How do I clone a specific Git branch?


Git clone will behave copying remote current working branch into local.

Is there any way to clone a specific branch by myself without switching branches on the remote repository?

6/26/2019 5:56:01 AM

Accepted Answer

git clone --single-branch --branch <branchname> <remote-repo>

The --single-branch option is valid from version 1.7.10 and later.

Please see also the other answer which many people prefer.

You may also want to make sure you understand the difference. And the difference is: by invoking git clone --branch <branchname> url you're fetching all the branches and checking out one. That may, for instance, mean that your repository has a 5kB documentation or wiki branch and 5GB data branch. And whenever you want to edit your frontpage, you may end up cloning 5GB of data.

Again, that is not to say git clone --branch is not the way to accomplish that, it's just that it's not always what you want to accomplish, when you're asking about cloning a specific branch.

At the time of writing the original answer below, git had no --single-branch option, but let's preserve it for full satisfaction of angry bees.

The answer so badly disliked by copypasters was this:

git init
git remote add -t refspec remotename host:/dir.git
git fetch
7/26/2019 9:43:33 PM

Here is a really simple way to do it :)

Clone the repository

git clone <repository_url>

List all branches

git branch -a 

Checkout the branch that you want

git checkout <name_of_branch>

To clone a branch without fetching other branches:

mkdir $BRANCH
git init
git remote add -t $BRANCH -f origin $REMOTE_REPO
git checkout $BRANCH

git checkout -b <branch-name> <origin/branch_name>

for example in my case:

 git branch -a
* master

So to create a new branch based on my enum-account-number branch I do:

git checkout -b enum-account-number origin/enum-account-number

After you hit return the following happens:

Branch enum-account-number set up to track remote branch refs/remotes/origin/enum-account-number.
Switched to a new branch "enum-account-number"

Create a branch on the local system with that name. e.g. say you want to get the branch named branch-05142011

git branch branch-05142011 origin/branch-05142011

It'll give you a message:

$ git checkout --track origin/branch-05142011
Branch branch-05142011 set up to track remote branch refs/remotes/origin/branch-05142011.
Switched to a new branch "branch-05142011"

Now just checkout the branch like below and you have the code

git checkout branch-05142011

git --branch <branchname> <url>

But bash completion don't get this key: --branch


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