man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: July 2014

git-pull (1)


git-pull - Fetch from and merge with another repository or a local branch


git pull [options] [<repository> [<refspec>...]]


Git Manual                                            GIT-PULL(1)

     git-pull - Fetch from and merge with another repository or a
     local branch

     git pull [options] [<repository> [<refspec>...]]

     Incorporates changes from a remote repository into the
     current branch. In its default mode, git pull is shorthand
     for git fetch followed by git merge FETCH_HEAD.

     More precisely, git pull runs git fetch with the given
     parameters and calls git merge to merge the retrieved branch
     heads into the current branch. With --rebase, it runs git
     rebase instead of git merge.

     <repository> should be the name of a remote repository as
     passed to git-fetch(1). <refspec> can name an arbitrary
     remote ref (for example, the name of a tag) or even a
     collection of refs with corresponding remote-tracking
     branches (e.g., refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/origin/*), but
     usually it is the name of a branch in the remote repository.

     Default values for <repository> and <branch> are read from
     the "remote" and "merge" configuration for the current
     branch as set by git-branch(1) --track.

     Assume the following history exists and the current branch
     is "master":

                   A---B---C master on origin
             D---E---F---G master

     Then "git pull" will fetch and replay the changes from the
     remote master branch since it diverged from the local master
     (i.e., E) until its current commit (C) on top of master and
     record the result in a new commit along with the names of
     the two parent commits and a log message from the user
     describing the changes.

                   A---B---C remotes/origin/master
                  /         \
             D---E---F---G---H master

     See git-merge(1) for details, including how conflicts are
     presented and handled.

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     In git 1.7.0 or later, to cancel a conflicting merge, use
     git reset --merge. Warning: In older versions of git,
     running git pull with uncommitted changes is discouraged:
     while possible, it leaves you in a state that may be hard to
     back out of in the case of a conflict.

     If any of the remote changes overlap with local uncommitted
     changes, the merge will be automatically cancelled and the
     work tree untouched. It is generally best to get any local
     changes in working order before pulling or stash them away
     with git-stash(1).

     Options meant for git pull itself and the underlying git
     merge must be given before the options meant for git fetch.

     -q, --quiet
         This is passed to both underlying git-fetch to squelch
         reporting of during transfer, and underlying git-merge
         to squelch output during merging.

     -v, --verbose
         Pass --verbose to git-fetch and git-merge.

         This option controls if new commits of all populated
         submodules should be fetched too (see git-config(1) and
         gitmodules(4)). That might be necessary to get the data
         needed for merging submodule commits, a feature git
         learned in 1.7.3. Notice that the result of a merge will
         not be checked out in the submodule, "git submodule
         update" has to be called afterwards to bring the work
         tree up to date with the merge result.

  Options related to merging
     --commit, --no-commit
         Perform the merge and commit the result. This option can
         be used to override --no-commit.

         With --no-commit perform the merge but pretend the merge
         failed and do not autocommit, to give the user a chance
         to inspect and further tweak the merge result before

     --edit, -e
         Invoke editor before committing successful merge to
         further edit the default merge message.

     --ff, --no-ff
         Do not generate a merge commit if the merge resolved as
         a fast-forward, only update the branch pointer. This is
         the default behavior of git-merge.

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         With --no-ff Generate a merge commit even if the merge
         resolved as a fast-forward.

     --log[=<n>], --no-log
         In addition to branch names, populate the log message
         with one-line descriptions from at most <n> actual
         commits that are being merged. See also git-fmt-merge-

         With --no-log do not list one-line descriptions from the
         actual commits being merged.

     --stat, -n, --no-stat
         Show a diffstat at the end of the merge. The diffstat is
         also controlled by the configuration option merge.stat.

         With -n or --no-stat do not show a diffstat at the end
         of the merge.

     --squash, --no-squash
         Produce the working tree and index state as if a real
         merge happened (except for the merge information), but
         do not actually make a commit or move the HEAD, nor
         record $GIT_DIR/MERGE_HEAD to cause the next git commit
         command to create a merge commit. This allows you to
         create a single commit on top of the current branch
         whose effect is the same as merging another branch (or
         more in case of an octopus).

         With --no-squash perform the merge and commit the
         result. This option can be used to override --squash.

         Refuse to merge and exit with a non-zero status unless
         the current HEAD is already up-to-date or the merge can
         be resolved as a fast-forward.

     -s <strategy>, --strategy=<strategy>
         Use the given merge strategy; can be supplied more than
         once to specify them in the order they should be tried.
         If there is no -s option, a built-in list of strategies
         is used instead (git merge-recursive when merging a
         single head, git merge-octopus otherwise).

     -X <option>, --strategy-option=<option>
         Pass merge strategy specific option through to the merge

     --summary, --no-summary
         Synonyms to --stat and --no-stat; these are deprecated
         and will be removed in the future.

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     -q, --quiet
         Operate quietly. Implies --no-progress.

     -v, --verbose
         Be verbose.

     --progress, --no-progress
         Turn progress on/off explicitly. If neither is
         specified, progress is shown if standard error is
         connected to a terminal. Note that not all merge
         strategies may support progress reporting.

         Rebase the current branch on top of the upstream branch
         after fetching. If there is a remote-tracking branch
         corresponding to the upstream branch and the upstream
         branch was rebased since last fetched, the rebase uses
         that information to avoid rebasing non-local changes.

         See pull.rebase, branch.<name>.rebase and
         branch.autosetuprebase in git-config(1) if you want to
         make git pull always use --rebase instead of merging.

             This is a potentially dangerous mode of operation.
             It rewrites history, which does not bode well when
             you published that history already. Do not use this
             option unless you have read git-rebase(1) carefully.

         Override earlier --rebase.

  Options related to fetching
         Fetch all remotes.

     -a, --append
         Append ref names and object names of fetched refs to the
         existing contents of .git/FETCH_HEAD. Without this
         option old data in .git/FETCH_HEAD will be overwritten.

         Deepen the history of a shallow repository created by
         git clone with --depth=<depth> option (see git-clone(1))
         by the specified number of commits.

     -f, --force
         When git fetch is used with <rbranch>:<lbranch> refspec,
         it refuses to update the local branch <lbranch> unless
         the remote branch <rbranch> it fetches is a descendant
         of <lbranch>. This option overrides that check.

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     -k, --keep
         Keep downloaded pack.

         By default, tags that point at objects that are
         downloaded from the remote repository are fetched and
         stored locally. This option disables this automatic tag
         following. The default behavior for a remote may be
         specified with the remote.<name>.tagopt setting. See

     -u, --update-head-ok
         By default git fetch refuses to update the head which
         corresponds to the current branch. This flag disables
         the check. This is purely for the internal use for git
         pull to communicate with git fetch, and unless you are
         implementing your own Porcelain you are not supposed to
         use it.

     --upload-pack <upload-pack>
         When given, and the repository to fetch from is handled
         by git fetch-pack, --exec=<upload-pack> is passed to the
         command to specify non-default path for the command run
         on the other end.

         Progress status is reported on the standard error stream
         by default when it is attached to a terminal, unless -q
         is specified. This flag forces progress status even if
         the standard error stream is not directed to a terminal.

         The "remote" repository that is the source of a fetch or
         pull operation. This parameter can be either a URL (see
         the section GIT URLS below) or the name of a remote (see
         the section REMOTES below).

         The format of a <refspec> parameter is an optional plus
         +, followed by the source ref <src>, followed by a colon
         :, followed by the destination ref <dst>.

         The remote ref that matches <src> is fetched, and if
         <dst> is not empty string, the local ref that matches it
         is fast-forwarded using <src>. If the optional plus + is
         used, the local ref is updated even if it does not
         result in a fast-forward update.

             If the remote branch from which you want to pull is
             modified in non-linear ways such as being rewound
             and rebased frequently, then a pull will attempt a

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             merge with an older version of itself, likely
             conflict, and fail. It is under these conditions
             that you would want to use the + sign to indicate
             non-fast-forward updates will be needed. There is
             currently no easy way to determine or declare that a
             branch will be made available in a repository with
             this behavior; the pulling user simply must know
             this is the expected usage pattern for a branch.

             You never do your own development on branches that
             appear on the right hand side of a <refspec> colon
             on Pull: lines; they are to be updated by git fetch.
             If you intend to do development derived from a
             remote branch B, have a Pull: line to track it (i.e.
             Pull: B:remote-B), and have a separate branch my-B
             to do your development on top of it. The latter is
             created by git branch my-B remote-B (or its
             equivalent git checkout -b my-B remote-B). Run git
             fetch to keep track of the progress of the remote
             side, and when you see something new on the remote
             branch, merge it into your development branch with
             git pull . remote-B, while you are on my-B branch.

             There is a difference between listing multiple
             <refspec> directly on git pull command line and
             having multiple Pull: <refspec> lines for a
             <repository> and running git pull command without
             any explicit <refspec> parameters. <refspec> listed
             explicitly on the command line are always merged
             into the current branch after fetching. In other
             words, if you list more than one remote refs, you
             would be making an Octopus. While git pull run
             without any explicit <refspec> parameter takes
             default <refspec>s from Pull: lines, it merges only
             the first <refspec> found into the current branch,
             after fetching all the remote refs. This is because
             making an Octopus from remote refs is rarely done,
             while keeping track of multiple remote heads in
             one-go by fetching more than one is often useful.
         Some short-cut notations are also supported.

         o    tag <tag> means the same as
             refs/tags/<tag>:refs/tags/<tag>; it requests
             fetching everything up to the given tag.

         o   A parameter <ref> without a colon is equivalent to
             <ref>: when pulling/fetching, so it merges <ref>
             into the current branch without storing the remote
             branch anywhere locally

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     In general, URLs contain information about the transport
     protocol, the address of the remote server, and the path to
     the repository. Depending on the transport protocol, some of
     this information may be absent.

     Git natively supports ssh, git, http, https, ftp, ftps, and
     rsync protocols. The following syntaxes may be used with

     o   ssh://[user@]host.xz[:port]/path/to/repo.git/

     o   git://host.xz[:port]/path/to/repo.git/

     o   http[s]://host.xz[:port]/path/to/repo.git/

     o   ftp[s]://host.xz[:port]/path/to/repo.git/

     o   rsync://host.xz/path/to/repo.git/

     An alternative scp-like syntax may also be used with the ssh

     o   [user@]host.xz:path/to/repo.git/

     The ssh and git protocols additionally support ~username

     o   ssh://[user@]host.xz[:port]/~[user]/path/to/repo.git/

     o   git://host.xz[:port]/~[user]/path/to/repo.git/

     o   [user@]host.xz:/~[user]/path/to/repo.git/

     For local repositories, also supported by git natively, the
     following syntaxes may be used:

     o   /path/to/repo.git/

     o    file:///path/to/repo.git/

     These two syntaxes are mostly equivalent, except when
     cloning, when the former implies --local option. See git-
     clone(1) for details.

     When git doesn't know how to handle a certain transport
     protocol, it attempts to use the remote-<transport> remote
     helper, if one exists. To explicitly request a remote
     helper, the following syntax may be used:

     o   <transport>::<address>

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     where <address> may be a path, a server and path, or an
     arbitrary URL-like string recognized by the specific remote
     helper being invoked. See git-remote-helpers(1) for details.

     If there are a large number of similarly-named remote
     repositories and you want to use a different format for them
     (such that the URLs you use will be rewritten into URLs that
     work), you can create a configuration section of the form:

                 [url "<actual url base>"]
                         insteadOf = <other url base>

     For example, with this:

                 [url "git://"]
                         insteadOf = host.xz:/path/to/
                         insteadOf = work:

     a URL like "work:repo.git" or like
     "host.xz:/path/to/repo.git" will be rewritten in any context
     that takes a URL to be "git://".

     If you want to rewrite URLs for push only, you can create a
     configuration section of the form:

                 [url "<actual url base>"]
                         pushInsteadOf = <other url base>

     For example, with this:

                 [url "ssh://"]
                         pushInsteadOf = git://

     a URL like "git://" will be
     rewritten to "ssh://" for
     pushes, but pulls will still use the original URL.

     The name of one of the following can be used instead of a
     URL as <repository> argument:

     o   a remote in the git configuration file: $GIT_DIR/config,

     o   a file in the $GIT_DIR/remotes directory, or

     o   a file in the $GIT_DIR/branches directory.

     All of these also allow you to omit the refspec from the

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     command line because they each contain a refspec which git
     will use by default.

  Named remote in configuration file
     You can choose to provide the name of a remote which you had
     previously configured using git-remote(1), git-config(1) or
     even by a manual edit to the $GIT_DIR/config file. The URL
     of this remote will be used to access the repository. The
     refspec of this remote will be used by default when you do
     not provide a refspec on the command line. The entry in the
     config file would appear like this:

                 [remote "<name>"]
                         url = <url>
                         pushurl = <pushurl>
                         push = <refspec>
                         fetch = <refspec>

     The <pushurl> is used for pushes only. It is optional and
     defaults to <url>.

  Named file in $GIT_DIR/remotes
     You can choose to provide the name of a file in
     $GIT_DIR/remotes. The URL in this file will be used to
     access the repository. The refspec in this file will be used
     as default when you do not provide a refspec on the command
     line. This file should have the following format:

                 URL: one of the above URL format
                 Push: <refspec>
                 Pull: <refspec>

     Push: lines are used by git push and Pull: lines are used by
     git pull and git fetch. Multiple Push: and Pull: lines may
     be specified for additional branch mappings.

  Named file in $GIT_DIR/branches
     You can choose to provide the name of a file in
     $GIT_DIR/branches. The URL in this file will be used to
     access the repository. This file should have the following


     <url> is required; #<head> is optional.

     Depending on the operation, git will use one of the
     following refspecs, if you don't provide one on the command
     line. <branch> is the name of this file in $GIT_DIR/branches

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     and <head> defaults to master.

     git fetch uses:


     git push uses:


     The merge mechanism (git-merge and git-pull commands) allows
     the backend merge strategies to be chosen with -s option.
     Some strategies can also take their own options, which can
     be passed by giving -X<option> arguments to git-merge and/or

         This can only resolve two heads (i.e. the current branch
         and another branch you pulled from) using a 3-way merge
         algorithm. It tries to carefully detect criss-cross
         merge ambiguities and is considered generally safe and

         This can only resolve two heads using a 3-way merge
         algorithm. When there is more than one common ancestor
         that can be used for 3-way merge, it creates a merged
         tree of the common ancestors and uses that as the
         reference tree for the 3-way merge. This has been
         reported to result in fewer merge conflicts without
         causing mis-merges by tests done on actual merge commits
         taken from Linux 2.6 kernel development history.
         Additionally this can detect and handle merges involving
         renames. This is the default merge strategy when pulling
         or merging one branch.

         The recursive strategy can take the following options:

             This option forces conflicting hunks to be
             auto-resolved cleanly by favoring our version.
             Changes from the other tree that do not conflict
             with our side are reflected to the merge result.

             This should not be confused with the ours merge
             strategy, which does not even look at what the other
             tree contains at all. It discards everything the
             other tree did, declaring our history contains all
             that happened in it.

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             This is opposite of ours.

             With this option, merge-recursive spends a little
             extra time to avoid mismerges that sometimes occur
             due to unimportant matching lines (e.g., braces from
             distinct functions). Use this when the branches to
             be merged have diverged wildly. See also git-diff(1)

         ignore-space-change, ignore-all-space,
             Treats lines with the indicated type of whitespace
             change as unchanged for the sake of a three-way
             merge. Whitespace changes mixed with other changes
             to a line are not ignored. See also git-diff(1) -b,
             -w, and --ignore-space-at-eol.

             o   If their version only introduces whitespace
                 changes to a line, our version is used;

             o   If our version introduces whitespace changes but
                 their version includes a substantial change,
                 their version is used;

             o   Otherwise, the merge proceeds in the usual way.

             This runs a virtual check-out and check-in of all
             three stages of a file when resolving a three-way
             merge. This option is meant to be used when merging
             branches with different clean filters or end-of-line
             normalization rules. See "Merging branches with
             differing checkin/checkout attributes" in
             gitattributes(4) for details.

             Disables the renormalize option. This overrides the
             merge.renormalize configuration variable.

             Controls the similarity threshold used for rename
             detection. See also git-diff(1) -M.

             This option is a more advanced form of subtree
             strategy, where the strategy makes a guess on how
             two trees must be shifted to match with each other
             when merging. Instead, the specified path is
             prefixed (or stripped from the beginning) to make
             the shape of two trees to match.

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         This resolves cases with more than two heads, but
         refuses to do a complex merge that needs manual
         resolution. It is primarily meant to be used for
         bundling topic branch heads together. This is the
         default merge strategy when pulling or merging more than
         one branch.

         This resolves any number of heads, but the resulting
         tree of the merge is always that of the current branch
         head, effectively ignoring all changes from all other
         branches. It is meant to be used to supersede old
         development history of side branches. Note that this is
         different from the -Xours option to the recursive merge

         This is a modified recursive strategy. When merging
         trees A and B, if B corresponds to a subtree of A, B is
         first adjusted to match the tree structure of A, instead
         of reading the trees at the same level. This adjustment
         is also done to the common ancestor tree.

     Often people use git pull without giving any parameter.
     Traditionally, this has been equivalent to saying git pull
     origin. However, when configuration branch.<name>.remote is
     present while on branch <name>, that value is used instead
     of origin.

     In order to determine what URL to use to fetch from, the
     value of the configuration remote.<origin>.url is consulted
     and if there is not any such variable, the value on URL: `
     line in `$GIT_DIR/remotes/<origin> file is used.

     In order to determine what remote branches to fetch (and
     optionally store in the remote-tracking branches) when the
     command is run without any refspec parameters on the command
     line, values of the configuration variable
     remote.<origin>.fetch are consulted, and if there aren't
     any, $GIT_DIR/remotes/<origin> file is consulted and its
     `Pull: ` lines are used. In addition to the refspec formats
     described in the OPTIONS section, you can have a globbing
     refspec that looks like this:


     A globbing refspec must have a non-empty RHS (i.e. must
     store what were fetched in remote-tracking branches), and
     its LHS and RHS must end with /*. The above specifies that

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     all remote branches are tracked using remote-tracking
     branches in refs/remotes/origin/ hierarchy under the same

     The rule to determine which remote branch to merge after
     fetching is a bit involved, in order not to break backward

     If explicit refspecs were given on the command line of git
     pull, they are all merged.

     When no refspec was given on the command line, then git pull
     uses the refspec from the configuration or
     $GIT_DIR/remotes/<origin>. In such cases, the following
     rules apply:

      1. If branch.<name>.merge configuration for the current
         branch <name> exists, that is the name of the branch at
         the remote site that is merged.

      2. If the refspec is a globbing one, nothing is merged.

      3. Otherwise the remote branch of the first refspec is

     o   Update the remote-tracking branches for the repository
         you cloned from, then merge one of them into your
         current branch:

             $ git pull, git pull origin

         Normally the branch merged in is the HEAD of the remote
         repository, but the choice is determined by the
         branch.<name>.remote and branch.<name>.merge options;
         see git-config(1) for details.

     o   Merge into the current branch the remote branch next:

             $ git pull origin next

         This leaves a copy of next temporarily in FETCH_HEAD,
         but does not update any remote-tracking branches. Using
         remote-tracking branches, the same can be done by
         invoking fetch and merge:

             $ git fetch origin
             $ git merge origin/next

     If you tried a pull which resulted in a complex conflicts
     and would want to start over, you can recover with git

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     Using --recurse-submodules can only fetch new commits in
     already checked out submodules right now. When e.g. upstream
     added a new submodule in the just fetched commits of the
     superproject the submodule itself can not be fetched, making
     it impossible to check out that submodule later without
     having to do a fetch again. This is expected to be fixed in
     a future git version.

     See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following

     |Availability   | developer/versioning/git |
     |Stability      | Uncommitted              |
     git-fetch(1), git-merge(1), git-config(1)

     Part of the git(1) suite

     This software was built from source available at  The original
     community source was downloaded from  http://git-

     Further information about this software can be found on the
     open source community website at

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