Git is a powerful version control system that allows developers to track changes in their codebase and collaborate with others seamlessly. Two commonly used Git commands for updating your local repository with changes from remote repository are ‘git pull’ and ‘git fetch’ . In this blog, we’l check into differences between these two commands and provide examples to help you understand their usage.
What is Git Fetch
The ‘git fetch’ command is used to retrieve changes from a remote repository without merging them into your working branch. It updates your local repository’s knowledge of the remote repository, allowing you to see what changes have been made in the remote branch without, making any changes to your current branch.
Here’s how ‘
git fetch‘ works:
git fetch origin
In this example, ‘
origin‘ is name of the remote repository from which we want to fetch changes. After running this command, Git will download any new branches, tags, and commits from ‘
origin‘ and store them in your local repository. However, your working branch remains untouched.
Let’s consider a scenario where youre working on a feature branch and want to see if any changes have been made to the ‘main’ branch in the remote repository. You can use ‘git fetch’ to check for updates:
# Fetch changes from the remote repository (origin) git fetch origin # List branches and their respective commit hashes git branch -av
git branch -av‘ will display list of all branches, including those fetched from the remote repository. You can inspect these branches and decide whether you want to merge any changes into your working branch.
What is Git Pull
git pull‘ command, on the other hand, not only fetches changes from the remote repository but also merges them into your current working branch. It’s essentially a combination of ‘
git fetch‘ and ‘
git merge‘ in one step.
Here’s how ‘git pull’ works:
git pull origin main
In this example, we are pulling changes from the ‘
main‘ branch of the ‘
origin‘ remote repository into our current working branch. ‘git pull’ will automatically fetch the latest changes and merge them into your local branch.
Consider a scenario where you’re working on a feature branch, and you want to update it with the latest changes from the ‘main’ branch in the remote repository:
# Switch to your feature branch git checkout feature-branch # Pull changes from the 'main' branch of the remote repository (origin) git pull origin main
After running this command, your ‘
feature-branch‘ will be updated with the latest changes from ‘main.’
In summary, ‘git fetch’ is used to fetch changes from a remote repository without merging them into your current working branch. It updates your local repository’s knowledge of the remote repository. On other hand, ‘git pull’ not only fetches changes but also merges them into your current working branch. Understanding the difference between these two commands is crucial for managing your Git workflow effectively.
Remember that using ‘git fetch’ allows you to review changes before merging them, while ‘git pull’ immediately updates your working branch. Depending on your workflow and the need for control over when and what changes are merged, you can choose the appropriate command.
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