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Git Push

James Gallagher - December 28, 2020

The git push command uploads your local version of a repository to a remote repository. Pushing is the mechanism through which you upload changes to a remote repository. Once you have pushed your changes, all the collaborators on a project can download them.

Pushing your code to a remote repository is the final stage of “saving” the changes you have made to a Git repository .

The pushing process transfers the code from your local repository—your computer—to the remote repository with which your local code is associated. This allows you to store the changes you have made to a codebase in the main repository for a project.

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This tutorial will discuss, with examples, the basics of pushing code and how to use the git push command. By the end of reading this tutorial, you’ll be an expert at pushing code using the git push command.

Pushing Code

In Git, “saving” changes is not as simple as saving a file. When you save a file in a Git repository, the changes will be stored on your computer. But, your changes will not be tracked by the Git repository. You need to tell git that your changes should be tracked.

To track changes, you first need to use the git add command, which adds your code to the staging area. Then, you can use the git commit command to save the changes you have made to a commit.

Once you have committed your code to a repository, a record of the changes you have made will be tracked. You need to push your code after you have created a commit if you want your commits to show up on the remote repository.

Pushing code allows you to send the commits you have made to the local version of a repository to a remote repository. For instance, if you are working on a team project, you’ll first create a commit on your local machine. Once you’re ready for everyone to see your code, you will push it to the remote repository so every collaborator can see your code.

How to Use the git push Command

The git push command uploads your local changes to a repository to a remote repository. Your uploaded changes will be made accessible to all project collaborators for them to view and download.

In a sense, git push is the opposite of git fetch . The git fetch command is used to retrieve the changes made to a remote repository. The fetch command applies those changes ot your local copy of a repository.

The syntax for the git push command is as follows:

git push <remote name> <branch name>

Our “remote name” parameter refers to the repository to which your code should be pushed. If you have already configured a repository, this will be set to “origin”. If you want to commit to another repository, you can specify it using the “remote name” parameter.

The “branch” name parameter refers to the branch of the remote repository to which you want to push your changes.

Suppose we want to push the changes from a local repository to the “master” branch of a remote repository. We could do so using this command:

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git push origin master

The command returns:

Counting objects: 4, done.
Delta compression using up to 4 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (2/2), done.
Writing objects: 100% (4/4), 363 bytes | 363.00 KiB/s, done.
Total 4 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0)
   3b16026..b53b22d  master -> master

For this example, our remote repository is stored on GitHub. The changes we made to our local repository are pushed to the remote GitHub repository associated with our project.

Now that we have pushed our changes, the code on our local machine is the same as the code in our remote repository. Our code is available in the remote repository so our team members will be able to see the changes we have made.

Alternatively, if we wanted to push our code to the branch “v1.9”, we could have specified the branch name “v1.9” instead of “master”.

Git Push Force

When you’re using the git push command line operation, you may want to force changes to be pushed to a remote repository.

Git prevents you from pushing code to a repository when there is a conflict between the remote and local histories of a repository. If a remote repository has 10 commits that are not reflected on your local machine, you will not be able to push your code.

The –force flag allows you to “force push” the changes you have made to a repository. The force flag deletes any changes that may have occurred since you last pulled code from the repository.

You should only use the –force flag when you notice that you have made an error in a push that you have fixed. Otherwise, you should avoid using this command. This will help ensure you do not make unintended changes to a Git repository.

The syntax for the –force flag is:

git push <remote name> <branch name> --force

This command will force push your code. Any errors that may come up will be ignored.

Git Push to Origin Master Example

Let’s walk through a common scenario where you may want to use the Git push command.

Suppose you have just made a few changes to your local code that you want to push to a remote repository. You have already created a commit using git commit in which your changes are stored. To push your code, there are a few steps you should follow.

First, you should navigate to your master branch and make sure it is up to date. The local master branch is the branch on which we have made our changes. You can navigate to the master branch:

git checkout master
git fetch origin master

The git checkout command makes us navigate to the “master” branch. git fetch allows us to retrieve the latest version of our remote repository.

We can create a commit with the changes we made to our master branch in the original repository:

git add
git commit -m "feat: Make changes to README"

We have added the file to the staging area. We then created a commit. Our commit message is “feat: Make changes to README”. This commit is presently stored on our local branch.

Then, we can run git push to push our code:

git push origin master

Upon running this command, the code in our local repository will be pushed to our remote repository. Because we checked if our code was up-to-date before we pushed our code, there should be no errors returned by the git push command.


The git push command is used to “push” the changes from a local Git repository to a remote repository. Everyone who is working on a codebase will be able to see the contributions you have made once they are pushed.

This tutorial discussed the basics of pushing code and how to use the git push command. Now you’re ready to start pushing your code to a remote Git repository like a Git master!

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James Gallagher

About the author: James Gallagher is a self-taught programmer and the technical content manager at Career Karma. He has experience in range of programming languages and extensive expertise in Python, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. James has written hundreds of programming tutorials, and he frequently contributes to publications like Codecademy, Treehouse,, Afrotech, and others.

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