git push command takes two arguments:
- A remote name, for example,
- A branch name, for example,
git push REMOTE-NAME BRANCH-NAME
As an example, you usually run
git push origin main to push your local changes
to your online repository.
To rename a branch, you'd use the same
git push command, but you would add
one more argument: the name of the new branch. For example:
git push REMOTE-NAME LOCAL-BRANCH-NAME:REMOTE-BRANCH-NAME
This pushes the
LOCAL-BRANCH-NAME to your
REMOTE-NAME, but it is renamed to
Dealing with "non-fast-forward" errors
If your local copy of a repository is out of sync with, or "behind," the upstream
repository you're pushing to, you'll get a message saying
non-fast-forward updates were rejected.
This means that you must retrieve, or "fetch," the upstream changes, before
you are able to push your local changes.
For more information on this error, see "Dealing with non-fast-forward errors."
By default, and without additional parameters,
git push sends all matching branches
that have the same names as remote branches.
To push a single tag, you can issue the same command as pushing a branch:
git push REMOTE-NAME TAG-NAME
To push all your tags, you can type the command:
git push REMOTE-NAME --tags
Deleting a remote branch or tag
The syntax to delete a branch is a bit arcane at first glance:
git push REMOTE-NAME :BRANCH-NAME
Note that there is a space before the colon. The command resembles the same steps
you'd take to rename a branch. However, here, you're telling Git to push nothing
REMOTE-NAME. Because of this,
git push deletes the branch
on the remote repository.
Remotes and forks
You might already know that you can "fork" repositories on GitHub.
When you clone a repository you own, you provide it with a remote URL that tells
Git where to fetch and push updates. If you want to collaborate with the original
repository, you'd add a new remote URL, typically called
your local Git clone:
git remote add upstream THEIR_REMOTE_URL
Now, you can fetch updates and branches from their fork:
git fetch upstream # Grab the upstream remote's branches > remote: Counting objects: 75, done. > remote: Compressing objects: 100% (53/53), done. > remote: Total 62 (delta 27), reused 44 (delta 9) > Unpacking objects: 100% (62/62), done. > From https://github.com/OCTOCAT/REPO > * [new branch] main -> upstream/main
When you're done making local changes, you can push your local branch to GitHub and initiate a pull request.
For more information on working with forks, see "Syncing a fork".