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git fetch vs git pull

Sep 09, 2022 · 1 min read · 4 views · Post a comment

Two oddly confusing Git commands for beginners – git fetch and git pull used on a daily basis. I’ll try to describe them broadly and get to know how and when to use both of them.

Prerequisites

  • Git

Solution

git fetch pulls any Git metadata information only from a remote origin (GitHub, GitLab, etc. repos). The metadata can include any new commits to existing branches or new branches being pushed by other Git users.

Simply put, it lets you know about any changes made in the remote repo since your last pushed commit by downloading changes on your local machine without merging anything. From my personal experience not a bad idea to add the --prune parameter too. It will remove any deleted remote origin branches. If working with multiple people, I would suggest running git fetch --prune once in a while.

git pull is basically git fetch + git merge. Fetches any remote repository updates to your local machine and automatically merges commits made by others to your local machine code if any. Just be aware of Git merge conflicts.

git pull is mandatory before pushing any local commits to remote. So, do the following:

git fetch --prune
git pull

Conclusion

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