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Creating and switching branches

From: Git Essential Training

Video: Creating and switching branches

So far we've seen how to create new branches, and we've seen how to switch between branches. In this movie we're going to take a look at how we can both create and switch branches at the same time so that we don't have to type both commands. Let's just review, we do git branch, we're on the new_feature branch that we created, and if I do git log --oneline you'll remember that this is the new commit that I made right here. I modified the title of index.html. I can also take a look at that commit with git show, and I can either copy and paste the SHA that references it, or the HEAD pointer points at that commit right now.

Creating and switching branches

So far we've seen how to create new branches, and we've seen how to switch between branches. In this movie we're going to take a look at how we can both create and switch branches at the same time so that we don't have to type both commands. Let's just review, we do git branch, we're on the new_feature branch that we created, and if I do git log --oneline you'll remember that this is the new commit that I made right here. I modified the title of index.html. I can also take a look at that commit with git show, and I can either copy and paste the SHA that references it, or the HEAD pointer points at that commit right now.

So git show HEAD will show me that change, it'll show me that commit and what I changed. So let's say that the change we want to make now is we want to make a new branch where we want to try out shortening the title, the title now has gotten to be very long, and we're going to try to shorten it. So what we're going to do is create a new branch and check it out at the same time. What we're going to do is use the checkout command with the -b option; -b means both created and switch at the same time. You can think of it as check this out as a new branch, it's a little bit counterintuitive, you might be thinking well the branch is the thing that creates the new one.

Why am I not using the branch command? It's not that way, it's the checkout command. Put this stuff in my working directory as a new branch, that's what it's telling it. Now we need to give our branch a name. The first branch we created we just called new_ feature which is pretty generic and not very useful. You want to try and give your branches useful, meaningful names so that when you look at them in your branch list you'll know what they refer to. So we're going to call this one shorten_title, that should be pretty clear what we were trying to do. So switch to new branch shorten_title, it created it and checked it out and switched to it all at same time, and we can see that with git branch.

So now we are on our shorten_title branch. Let's do git log --oneline, and notice that it includes the commit that we made to the new_feature branch. What we did was we didn't make a branch off of master, we made a branch off of new_feature. So we were on new_feature, and if that's the branch that we were on at the time, if that's where the HEAD is then that's where the branch will be created off of. I could've switched back to master and then created the branch from there, and it would not include that commit, the dc9ca3c commit.

But I wanted that commit in there, I wanted the long title because now I am going to try and shorten that title. So let's do that, let's open this up and inside index.html you can see that the change is there, and I am just going to take out the Welcome to. We're just going to make this Explore California - Affordable Outdoor Tours, that's a shorter title, and that works for us. So let's save it, close it. Now we know how to make basic commits, git status. Before we add this and make the commit I just want you to notice here that checkout was the command that we used earlier when we wanted to discard changes in the working directory.

And remember at the time I told you that we use the dash dash to make it unambiguous that we are not trying to check out a branch, we're trying to check out just the file. So dash dash says from the current branch, that's what it's telling us, don't change branches, that's not what I am trying to do here to check out. I'm trying to just check out the file. So checkout essentially does double-duty for us. It'll checkout branches, but it'll also go to the repository and checkout files for us. Essentially checkout is saying, put this stuff in my working directory.

So now let's add it, so git add index.html, git commit, and we're going to give it a message "Shorten the title of index.html." That describes what my commit does. Now if we say git log --oneline, you can see here it is. I have my dc9 commit followed by the 6a2a3f5 commit. If we now git checkout our new_feature branch, and we do our git log --oneline, you'll see that it's not there.

If we do git checkout of master, and then we output our log file, you'll see that neither one of those is there. So you can switch back and forth to these, and each time go check and see, take a look at what's inside index.html and see the difference between them. You also can check out the shorten_title branch and use that git log with some of those options that I gave you like --graph, --oneline, --decorate, --all.

And notice now it gives me the different commits, and you can see that it shows me the tip of each one of those branches; master has this tip, new_feature ends with this one. Right now, HEAD is on the shorten_title one, and so both of those point to this last commit. Feel free to switch between branches, make more commits until you get comfortable, and you really understand how the switching works because it's something that you're going to be doing all the time in git, and you really should feel comfortable with it.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Git Essential Training
Git Essential Training

89 video lessons · 28688 viewers

Kevin Skoglund
Author

 
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  1. 2m 46s
    1. Introduction
      1m 7s
    2. How to use the exercise files
      1m 39s
  2. 20m 24s
    1. Understanding version control
      4m 48s
    2. The history of Git
      7m 58s
    3. About distributed version control
      5m 4s
    4. Who should use Git?
      2m 34s
  3. 26m 12s
    1. Installing Git on a Mac
      3m 44s
    2. Installing Git on Windows
      5m 37s
    3. Installing Git on Linux
      1m 30s
    4. Configuring Git
      7m 29s
    5. Exploring Git auto-completion
      5m 35s
    6. Using Git help
      2m 17s
  4. 15m 49s
    1. Initializing a repository
      1m 58s
    2. Understanding where Git files are stored
      2m 34s
    3. Performing your first commit
      2m 4s
    4. Writing commit messages
      5m 22s
    5. Viewing the commit log
      3m 51s
  5. 17m 44s
    1. Exploring the three-trees architecture
      3m 57s
    2. The Git workflow
      3m 15s
    3. Using hash values (SHA-1)
      4m 7s
    4. Working with the HEAD pointer
      6m 25s
  6. 25m 52s
    1. Adding files
      5m 59s
    2. Editing files
      3m 56s
    3. Viewing changes with diff
      3m 35s
    4. Viewing only staged changes
      2m 28s
    5. Deleting files
      5m 29s
    6. Moving and renaming files
      4m 25s
  7. 19m 18s
    1. Introducing the Explore California web site
      2m 2s
    2. Initializing Git
      3m 48s
    3. Editing the support phone number
      6m 20s
    4. Editing the backpack file name and links
      7m 8s
  8. 38m 45s
    1. Undoing working directory changes
      3m 49s
    2. Unstaging files
      2m 37s
    3. Amending commits
      4m 50s
    4. Retrieving old versions
      4m 7s
    5. Reverting a commit
      3m 12s
    6. Using reset to undo commits
      3m 44s
    7. Demonstrating a soft reset
      4m 8s
    8. Demonstrating a mixed reset
      4m 7s
    9. Demonstrating a hard reset
      5m 8s
    10. Removing untracked files
      3m 3s
  9. 27m 22s
    1. Using .gitignore files
      8m 23s
    2. Understanding what to ignore
      4m 47s
    3. Ignoring files globally
      4m 49s
    4. Ignoring tracked files
      5m 26s
    5. Tracking empty directories
      3m 57s
  10. 26m 51s
    1. Referencing commits
      4m 52s
    2. Exploring tree listings
      3m 46s
    3. Getting more from the commit log
      7m 38s
    4. Viewing commits
      4m 4s
    5. Comparing commits
      6m 31s
  11. 39m 35s
    1. Branching overview
      4m 56s
    2. Viewing and creating branches
      2m 57s
    3. Switching branches
      2m 58s
    4. Creating and switching branches
      4m 53s
    5. Switching branches with uncommitted changes
      3m 26s
    6. Comparing branches
      4m 28s
    7. Renaming branches
      2m 28s
    8. Deleting branches
      4m 18s
    9. Configuring the command prompt to show the branch
      9m 11s
  12. 28m 32s
    1. Merging code
      3m 11s
    2. Using fast-forward merge vs. true merge
      6m 49s
    3. Merging conflicts
      7m 26s
    4. Resolving merge conflicts
      7m 5s
    5. Exploring strategies to reduce merge conflicts
      4m 1s
  13. 14m 34s
    1. Saving changes in the stash
      4m 5s
    2. Viewing stashed changes
      2m 39s
    3. Retrieving stashed changes
      4m 24s
    4. Deleting stashed changes
      3m 26s
  14. 1h 5m
    1. Using local and remote repositories
      6m 38s
    2. Setting up a GitHub account
      5m 39s
    3. Adding a remote repository
      4m 0s
    4. Creating a remote branch
      4m 3s
    5. Cloning a remote repository
      4m 26s
    6. Tracking remote branches
      4m 5s
    7. Pushing changes to a remote repository
      5m 8s
    8. Fetching changes from a remote repository
      5m 47s
    9. Merging in fetched changes
      4m 50s
    10. Checking out remote branches
      3m 22s
    11. Pushing to an updated remote branch
      2m 6s
    12. Deleting a remote branch
      3m 8s
    13. Enabling collaboration
      3m 40s
    14. A collaboration workflow
      8m 43s
  15. 16m 23s
    1. Setting up aliases for common commands
      5m 14s
    2. Using SSH keys for remote login
      2m 56s
    3. Exploring integrated development environments
      1m 4s
    4. Exploring graphical user interfaces
      4m 32s
    5. Understanding Git hosting
      2m 37s
  16. 55s
    1. Goodbye
      55s

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