git-branch [--color | --no-color] [-r | -a] [-v [--abbrev=<length> | --no-abbrev]] [--contains <commit>] git-branch [--track | --no-track] [-l] [-f] <branchname> [<start-point>] git-branch (-m | -M) [<oldbranch>] <newbranch> git-branch (-d | -D) [-r] <branchname>…


With no arguments given a list of existing branches will be shown, the current branch will be highlighted with an asterisk. Option -r causes the remote-tracking branches to be listed, and option -a shows both. With --contains <commit>, shows only the branches that contains the named commit (in other words, the branches whose tip commits are descendant of the named commit).

In its second form, a new branch named <branchname> will be created. It will start out with a head equal to the one given as <start-point>. If no <start-point> is given, the branch will be created with a head equal to that of the currently checked out branch.

Note that this will create the new branch, but it will not switch the working tree to it; use "git checkout <newbranch>" to switch to the new branch.

When a local branch is started off a remote branch, git sets up the branch so that linkgit:git-pull[1] will appropriately merge from that remote branch. If this behavior is not desired, it is possible to disable it using the global branch.autosetupmerge configuration flag. That setting can be overridden by using the --track and --no-track options.

With a -m or -M option, <oldbranch> will be renamed to <newbranch>. If <oldbranch> had a corresponding reflog, it is renamed to match <newbranch>, and a reflog entry is created to remember the branch renaming. If <newbranch> exists, -M must be used to force the rename to happen.

With a -d or -D option, <branchname> will be deleted. You may specify more than one branch for deletion. If the branch currently has a reflog then the reflog will also be deleted.

Use -r together with -d to delete remote-tracking branches. Note, that it only makes sense to delete remote-tracking branches if they no longer exist in remote repository or if linkgit:git-fetch[1] was configured not to fetch them again. See also prune subcommand of linkgit:git-remote[1] for way to clean up all obsolete remote-tracking branches.



Delete a branch. The branch must be fully merged in HEAD.


Delete a branch irrespective of its merged status.


Create the branch’s reflog. This activates recording of all changes made to the branch ref, enabling use of date based sha1 expressions such as "<branchname>@{yesterday}".


Force the creation of a new branch even if it means deleting a branch that already exists with the same name.


Move/rename a branch and the corresponding reflog.


Move/rename a branch even if the new branchname already exists.


Color branches to highlight current, local, and remote branches.


Turn off branch colors, even when the configuration file gives the default to color output.


List or delete (if used with -d) the remote-tracking branches.


List both remote-tracking branches and local branches.

-v, --verbose

Show sha1 and commit subject line for each head.


Alter minimum display length for sha1 in output listing, default value is 7.


Display the full sha1s in output listing rather than abbreviating them.


Set up configuration so that git-pull will automatically retrieve data from the remote branch. Use this if you always pull from the same remote branch into the new branch, or if you don’t want to use "git pull <repository> <refspec>" explicitly. This behavior is the default. Set the branch.autosetupmerge configuration variable to false if you want git-checkout and git-branch to always behave as if --no-track were given.


When a branch is created off a remote branch, set up configuration so that git-pull will not retrieve data from the remote branch, ignoring the branch.autosetupmerge configuration variable.


The name of the branch to create or delete. The new branch name must pass all checks defined by linkgit:git-check-ref-format[1]. Some of these checks may restrict the characters allowed in a branch name.


The new branch will be created with a HEAD equal to this. It may be given as a branch name, a commit-id, or a tag. If this option is omitted, the current branch is assumed.


The name of an existing branch to rename.


The new name for an existing branch. The same restrictions as for <branchname> applies.


Start development off of a known tag
$ git clone git:// my2.6
$ cd my2.6
$ git branch my2.6.14 v2.6.14   <1>
$ git checkout my2.6.14
  1. This step and the next one could be combined into a single step with "checkout -b my2.6.14 v2.6.14".

Delete unneeded branch
$ git clone git:// my.git
$ cd my.git
$ git branch -d -r origin/todo origin/html origin/man   <1>
$ git branch -D test                                    <2>
  1. Delete remote-tracking branches "todo", "html", "man". Next fetch or pull will create them again unless you configure them not to. See linkgit:git-fetch[1].

  2. Delete "test" branch even if the "master" branch (or whichever branch is currently checked out) does not have all commits from test branch.


If you are creating a branch that you want to immediately checkout, it’s easier to use the git checkout command with its -b option to create a branch and check it out with a single command.


Written by Linus Torvalds <> and Junio C Hamano <>


Documentation by Junio C Hamano and the git-list <>.


Part of the linkgit:git[7] suite