It is highly recommended to install git-aware-prompt.
Clone a repo
First of all, since we are going to talk also about remote branches, you need to clone a repo. For instance, suppose I am cloning a brand new repository I just created on GitHub.
git clone https://github.com/my-user/myNewRepo.git
Then, of course, you need to enter in the repository folder…
…but if you are using GitBash on Windows you can also right click the folder and open a bash shell.
Show current branch
The first command you need to know in order to use git branches will answer the question
Which is current branch?
The answer is easy, just launch
Since this is a new repository you should see only the master branch.
Create a local branch
Create a new develop branch and switch to it
git checkout -b develop
Now you are on develop branch, add or edit some file, the README.md for instance, so the below merge command will make sense. Use your favourite editor, that is vim of course!
Do some modification and commit
git commit -am 'added repo infos'
Create a remote branch
Just push the local branch to remote origin.
git push origin develop
Now that you have a branch other than master you may want to add some code or do a revision of code in the branch. It can be handy to compare current branch with master, to do so launch
git diff --name-status master
To compare any pair of branches
git diff --name-status firstbranch..yourBranchName
If you want to go back to master branch launch
git checkout master
Note that before switching branch, you may need to commit changes, if any.
Merge two branches
If you want to merge develop into master, launch
git merge develop
Delete a local branch
If you want to delete develop branch locally, launch
git branch -d develop
Show remote branches
Branch develop on remote origin still exists, see
git branch -r
Checkout existing remote branch
When you clone a repo by default
git branch will show only master branch. Suppose you want to work on a remote develop branch, launch this to check it out
git checkout -b develop origin/develop
Now you have again a local develop branch and it is your current branch.
Update local branch from remote
If you want to fetch last version of your remote develop branch and merge it to your local develop branch, launch
git pull origin develop
Since in this case there is no difference between remote and local develop branch, git will answer with an Already up-to-date message.
Delete a remote branch
Suppose you want to delete develop remote branch, launch
git push origin :develop
Note that this will not remove your develop local branch.
Cleanup remote branches
Remove local references to remove branches that do not exist anymore. This is useful in case the remote branch was removed somewhere else.
git remote prune origin