How do I delete a Git branch locally and remotely?


Failed Attempts to Delete a Remote Branch:

$ git branch -d remotes/origin/bugfix
error: branch 'remotes/origin/bugfix' not found.

$ git branch -d origin/bugfix
error: branch 'origin/bugfix' not found.

$ git branch -rd origin/bugfix
Deleted remote branch origin/bugfix (was 2a14ef7).

$ git push
Everything up-to-date

$ git pull
From github.com:gituser/gitproject

* [new branch] bugfix -> origin/bugfix
Already up-to-date.

How do I properly delete the remotes/origin/bugfix branch both locally and remotely?

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Executive Summary

git push -d <remote_name> <branchname>
git branch -d <branchname>

Note: In most cases, <remote_name> will be origin.

Delete Local Branch

To delete the local branch use one of the following:

git branch -d <branch_name>
git branch -D <branch_name>
  • The -d option is an alias for --delete, which only deletes the branch if it has already been fully merged in its upstream branch.
  • The -D option is an alias for --delete --force, which deletes the branch « irrespective of its merged status. » [Source: man git-branch]
  • As of Git v2.3, git branch -d (delete) learned to honor the -f (force) flag.
  • You will receive an error if you try to delete the currently selected branch.

Delete Remote Branch

As of Git v1.7.0, you can delete a remote branch using

$ git push <remote_name> --delete <branch_name>

which might be easier to remember than

$ git push <remote_name> :<branch_name>

which was added in Git v1.5.0 « to delete a remote branch or a tag. »

Starting with Git v2.8.0, you can also use git push with the -d option as an alias for --delete. Therefore, the version of Git you have installed will dictate whether you need to use the easier or harder syntax.

Delete Remote Branch [Original Answer from 5-Jan-2010]

From Chapter 3 of Pro Git by Scott Chacon:

Deleting Remote Branches

Suppose you’re done with a remote branch — say, you and your collaborators are finished with a feature and have merged it into your remote’s main branch (or whatever branch your stable code-line is in). You can delete a remote branch using the rather obtuse syntax git push [remotename] :[branch]. If you want to delete your server-fix branch from the server, you run the following:

$ git push origin :serverfix
To git@github.com:schacon/simplegit.git
 - [deleted]         serverfix

Boom. No more branches on your server. You may want to dog-ear this page, because you’ll need that command, and you’ll likely forget the syntax. A way to remember this command is by recalling the git push [remotename] [localbranch]:[remotebranch] syntax that we went over a bit earlier. If you leave off the [localbranch] portion, then you’re basically saying, “Take nothing on my side and make it be [remotebranch].”

I issued git push origin: bugfix and it worked beautifully. Scott Chacon was right—I will want to dog ear that page (or virtually dog ear by answering this on Stack Overflow).

Then you should execute this on other machines

# Fetch changes from all remotes and locally delete 
# remote deleted branches/tags etc
# --prune will do the job :-;
git fetch --all --prune

to propagate changes.

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Matthew’s answer is great for removing remote branches and I also appreciate the explanation, but to make a simple distinction between the two commands:

  • to remove a local branch from your machine: git branch -d {local_branch} (use -D instead to force deleting the branch without checking merged status);

  • to remove a remote branch from the server: git push origin -d {remote_branch}.

Reference: Git: Delete a branch (local or remote).

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The short answers

If you want more detailed explanations of the following commands, then see the long answers in the next section.

Deleting a remote branch

git push origin --delete <branch>  # Git version 1.7.0 or newer
git push origin -d <branch>        # Shorter version (Git 1.7.0 or newer)
git push origin :<branch>          # Git versions older than 1.7.0

Deleting a local branch

git branch --delete <branch>
git branch -d <branch> # Shorter version
git branch -D <branch> # Force-delete un-merged branches

Deleting a local remote-tracking branch

git branch --delete --remotes <remote>/<branch>
git branch -dr <remote>/<branch> # Shorter

git fetch <remote> --prune # Delete multiple obsolete remote-tracking branches
git fetch <remote> -p      # Shorter

The long answer: there are three different branches to delete!

When you’re dealing with deleting branches both locally and remotely, keep in mind that there are three different branches involved:

  1. The local branch X.
  2. The remote origin branch X.
  3. The local remote-tracking branch origin/X that tracks the remote branch X.

Visualization of three branches

The original poster used:

git branch -rd origin/bugfix

Which only deleted his local remote-tracking branch origin/bugfix, and not the actual remote branch bugfix on origin.

Diagram 2

To delete that actual remote branch, you need

git push origin --delete bugfix

Diagram 3

Additional details

The following sections describe additional details to consider when deleting your remote and remote-tracking branches.

Pushing to delete remote branches also removes remote-tracking branches

Note that deleting the remote branch X from the command line using a git push will also remove the local remote-tracking branch origin/X, so it is not necessary to prune the obsolete remote-tracking branch with git fetch --prune or git fetch -p. However, it wouldn’t hurt if you did it anyway.

You can verify that the remote-tracking branch origin/X was also deleted by running the following:

# View just remote-tracking branches
git branch --remotes
git branch -r

# View both strictly local as well as remote-tracking branches
git branch --all
git branch -a

Pruning the obsolete local remote-tracking branch origin/X

If you didn’t delete your remote branch X from the command line (like above), then your local repository will still contain (a now obsolete) remote-tracking branch origin/X. This can happen if you deleted a remote branch directly through GitHub’s web interface, for example.

A typical way to remove these obsolete remote-tracking branches (since Git version 1.6.6) is to simply run git fetch with the --prune or shorter -p. Note that this removes all obsolete local remote-tracking branches for any remote branches that no longer exist on the remote:

git fetch origin --prune
git fetch origin -p # Shorter

Here is the relevant quote from the 1.6.6 release notes (emphasis mine):

« git fetch » learned --all and --multiple options, to run fetch from
many repositories, and --prune option to remove remote tracking
branches that went stale.
These make « git remote update » and « git
remote prune » less necessary (there is no plan to remove « remote
update » nor « remote prune », though).

Alternative to above automatic pruning for obsolete remote-tracking branches

Alternatively, instead of pruning your obsolete local remote-tracking branches through git fetch -p, you can avoid making the extra network operation by just manually removing the branch(es) with the --remotes or -r flags:

git branch --delete --remotes origin/X
git branch -dr origin/X # Shorter

See Also

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Steps for deleting a branch:

For deleting the remote branch:

git push origin --delete <your_branch>

For deleting the local branch, you have three ways:

1: git branch -D <branch_name>

2: git branch --delete --force <branch_name>  # Same as -D

3: git branch --delete  <branch_name>         # Error on unmerge

Explain: OK, just explain what’s going on here!

Simply do git push origin --delete to delete your remote branch only, add the name of the branch at the end and this will delete and push it to remote at the same time…

Also, git branch -D, which simply delete the local branch only!…

-D stands for --delete --force which will delete the branch even it’s not merged (force delete), but you can also use -d which stands for --delete which throw an error respective of the branch merge status…

I also create the image below to show the steps:

Delete a remote and local branch in git

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You can also use the following to delete the remote branch

git push --delete origin serverfix

Which does the same thing as

git push origin :serverfix

but it may be easier to remember.

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It’s very simple:

To delete the remote branch

git push -d origin <branch-name>

Or

git push origin :<branch-name>

— You can also delete tags with this syntax

To forcefully delete local branch

git branch -D <branch-name>

Note: do a git fetch --all --prune on other machines after deleting remote branch, to remove obsolete tracking branches.

Example

to remove local branch

git branch -D my-local-branch

to remove remote branch

git push origin :my-remote-branch

With the new version of git, its also possible to remove branch with

git push origin --delete <branch_name>

TIP:
if you want to see all available branches you can use git branch -a,

and to see just remote branches, you can use git branch -r

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Tip: When you delete branches using

git branch -d <branchname> # Deletes local branch

or

git push origin :<branchname> # Deletes remote branch

only the references are deleted. Even though the branch is actually removed on the remote, the references to it still exists in the local repositories of your team members. This means that for other team members the deleted branches are still visible when they do a git branch -a.

To solve this, your team members can prune the deleted branches with

git remote prune <repository>

This is typically git remote prune origin.

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If you want to delete a branch, first checkout to the branch other than the branch to be deleted.

git checkout other_than_branch_to_be_deleted

Deleting the local branch:

git branch -D branch_to_be_deleted

Deleting the remote branch:

git push origin --delete branch_to_be_deleted

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git branch -D <name-of-branch>
git branch -D -r origin/<name-of-branch>
git push origin :<name-of-branch>

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This is simple: Just run the following command:

To delete a Git branch both locally and remotely, first delete the local branch using this command:

git branch -d example

(Here example is the branch name.)

And after that, delete the remote branch using this command:

git push origin :example

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Another approach is:

git push --prune origin

WARNING: This will delete all remote branches that do not exist locally. Or more comprehensively,

git push --mirror

will effectively make the remote repository look like the local copy of the repository (local heads, remotes and tags are mirrored on remote).

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I use the following in my Bash settings:

alias git-shoot="git push origin --delete"

Then you can call:

git-shoot branchname

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Delete locally:

To delete a local branch, you can use:

git branch -d <branch_name>

To delete a branch forcibly, use -D instead of -d.

git branch -D <branch_name>

Delete remotely:

There are two options:

git push origin :branchname

git push origin --delete branchname

I would suggest you use the second way as it is more intuitive.

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If you want to complete both these steps with a single command, you can make an alias for it by adding the below to your ~/.gitconfig:

[alias]
    rmbranch = "!f(){ git branch -d ${1} && git push origin --delete ${1}; };f"

Alternatively, you can add this to your global configuration from the command line using

git config --global alias.rmbranch \
'!f(){ git branch -d ${1} && git push origin --delete ${1}; };f'

NOTE: If using -d (lowercase d), the branch will only be deleted if it has been merged. To force the delete to happen, you will need to use -D (uppercase D).

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Since January 2013, GitHub included a Delete branch button next to each branch in your « Branches » page.

Relevant blog post: Create and delete branches

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To delete your branch locally and remotely

  • Checkout to master branch – git checkout master

  • Delete your remote branch – git push origin --delete <branch-name>

  • Delete your local branch – git branch --delete <branch-name>

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You can also do this using git remote prune origin

$ git remote prune origin
Pruning origin
URL: git@example.com/yourrepo.git
 * [pruned] origin/some-branchs

It prunes and deletes remote-tracking branches from a git branch -r listing.

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In addition to the other answers, I often use the git_remote_branch tool. It’s an extra install, but it gets you a convenient way to interact with remote branches. In this case, to delete:

grb delete branch

I find that I also use the publish and track commands quite often.

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A one-liner command to delete both local, and remote:

D=branch-name; git branch -D $D; git push origin :$D

Or add the alias below to your ~/.gitconfig. Usage: git kill branch-name

[alias]
    kill = "!f(){ git branch -D \"$1\";  git push origin --delete \"$1\"; };f"

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Deleting Branches

Let’s assume our work on branch « contact-form » is done and we’ve already integrated it into « master ». Since we don’t need it anymore, we can delete it (locally):

$ git branch -d contact-form

And for deleting the remote branch:

git push origin --delete contact-form

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Delete remote branch

git push origin :<branchname>

Delete local branch

git branch -D <branchname>

Delete local branch steps:

  1. checkout to another branch
  2. delete local branch

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Simply say:

git branch -d <branch-name>
git push origin :<branch-name>

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To delete locally – (normal)

git branch -d my_branch

If your branch is in a rebasing/merging progress and that was not done properly, it means you will get an error, Rebase/Merge in progress, so in that case, you won’t be able to delete your branch.

So either you need to solve the rebasing/merging. Otherwise, you can do force delete by using,

git branch -D my_branch

To delete in remote:

git push --delete origin my_branch

You can do the same using:

git push origin :my_branch   # Easy to remember both will do the same.

Graphical representation:

Enter image description here

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git push origin --delete <branch Name>

is easier to remember than

git push origin :branchName

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Now you can do it with the GitHub Desktop application.

After launching the application

  1. Click on the project containing the branch
  2. Switch to the branch you would like to delete

    Switching branch

  3. From the « Branch » menu, select, « Unpublish… », to have the branch deleted from the GitHub servers.

    Unpublish branch

  4. From the « Branch » menu, select, ‘Delete « branch_name« …’, to have the branch deleted off of your local machine (AKA the machine you are currently working on)

    Delete local branch

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This won’t work if you have a tag with the same name as the branch on the remote:

$ git push origin :branch-or-tag-name
error: dst refspec branch-or-tag-name matches more than one.
error: failed to push some refs to 'git@github.com:SomeName/some-repo.git'

In that case you need to specify that you want to delete the branch, not the tag:

git push origin :refs/heads/branch-or-tag-name

Similarly, to delete the tag instead of the branch you would use:

git push origin :refs/tags/branch-or-tag-name

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Many of the other answers will lead to errors/warnings. This approach is relatively fool proof although you may still need git branch -D branch_to_delete if it’s not fully merged into some_other_branch, for example.

git checkout some_other_branch
git push origin :branch_to_delete
git branch -d branch_to_delete

Remote pruning isn’t needed if you deleted the remote branch. It’s only used to get the most up-to-date remotes available on a repository you’re tracking. I’ve observed git fetch will add remotes, not remove them. Here’s an example of when git remote prune origin will actually do something:

User A does the steps above. User B would run the following commands to see the most up-to-date remote branches:

git fetch
git remote prune origin
git branch -r

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I got sick of googling for this answer, so I took a similar approach to the answer that crizCraig posted earlier.

I added the following to my Bash profile:

function gitdelete(){
    git push origin --delete $1
    git branch -D $1
}

Then every time I’m done with a branch (merged into master, for example) I run the following in my terminal:

gitdelete my-branch-name

…which then deletes my-branch-name from origin as as well as locally.

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According to the latest document using a terminal we can delete in the following way.

Delete in local:

git branch -D usermanagement

Delete in remote location:

git push --delete origin usermanagement

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Before executing

git branch --delete <branch>

make sure you determine first what the exact name of the remote branch is by executing:

git ls-remote

This will tell you what to enter exactly for <branch> value. (branch is case sensitive!)

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