Go to main content

man pages section 1: User Commands

Exit Print View

Updated: Wednesday, February 9, 2022

git-worktree (1)


git-worktree - Manage multiple working trees


git worktree add [-f] [--detach] [--checkout] [--lock] [-b <new-branch>] <path> [<commit-ish>]
git worktree list [--porcelain]
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>


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

       git-worktree - Manage multiple working trees

       git worktree add [-f] [--detach] [--checkout] [--lock] [-b <new-branch>] <path> [<commit-ish>]
       git worktree list [--porcelain]
       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>

       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. This new working tree
       is called a "linked working tree" as opposed to the "main working tree"
       prepared by git-init(1) or git-clone(1). A repository has one main
       working tree (if it's not a bare repository) and zero or more linked
       working trees. When you are done with a linked working tree, 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 working
       tree, 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 working tree not associated with any branch. For instance,
       git worktree add -d <path> creates a new working tree 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 working tree to clean up any stale
       administrative files.

       If a linked working tree 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 working tree is

       add <path> [<commit-ish>]
           Create <path> and checkout <commit-ish> into it. The new working
           directory is linked to the current repository, sharing everything
           except working directory specific 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 to:

               $ 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 git-config(1).

           If <commit-ish> is omitted and neither -b nor -B nor --detach used,
           then, as a convenience, the new working tree 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 working tree, if it's not checked
           out anywhere else, otherwise the command will refuse to create the
           working tree (unless --force is used).

           List details of each working tree. The main working tree is listed
           first, followed by each of the linked working trees. The output
           details include whether the working tree 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 prune command.

           If a working tree 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

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

           Prune working tree information in $GIT_DIR/worktrees.

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

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

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

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

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

           Unlock a working tree, allowing it to be pruned, moved or deleted.

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

           move refuses to move a locked working tree unless --force is
           specified twice. If the destination is already assigned to some
           other working tree 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 locked.

           remove refuses to remove an unclean working tree unless --force is
           used. To remove a locked working tree, 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 working tree.
           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 working tree. 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-

           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

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

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

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

       -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 working trees older than <time>.

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

       --reason <string>
           With lock, an explanation why the working tree is locked.

           Working trees can be identified by path, either relative or

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

       In multiple working trees, some refs may be shared between all working
       trees and some refs are local. One example is HEAD which is different
       for each working tree. This section is about the sharing rules and how
       to access refs of one working tree from another.

       In general, all pseudo refs are per working tree 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 and refs/worktree are not

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

       For example, main-worktree/HEAD or main-worktree/refs/bisect/good
       resolve to the same value as the main working tree'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 working
       trees. If the config variables core.bare or core.worktree are already
       present in the config file, they will be applied to the main working
       trees only.

       In order to have configuration specific to working trees, 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 working tree. You may also take this
       opportunity to review and move other configuration that you do not want
       to share to all working trees:

       o   core.worktree and core.bare should never be shared

       o   core.sparseCheckout is recommended per working tree, unless you are
           sure you always use sparse checkout for all working trees.

       Each linked working tree 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 working tree'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 working tree 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

       Within a linked working tree, $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 working tree's
       $GIT_DIR (e.g. /path/main/.git). These settings are made in a .git file
       located at the top directory of the linked working tree.

       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
       working tree 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
       working trees, except refs/bisect and refs/worktree.

       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 working tree, you need to update the
       gitdir file in the entry's directory. For example, if a linked working
       tree 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 working tree 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 working tree'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 example:

           $ 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 working tree, according to
       its state. These annotations are:

       o   locked, if the working tree is locked.

       o   prunable, if the working tree can be pruned via git worktree prune.

           $ git worktree list
           /path/to/linked-worktree    abcd1234 [master]
           /path/to/locked-worktreee   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: working tree 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
       working tree itself.

   Porcelain Format
       The porcelain format has a line per attribute. 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 working tree 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

       If the lock reason contains "unusual" characters such as newline, they
       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"

       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 working tree 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

       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.

       Part of the git(1) suite

Git 2.31.1                        03/26/2021                   GIT-WORKTREE(1)