Git Worktrees to manage several workspaces for the same repository

Today, David Khourshid shared on Twitter that he likes having several copies of the same repository on his computer to be able try some things out without impacting his current work.

Then he shared a link to Git Worktree documentation, that seems to be a really good way to solve this issue.

We can create a worktree from the current branch:

$ git worktree add ../path-to-new-worktree

This command will create a directory at the specified path as well as a branch whose name is the last part of the path, here path-to-new-worktree.

The created directory will contain only all tracked files from the origin branch, not files that are gitignored. As a consequence, dependencies would have to be installed on the new directory.

We can also explicitly provide a name to the branch to create:

$ git worktree add -b branch-name ../path-to-new-worktree

It is also possible to create a worktree from an existing branch, instead of defaulting to the current branch:

$ git worktree add ../path-to-new-worktree existing-branch

And to combine both:

$ git worktree add -b branch-name ../path-to-new-worktree existing-branch

Every commit made on a worktree will be visible to other worktrees as they take place in the same repository.

After work has been done on a worktree, we can delete it by its path (./ also works):

$ git worktree remove ../path-to-new-worktree

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