I create a new branch in Git:
git branch my_branch
git push origin my_branch
Now say someone made some changes on the server and I want to pull from
origin/my_branch. I do:
But I get:
You asked me to pull without telling me which branch you
want to merge with, and 'branch.my_branch.merge' in
your configuration file does not tell me, either. Please
specify which branch you want to use on the command line and
try again (e.g. 'git pull <repository> <refspec>').
See git-pull(1) for details.
If you often merge with the same branch, you may want to
use something like the following in your configuration file:
remote = <nickname>
merge = <remote-ref>
url = <url>
fetch = <refspec>
See git-config(1) for details.
I learned that I can make it work with:
git branch --set-upstream my_branch origin/my_branch
But why do I need to do this for every branch I create? Isn't it obvious that if I push
origin/my_branch, then I would want to pull
my_branch? How can I make this the default behavior?
Git v2.37.1 and above
If you are using the mentioned version or above you can use this new config entry to automatically setup remote tracking:
git config --global push.autoSetupRemote true
After that, when you do
git push tracking is setup automatically. No need for
git push -u origin my_branch
A shortcut, which doesn't depend on remembering the syntax for
git branch --set-upstream 1 is to do:
git push -u origin my_branch
... the first time that you push that branch. Or, to push to the current branch from a branch of the same name (handy for an alias):
git push -u origin HEAD
You only need to use
-u once, and that sets up the association between your branch and the one at
origin in the same way as
git branch --set-upstream does.
Personally, I think it's a good thing to have to set up that association between your branch and one on the remote explicitly. It's just a shame that the rules are different for
git push and
1 It may sound silly, but I very frequently forget to specify the current branch, assuming that's the default - it's not, and the results are most confusing.
Update 2012-10-11: Apparently I'm not the only person who found it easy to get wrong! Thanks to VonC for pointing out that git 1.8.0 introduces the more obvious
git branch --set-upstream-to, which can be used as follows, if you're on the branch
git branch --set-upstream-to origin/my_branch
... or with the short option:
git branch -u origin/my_branch
This change, and its reasoning, is described in the release notes for git 1.8.0, release candidate 1:
It was tempting to say
git branch --set-upstream origin/master, but that tells Git to arrange the local branch
origin/master to integrate with the currently checked out branch, which is highly unlikely to be what the user meant. The option is deprecated; use the new
--set-upstream-to (with a short-and-sweet
-u) option instead.