after git worktree add, but
           without a race condition.

       -n, --dry-run
           With prune, do not remove anything; just report what it would

           With add, make the new worktree and index empty, associating
           the worktree with a new orphan/unborn branch named

           With list, output in an easy-to-parse format for scripts.
           This format will remain stable across Git versions and
           regardless of user configuration. It is recommended to
           combine this with -z. See below for details.

           Terminate each line with a NUL rather than a newline when
           --porcelain is specified with list. This makes it possible to
           parse the output when a worktree path contains a newline

       -q, --quiet
           With add, suppress feedback messages.

       -v, --verbose
           With prune, report all removals.

           With list, output additional information about worktrees (see

       --expire <time>
           With prune, only expire unused worktrees older than <time>.

           With list, annotate missing worktrees as prunable if they are
           older than <time>.

       --reason <string>
           With lock or with add --lock, an explanation why the worktree
           is locked.

           Worktrees can be identified by path, either relative or

           If the last path components in the worktree’s path is unique
           among worktrees, it can be used to identify a worktree. For
           example if you only have two worktrees, at /abc/def/ghi and
           /abc/def/ggg, then ghi or def/ghi is enough to point to the
           former worktree.

REFS         top

       When using multiple worktrees, some refs are shared between all
       worktrees, but others are specific to an individual worktree. One
       example is HEAD, which is different for each worktree. This
       section is about the sharing rules and how to access refs of one
       worktree from another.

       In general, all pseudo refs are per-worktree and all refs
       starting with refs/ are shared. Pseudo refs are ones like HEAD
       which are directly under $GIT_DIR instead of inside
       $GIT_DIR/refs. There are exceptions, however: refs inside
       refs/bisect, refs/worktree and refs/rewritten are not shared.

       Refs that are per-worktree can still be accessed from another
       worktree via two special paths, main-worktree and worktrees. The
       former gives access to per-worktree refs of the main worktree,
       while the latter to all linked worktrees.

       For example, main-worktree/HEAD or main-worktree/refs/bisect/good
       resolve to the same value as the main worktree’s HEAD and
       refs/bisect/good respectively. Similarly, worktrees/foo/HEAD or
       worktrees/bar/refs/bisect/bad are the same as
       $GIT_COMMON_DIR/worktrees/foo/HEAD and

       To access refs, it’s best not to look inside $GIT_DIR directly.
       Instead use commands such as git-rev-parse(1) or
       git-update-ref(1) which will handle refs correctly.


       By default, the repository config file is shared across all
       worktrees. If the config variables core.bare or core.worktree are
       present in the common config file and extensions.worktreeConfig
       is disabled, then they will be applied to the main worktree only.

       In order to have worktree-specific configuration, you can turn on
       the worktreeConfig extension, e.g.:

           $ git config extensions.worktreeConfig true

       In this mode, specific configuration stays in the path pointed by
       git rev-parse --git-path config.worktree. You can add or update
       configuration in this file with git config --worktree. Older Git
       versions will refuse to access repositories with this extension.

       Note that in this file, the exception for core.bare and
       core.worktree is gone. If they exist in $GIT_DIR/config, you must
       move them to the config.worktree of the main worktree. You may
       also take this opportunity to review and move other configuration
       that you do not want to share to all worktrees:

       •   core.worktree should never be shared.

       •   core.bare should not be shared if the value is

       •   core.sparseCheckout should not be shared, unless you are sure
           you always use sparse checkout for all worktrees.

       See the documentation of extensions.worktreeConfig in
       git-config(1) for more details.

DETAILS         top

       Each linked worktree has a private sub-directory in the
       repository’s $GIT_DIR/worktrees directory. The private
       sub-directory’s name is usually the base name of the linked
       worktree’s path, possibly appended with a number to make it
       unique. For example, when $GIT_DIR=/path/main/.git the command
       git worktree add /path/other/test-next next creates the linked
       worktree in /path/other/test-next and also creates a
       $GIT_DIR/worktrees/test-next directory (or
       $GIT_DIR/worktrees/test-next1 if test-next is already taken).

       Within a linked worktree, $GIT_DIR is set to point to this
       private directory (e.g. /path/main/.git/worktrees/test-next in
       the example) and $GIT_COMMON_DIR is set to point back to the main
       worktree’s $GIT_DIR (e.g. /path/main/.git). These settings are
       made in a .git file located at the top directory of the linked

       Path resolution via git rev-parse --git-path uses either $GIT_DIR
       or $GIT_COMMON_DIR depending on the path. For example, in the
       linked worktree git rev-parse --git-path HEAD returns
       /path/main/.git/worktrees/test-next/HEAD (not
       /path/other/test-next/.git/HEAD or /path/main/.git/HEAD) while
       git rev-parse --git-path refs/heads/master uses $GIT_COMMON_DIR
       and returns /path/main/.git/refs/heads/master, since refs are
       shared across all worktrees, except refs/bisect, refs/worktree
       and refs/rewritten.

       See gitrepository-layout(5) for more information. The rule of
       thumb is do not make any assumption about whether a path belongs
       to $GIT_DIR or $GIT_COMMON_DIR when you need to directly access
       something inside $GIT_DIR. Use git rev-parse --git-path to get
       the final path.

       If you manually move a linked worktree, you need to update the
       gitdir file in the entry’s directory. For example, if a linked
       worktree is moved to /newpath/test-next and its .git file points
       to /path/main/.git/worktrees/test-next, then update
       /path/main/.git/worktrees/test-next/gitdir to reference
       /newpath/test-next instead. Better yet, run git worktree repair
       to reestablish the connection automatically.

       To prevent a $GIT_DIR/worktrees entry from being pruned (which
       can be useful in some situations, such as when the entry’s
       worktree is stored on a portable device), use the git worktree
       lock command, which adds a file named locked to the entry’s
       directory. The file contains the reason in plain text. For
       example, if a linked worktree’s .git file points to
       /path/main/.git/worktrees/test-next then a file named
       /path/main/.git/worktrees/test-next/locked will prevent the
       test-next entry from being pruned. See gitrepository-layout(5)
       for details.

       When extensions.worktreeConfig is enabled, the config file
       .git/worktrees/<id>/config.worktree is read after .git/config is.


       The worktree list command has two output formats. The default
       format shows the details on a single line with columns. For

           $ git worktree list
           /path/to/bare-source            (bare)
           /path/to/linked-worktree        abcd1234 [master]
           /path/to/other-linked-worktree  1234abc  (detached HEAD)

       The command also shows annotations for each worktree, according
       to its state. These annotations are:

       •   locked, if the worktree is locked.

       •   prunable, if the worktree can be pruned via git worktree

           $ git worktree list
           /path/to/linked-worktree    abcd1234 [master]
           /path/to/locked-worktree    acbd5678 (brancha) locked
           /path/to/prunable-worktree  5678abc  (detached HEAD) prunable

       For these annotations, a reason might also be available and this
       can be seen using the verbose mode. The annotation is then moved
       to the next line indented followed by the additional information.

           $ git worktree list --verbose
           /path/to/linked-worktree              abcd1234 [master]
           /path/to/locked-worktree-no-reason    abcd5678 (detached HEAD) locked
           /path/to/locked-worktree-with-reason  1234abcd (brancha)
                   locked: worktree path is mounted on a portable device
           /path/to/prunable-worktree            5678abc1 (detached HEAD)
                   prunable: gitdir file points to non-existent location

       Note that the annotation is moved to the next line if the
       additional information is available, otherwise it stays on the
       same line as the worktree itself.

   Porcelain Format
       The porcelain format has a line per attribute. If -z is given
       then the lines are terminated with NUL rather than a newline.
       Attributes are listed with a label and value separated by a
       single space. Boolean attributes (like bare and detached) are
       listed as a label only, and are present only if the value is
       true. Some attributes (like locked) can be listed as a label only
       or with a value depending upon whether a reason is available. The
       first attribute of a worktree is always worktree, an empty line
       indicates the end of the record. For example:

           $ git worktree list --porcelain
           worktree /path/to/bare-source

           worktree /path/to/linked-worktree
           HEAD abcd1234abcd1234abcd1234abcd1234abcd1234
           branch refs/heads/master

           worktree /path/to/other-linked-worktree
           HEAD 1234abc1234abc1234abc1234abc1234abc1234a

           worktree /path/to/linked-worktree-locked-no-reason
           HEAD 5678abc5678abc5678abc5678abc5678abc5678c
           branch refs/heads/locked-no-reason

           worktree /path/to/linked-worktree-locked-with-reason
           HEAD 3456def3456def3456def3456def3456def3456b
           branch refs/heads/locked-with-reason
           locked reason why is locked

           worktree /path/to/linked-worktree-prunable
           HEAD 1233def1234def1234def1234def1234def1234b
           prunable gitdir file points to non-existent location

       Unless -z is used any "unusual" characters in the lock reason
       such as newlines are escaped and the entire reason is quoted as
       explained for the configuration variable core.quotePath (see
       git-config(1)). For Example:

           $ git worktree list --porcelain
           locked "reason\nwhy is locked"

EXAMPLES         top

       You are in the middle of a refactoring session and your boss
       comes in and demands that you fix something immediately. You
       might typically use git-stash(1) to store your changes away
       temporarily, however, your working tree is in such a state of
       disarray (with new, moved, and removed files, and other bits and
       pieces strewn around) that you don’t want to risk disturbing any
       of it. Instead, you create a temporary linked worktree to make
       the emergency fix, remove it when done, and then resume your
       earlier refactoring session.

           $ git worktree add -b emergency-fix ../temp master
           $ pushd ../temp
           # ... hack hack hack ...
           $ git commit -a -m 'emergency fix for boss'
           $ popd
           $ git worktree remove ../temp

BUGS         top

       Multiple checkout in general is still experimental, and the
       support for submodules is incomplete. It is NOT recommended to
       make multiple checkouts of a superproject.

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-WORKTREE(1)

Pages that refer to this page: git(1)git-checkout(1)git-config(1)git-log(1)git-replay(1)git-rev-list(1)git-shortlog(1)git-sparse-checkout(1)git-switch(1)gitrepository-layout(5)gitglossary(7)