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First, clone a remote git repository and cd into it:

$ git clone git://example.com/myproject $ cd myproject

Next, look at the local branches in your repository:

$ git branch

  • master
But there are other branches hiding in your repository! You can see these using the -a flag:

$ git branch -a

  • master
  origin/HEAD
  origin/master
  origin/v1.0-stable
  origin/experimental

If you just want to take a quick peek at an upstream branch, you can check it out directly:

$ git checkout origin/experimental

But if you want to work on that branch, you'll need to create a local tracking branch:

$ git checkout -b experimental origin/experimental

Now, if you look at your local branches, this is what you'll see:

$ git branch

  master

  • experimental
You can actually track more than one remote repository using git remote.

$ git remote add win32 git://example.com/users/joe/myproject-win32-port $ git branch -a

  • master
  origin/HEAD
  origin/master
  origin/v1.0-stable
  origin/experimental
  win32/master
  win32/new-widgets

At this point, things are getting pretty crazy, so run gitk to see what's going on:

$ gitk --all &