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Everything You Need To Know About Git Checkout -b

“Git checkout -b” is a command that you need to know when you’re learning to code. It’s actually very simple, and this blog will teach you everything you need to know.

What is "git checkout" ?

Git checkout is a terminal command that allows you to switch between and create git branches. By itself, it doesn't do anything. But prepended onto different commands, it can do a variety of different things.

This is what happens when I run git checkout by itself.


GIt checkout

What does the "-b" in "git checkout -b" mean?

The "-b" is a flag that bundles two different commands together.

  • Git branch <new_branch_name>
    This creates a new branch named <new_branch_name>
  • Git checkout <new_branch_name>
    This switches you from your current branch to the new branch named <new_branch_name>

I went ahead and ran these commands on my local environment. Here is what the output looks like.

Git branch & Git checkout

What happens when I run "git checkout -b" ?

Git checkout -b is a command that will create a new branch and switch you into that new branch from your current branch. I went ahead and ran the command in my local environment to show you what you should be seeing as your output. Here is what the output looks like.

Git checkout -b

As you can see, this command does exactly the same thing as the previous image, but it's a lot shorter, quicker to type, and easier to remember.

How do I use "git checkout -b" ?

One common use case is creating a new local git branch with git checkout -b, and then pushing it to a remote server to create a remote branch of the same name.

Here are the exact commands you need to run to do this.

Create a new remote git branch

Hope this helped!

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