| 2023-09-15

Git Switch

    git switch is a command introduced in Git 2.23.0 (released 2019) to simplify the process of switching between branches and to delineate the responsibilities of git checkout, which was somewhat overloaded with functionalities. Here is how and why you might use git switch in your workflow:

    Why Use git switch?

    1. Clarity and Readability: The git switch command clearly indicates the action you are performing, i.e., switching between branches. This makes your intentions explicit when you use the command, improving readability and understanding for people reviewing your commands or scripts.

    2. Avoiding Mistakes: Using a separate command to switch branches helps avoid accidental file modifications or deletions that can sometimes occur when using the git checkout command improperly.

    3. Intuitive for New Users: For new Git users, it's more intuitive to use a command named "switch" to switch between branches rather than "checkout," which might imply checking out files rather than branches.

    How to Use git switch?

    Creating a New Branch and Switching to It

    To create a new branch and switch to it in a single command, you can use:

    git switch -c new_branch

    Switching Between Existing Branches

    To switch to an existing branch, use:

    git switch existing_branch

    Switching Back to the Previous Branch

    To switch back to the previous branch you were on, use:

    git switch -

    Orphan Branch

    To create an orphan branch (a branch with no commit history), use:

    git switch --orphan orphan_branch

    Example Workflow with git switch

    Here's how a workflow using git switch might look:

    1. Checking Current Branch

      Check your current branch using:

      git branch
    2. Creating a New Branch

      Create a new branch and switch to it using:

      git switch -c feature_branch
    3. Making Changes and Committing

      Make changes to your files and commit them using:

      git add .
      git commit -m "Implemented a new feature"
    4. Switching Back to Main Branch

      Switch back to the main branch using:

      git switch main
    5. Merging Changes

      Merge the changes from your feature branch into the main branch using:

      git merge feature_branch
    6. Deleting the Feature Branch

      After merging, delete the feature branch to keep your repository clean:

      git branch -d feature_branch


    By using git switch in your workflow, you maintain a clear and explicit history of your branch changes, making it easier for you and your team to understand the actions performed at each step in your Git history. It's a good practice to start using git switch to benefit from the clarity and explicitness it brings to the Git workflow.

    Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to explore more of my site. I write about web development, programming, and other fun stuff.