On most occasions, many of us confuse ourselves with the use-case of Git Fetch and Git Pull. They seem like they do similar work with respect to getting data from remote repositories, but their actual function is quite different. The fundamental difference between Git Fetch and Git Pull is what they do with the data they retrieve from the remote repository. Git Fetch, as the name suggests, only fetches the changes in the remote repository but does not merge them with the local one. Git Pull, on the other hand, pulls changes from the remote repository and merges them with the local one.
Tip: Instead of using git pull, perform a git fetch and then a git merge to allow changes that you require.
What is Git Fetch?
Git Fetch is a command that allows the download of commits, refs, and files to the local repository from a remote one. It also allows you to see what others have been working on but does not make changes to your work whatsoever.
What is Git Pull?
Git Pull is a command that acts much like Git Fetch in downloading the required data from a remote repository to a local one. The difference, though, is that Git Pull will merge that downloaded data with the data available in your local repository and give you an updated version of your work.
When to use Git Pull and Git Fetch?
Git Pull can be used when you have complete knowledge and context of what changes would be made to your data to the local repository when you get data from the remote one.
Git Fetch, on the other hand, can be used if you wish to see the changes in your remote repository and all of the current branches. It allows you to seek the information you require without making any changes to your local copy.
Git Fetch Vs Git Pull
|Command: git fetch <remote>
|Command: git pull <remote> <branch>
|Git Fetch is a much safer option as it only shows changes in the remote repository. Provides more visibility about the changes being introduced.
|Git Pull is comparatively less safe as the changes seen in the remote repository are merged with the local one
|Git Fetch is a slightly slower command and only allows you to make changes to your local copy that seem necessary to you.
|Git Pull is faster when you’re performing multiple actions at once. It allows you to have the best or the most updated version of the data without having to worry about introducing conflicts.
|Git veterans might prefer this as this allows them to have complete control over what changes can be made to their local repository.
|Git Pull is an advanced command that directly makes changes to your local copy within minutes which does not necessarily give you control over your copy.
Summary of Git Pull Vs Git Fetch
We understand from the above information that both commands are more or less the same, whereas Git Pull is just Git Fetch with a further Git Merge option.
Git Fetch is more commonly used to check on the changes available in the remote repository for the work you are doing with peers or someone in the community. It keeps you updated on the recent changes made without affecting your work.
Git Pull is a command used when you want the changes in the remote repository to be made to your local one.
This allows us to make sound decisions with respect to our needs and changes/does not change our local copy accordingly.