The git worktree command is a powerful feature introduced in Git 2.5 that allows you to manage multiple working trees attached to the same Git repository. This feature is incredibly useful for developers who need to work on different branches or versions of a project simultaneously without the hassle of switching back and forth between different directories or repositories. Here’s a more detailed explanation of what you can do with git worktree:
Creating New Working Trees: The primary purpose of git worktree is to create additional working trees, also known as “linked working directories,” that are attached to the same Git repository. These working trees are essentially separate instances of your repository, each with its own working directory and branch.
# git worktree add [path] [branch-name]
[path] – specifies the directory where the new working tree will be created.
[branch-name] – is the branch or commit you want to check out in the new working tree.
For example, you can create a new working tree to work on a feature branch:
# git worktree add ../my-feature-feature-branch feature-branch
Listing and Managing Working Trees: You can use git worktree list to see a list of all the linked working trees associated with your repository. This command provides information about the path, branch, and commit currently checked out in each working tree.
# git worktree list
Additionally, you can remove a linked working tree using git worktree remove.
# git worktree remove [path]
Isolated Development Environments: Each working tree created with git worktree is isolated from the others, meaning you can work on different branches or commits simultaneously without affecting the other working trees. This is particularly helpful when you need to test or develop multiple features or bug fixes simultaneously.
Efficient Context Switching: With multiple working trees, you can switch between different branches or commits quickly and easily without having to checkout or reset in a single working directory. This minimizes the risk of accidentally overwriting changes or committing to the wrong branch.
Improved Collaboration: git worktree can enhance collaboration in a team by allowing team members to work on separate branches concurrently within their individual working trees. This avoids conflicts that may arise from concurrent work in a single working directory.
Experimentation and Testing: You can use git worktree to experiment with changes or test new features in a clean working directory without affecting your main development branch. If the experiment is successful, you can merge the changes into the main branch.
Efficient CI/CD Pipelines: In Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines, git worktree can be used to create isolated working trees for building and testing different versions or branches of your software in parallel.
Project Maintenance: When maintaining older versions of a project or addressing bugs in specific releases, git worktree allows you to easily switch between different versions of your codebase without constantly checking out different commits in a single working directory.
“git worktree” Command Examples
1. Create a new directory with the specified branch checked out into it:
# git worktree add path/to/directory branch
2. Create a new directory with a new branch checked out into it:
# git worktree add path/to/directory -b new_branch
3. List all the working directories attached to this repository:
# git worktree list
4. Remove a worktree (after deleting worktree directory):
# git worktree prune
In summary, git worktree is a powerful Git feature that simplifies and enhances your development workflow by allowing you to manage multiple working trees linked to the same repository. This feature streamlines the process of working on different branches or commits concurrently, making it easier to develop, test, and maintain your codebase efficiently. For detailed information on using git worktree and its options, you can refer to the official Git documentation at https://git-scm.com/docs/git-worktree.