Both `git pull` and `git fetch` are used to update your local repository with the latest changes from a remote repository. However, they have different behaviors and purposes:
The `git pull` command combines two operations into one: fetching the latest changes from the remote repository and merging them into the current branch.
1. It fetches the latest commits from the remote repository, similar to the `git fetch` command.
2. It automatically merges the fetched commits into the current branch, creating a new merge commit if necessary.
In other words, `git pull` fetches the changes and immediately applies them to your local branch. This can result in a fast-forward merge (if the branch has not diverged) or a merge commit (if there are diverging changes).
The `git fetch` command retrieves the latest commits and updates the remote-tracking branches in your local repository. It doesn't modify your current branch or merge the changes automatically.
1. It fetches the latest commits from the remote repository and updates the corresponding remote-tracking branches, such as `origin/master` or `origin/feature-branch`.
2. It does not modify your working directory or current branch.
After running `git fetch`, you can examine the fetched changes, compare them with your local branch, and decide how to integrate them. This allows you to review and understand the changes before merging them.
The main differences between `git pull` and `git fetch` can be summarized as follows:
- `git pull` combines the `git fetch` and `git merge` commands into one convenient operation, updating your current branch automatically.
- `git fetch` only retrieves the latest commits and updates the remote-tracking branches, allowing you to review and merge the changes at your own discretion.
It's worth noting that when using `git pull` or `git fetch`, you may need to handle merge conflicts if there are conflicting changes between the local and remote branches. It's a good practice to review the changes before merging or rebasing to avoid unexpected conflicts.