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git worktree lets you have 2 branches checked out at the same time

Illustration of a smiling stick figure with curly hair, and a git worktree, represented by a box with a smiley face

person: ugh, I want to take a look at this other branch, but I have all these uncommitted changes…
git worktree: i can help!

creating a worktree

You can check out a branch into a new directory like this:

git worktree add ~/my/repo mybranch

(my is the directory, mybranch is the branch)

Then you can run any normal git commands in the new directory:

$ cd ~/my/repo
$ git pull

two worktrees cant have the same branch checked out

Here’s what happens if you try:

$ git checkout main
fatal: main is already checked out at /home/bork/work/homepage

it’s way faster (and uses less space!) than cloning the repository again

Because worktrees share a .git directory, it just needs to check out the files from the branch you want to use!

other worktree commands

List all worktrees:

$ git worktree list

Delete a worktree:

$ git worktree remove ~/my/repo

sometimes I use worktrees to keep my .git directory and its checkout separate

this lets me put the checkout in Dropbox but not the .git directory:

$ git clone --bare
$ cd myrepo.git
$ git worktree add ~/Dropbox/myrepo main

(Dropbox is the directory, main is the branch)

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