14 April 2023
Introduction: Git is a powerful version control system that allows developers to work collaboratively on projects, and branches are a key feature of Git that enables developers to work on multiple versions of a project simultaneously. Branches are a lightweight way of creating a separate line of development, and they enable developers to experiment with new features, fix bugs, and isolate changes without affecting the main codebase. In this guide, we will show you how to create, manage, and merge Git branches, and provide some practical use cases.
Section 1: Creating a Git Branch The first step in using Git branches is to create a new branch. To create a new branch, you can use the "git branch" command followed by the name of the new branch. For example, to create a new branch called "feature-branch", you can use the following command:
git branch feature-branch
This will create a new branch, but you will still be on the original branch. To switch to the new branch, you can use the "git checkout" command followed by the name of the new branch:
git checkout feature-branch
Now you are on the new branch and any changes you make will only affect this branch.
Section 2: Making Changes on a Git Branch Once you have created a new branch, you can start making changes to the codebase. Any changes you make will only affect the branch you are currently on. For example, you can add a new feature to the codebase on the "feature-branch" by modifying a file:
# modify file echo "New feature" >> my-file.txt
Section 3: Merging a Git Branch Once you have finished making changes on a branch, you may want to merge the branch back into the main codebase. To merge a branch, you can use the "git merge" command followed by the name of the branch you want to merge into the current branch. For example, to merge the "feature-branch" into the "main" branch, you can use the following command:
# switch to main branch git checkout main # merge feature-branch into main git merge feature-branch
Section 4: Resolving Conflicts when Merging a Git Branch Sometimes, when you try to merge two branches, you may encounter conflicts. Conflicts occur when the changes made on one branch conflict with the changes made on another branch. Git provides tools to help you resolve conflicts. When you try to merge two branches and a conflict occurs, Git will mark the file with the conflict and prompt you to resolve it manually. Once you have resolved the conflict, you can use the "git add" command to mark the conflict as resolved, and then commit the changes:
# fix conflicts manually # use git add to mark as resolved git add my-file.txt # commit changes git commit -m "Merge feature-branch into main"
Section 5: Practical Use Cases of Git Branches There are several practical use cases for Git branches. For example, you can use branches to work on new features without affecting the main codebase, fix bugs without disrupting ongoing development, or experiment with new ideas without committing to them. Here are some common scenarios where Git branches can be useful:
Conclusion: Git branches are a powerful feature of Git that enables developers to work on multiple versions of a project simultaneously. By creating a separate line of development, developers can experiment with new features, fix bugs, and isolate changes without affecting the main codebase. In this guide, we have shown you how to create, manage, and merge Git branches, and provided some practical use cases. By mastering Git branches, you can become a more efficient and effective developer.
Here are some official documentation and resources for Git branches that you might find helpful:
These resources can provide additional information and guidance on Git branching, and can help you further develop your skills in managing codebases with Git.
JBI Training - Git / Github training courses
Learn Git and Gibhub - Version control is at the centre of any file based project. Whether, you're a software developer, project manager, team member, student, or anyone who works on file based projects, keeping track of changes is essential to creating a great product. In this course you'll learn the popular version control system Git and why it plays a significant role in creating better projects.
To view the course and request a booking form go here https://jbinternational.co.uk/courses/git
All of our DevOps Courses are here - https://jbinternational.co.uk/courses/devops