How do I check out a remote Git branch?

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Question Description

Somebody pushed a branch called test with git push origin test to a shared repository. I can see the branch with git branch -r.

Now I’m trying to check out the remote test branch.

I’ve tried:

  • git checkout test which does nothing

  • git checkout origin/test gives * (no branch). Which is confusing. How can I be on “no branch”?

How do I check out a remote Git branch?

Practice As Follows

Update

Jakub’s answer actually improves on this. With Git versions ≥ 1.6.6, you can just do:

git fetch
git checkout test

(User masukomi points out below that git checkout test will NOT work in modern git if you have multiple remotes. In this case use git checkout -b test /test).

Old Answer

Before you can start working locally on a remote branch, you need to fetch it as called out in answers below.

To fetch a branch, you simply need to:

git fetch origin

This will fetch all of the remote branches for you. You can see the branches available for checkout with:

git branch -v -a

With the remote branches in hand, you now need to check out the branch you are interested in, giving you a local working copy:

git checkout -b test origin/test

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