Git Fetch vs Pull: You’re presumably in the following situation: your remote repository has recently changed, and you want to update your local copy. Here you have a couple of options. Git pull and Git fetch are the two most frequent methods for retrieving changes from your remote.
So, what’s the difference between Git fetch and Git pull, and how do you know which to use? We appreciate your inquiry.
Before we go into the differences between these two commands, let’s have a look at what they have in common: Both are used to get new data from a faraway location.
Downloading data is a crucial aspect of your daily work because the remote data you’re looking at in your local repository is merely a “snapshot.” It’s only as current as the last time you used “fetch” or “pull” to specifically retrieve new data from the remote. Remember this while looking at remote branches and commits!
Let’s examine the subtle but significant differences between git fetch and pull.
Table of Contents
What is Git fetch and what does it do?
Git fetch is a command that lets you download files from a different repository.
$git fetch origin
You can feel confident that fetch operation will never influence, ruin, or screw up anything because of its “harmless” nature. This means you’ll never be able to fetch frequently enough.
What is Git pull and what does it do?
A Git pull, according to this definition, is a Git fetch followed by one or more extra actions, most commonly a Git merge.
$git pull origin master
In contrast, Git pull is used to integrate the most recent changes from the remote server into your current HEAD branch or origin master branch. This means that pull does more than just downloading new material; it also incorporates it directly into your current working copy files. This has a couple of ramifications:
Because “git pull” attempts to merge remote changes with local modifications, a “merge conflict” may develop. For additional details, see our in-depth tutorial on How to Deal with Merge Conflicts between branches.
Starting a “git pull” with a clean working copy, as with many other activities, is strongly recommended. This means that before pulling, there should be no uncommitted local changes. To save your local modifications temporarily, use Git’s Stash functionality.
When should you use Git pull?
Git pull is a useful tool when you need detailed information about the changes you’ll be getting from your remote repository and applying to your local copy.
When should you use Git fetch?
Git fetch can bring you all of the information you need without actually making any local changes to your work if you only want to see all of the current branches and changes in your remote repository.
This provides you with time to consider if merging or fast-forwarding your local default branch is the best course of action for adopting your changes.
Comparing Git Pull vs Fetch
Git fetch is the safer option when comparing Git pull vs fetch because it pulls in all of your remote commits while leaving your local files alone.
Git pull, on the other hand, is faster since it combines numerous activities into one-giving you more bang for your buck. In one sense, using the Git pull command is a convenience feature; you’re probably less concerned about introducing conflicts into your local repo and simply want the most recent changes from the remote branch you’re pulling from.
Git pull is a more advanced activity, and it’s vital to understand that you’ll be introducing modifications to your currently checked out branch and applying them right away.
Git fetch is a little different in that it allows you to observe all of the remote’s changes without actually applying them. If you’re new to Git, this activity can be useful because it makes the changes you’re making more visible. On the other hand, Git veterans who just want more control over what happens in their repo may prefer fetch.
How do you Git fetch in the command line?
You’ll use the Git fetch command to fetch changes from your remote branches if you’re using the terminal.
How do you Git pull in the command line?
Similarly, you can use the Git pull command to get changes from your remote repository.
Changes from your remote branch will be synced to your currently checked out branch.
Finally, we compared and contrasted git fetch and git pull. We discussed what is git fetch and what is git pull, when to use both commands, comparisons and various terms.