Last Updated: March 20, 2016
· shakeelmohamed
Profile 500

A bash alias for intermediate git users: gityank

As a git user, every once in a while you'll be doing a git pull and be blindsided by the following error:

git pull
There is no tracking information for the current branch.
Please specify which branch you want to merge with.
See git-pull(1) for details.

    git pull <remote> <branch>

If you wish to set tracking information for this branch you can do so with:

    git branch --set-upstream-to=<remote>/<branch> mybranch

So naturally, you groan.
Then proceed to copy/paste pieces of this enormous command, and maybe use shell auto-completion with something like zsh.

What if I told you there was a better way?

A while back I had to run this incantation several times every day while migrating a few git repos to different remotes. After 2 days of this madness, I had to create a bash function - and it's saved my sanity hundreds of times since then!

Without further adieu I present gityank; when you cant pull, yank!

gityank() {
    if [ "$#" -eq 0 ]; then
    elif [ "$#" -eq 1 ]; then
        git branch --set-upstream-to="origin/$1" $1
        git branch --set-upstream-to="$1/$2" $2

The function itself is rather simple. The key is git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD, which determines the current branch.
In my bash profile, I actually have it aliased to gb.

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