Git --local-branching-on-the-cheap
Topics ▾ Version 2.0.2 ▾ git-fetch last updated in 2.0.1


git-fetch - Download objects and refs from another repository


'git fetch' [<options>] [<repository> [<refspec>...]]
'git fetch' [<options>] <group>
'git fetch' --multiple [<options>] [(<repository> | <group>)...]
'git fetch' --all [<options>]


Fetches named heads or tags from one or more other repositories, along with the objects necessary to complete them.

The ref names and their object names of fetched refs are stored in .git/FETCH_HEAD. This information is left for a later merge operation done by git merge.

By default, tags are auto-followed. This means that when fetching from a remote, any tags on the remote that point to objects that exist in the local repository are fetched. The effect is to fetch tags that point at branches that you are interested in. This default behavior can be changed by using the --tags or --no-tags options, by configuring remote.<name>.tagopt, or by using a refspec that fetches tags explicitly.

git fetch can fetch from either a single named repository, or from several repositories at once if <group> is given and there is a remotes.<group> entry in the configuration file. (See linkgit:git-config[1]).

When no remote is specified, by default the origin remote will be used, unless there’s an upstream branch configured for the current branch.


  • Update the remote-tracking branches:

    $ git fetch origin

    The above command copies all branches from the remote refs/heads/ namespace and stores them to the local refs/remotes/origin/ namespace, unless the branch.<name>.fetch option is used to specify a non-default refspec.

  • Using refspecs explicitly:

    $ git fetch origin +pu:pu maint:tmp

    This updates (or creates, as necessary) branches pu and tmp in the local repository by fetching from the branches (respectively) pu and maint from the remote repository.

    The pu branch will be updated even if it is does not fast-forward, because it is prefixed with a plus sign; tmp will not be.


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.




Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite