How to copy a local Git branch to a remote repo


I’ve taken the following steps so far:

  1. Cloned a remote Git repo
  2. Branched the master branch to an experimental
  3. edited/tested/committed code in the experimental branch

Now, I’m not ready to merge experimental into master. I do however want to push it back to the remote repo as that’s the repository I share with a few colleagues. I’d like for them to see what I’ve done in the experimental branch. I typically just access the remote repo via SSH.

How do I share my local branch on the remote repo, without affecting the remote repo’s master branch?


According to git push manual page:

Find a ref that matches experimental in the source repository (most likely, it would find refs/heads/experimental), and update the same ref (e.g. refs/heads/experimental) in origin repository with it.
If experimental did not exist remotely, it would be created.
This is the same as:

Create the branch experimental in the origin repository by copying the current experimental branch.
This form is only needed to create a new branch or tag in the remote repository when the local name and the remote name are different; otherwise, the ref name on its own will work.

Or, like mentioned in git tip, you can set up a “Branch’s Default Remote”:

You can use git config to assign a default remote to a given branch. This default remote will be used to push that branch unless otherwise specified.

This is already done for you when you use git clone, allowing you to use git push without any arguments to push the local master branch to update the origin repository’s master branch.

can be used to specify this manually.

Jan suggests (for git >= 1.7.0) the push -u (or push --set-upstream) option:

For every branch that is up to date or successfully pushed, add upstream (tracking) reference, used by argument-less git-pull(1) and other commands.

That way, you don’t have to do any git config.

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