Sharing work between computers with Git

1 minute to read

Since I’ve started working more on Trace Viewer, there have been plenty of times when I’ve wanted to share work on a feature branch between my desktop and laptop before sending that work out to the world for code review.

I originally did this by pushing my feature branch to the project’s public Git repo from one computer and fetching that branch from the other computer.

# On my desktop, after making commits...
git push origin my_feature_branch

# Later, on my laptop...
git fetch origin
git checkout -b my_feature_branch origin/my_feature_branch

This is problematic, though, if the project you’re working on doesn’t like your ugly work-in-progress branches polluting its public repo.

The solution is to do this same push-fetch dance with a fork of the main repo instead of the main repo itself.

At a high level, here are the steps:

  1. Create the fork. In Github, you go to the project’s page and click the “fork” button.
  2. Add the fork as a remote repo on your desktop’s repo.
  3. Add the fork as a remote repo on your laptop’s repo.

In practice, it looks like this:

# 1) Create the fork.

# 2) Add the fork as a remote repo on your desktop's repo.
#    Inside the my-repo project on your desktop...
git remote add fork <your_fork_url>

# 3) Add the fork as a remote repo on your laptop's repo.
#    Inside the my-repo project on your laptop...
git remote add fork <your_fork_url>

Replace <your_fork_url> with the SSH clone URL found on your fork’s Github project page.

Now you can do things like:

# In my-repo on your desktop...
git checkout -b add_readme
echo "This project loves Git!" >>
git commit -am "Adds to the README."

git push fork add_readme

# In my-repo on your laptop...
git fetch fork
git checkout -b add_readme fork/add_readme
# ...
# This project loves Git!

You can do the same thing in the opposite direction, too.

Pretty nifty!

Want to stay in the loop?

Subscribe and you'll get an email when there's a new post.

Next post

Chrome Tracing Episode 1: Starting anywhere

Previous post

The 7 Habits summarized