git pull on a different branch


If I’m working on a branch and then realize I need to merge another branch into mine here is my current workflow (for this example lets say that I’m working on my-branch and want to merge in master):

git stash
git checkout master
git pull
git checkout my-branch
git merge master
git stash pop

Is there a way in git to pull a branch other than the currently checked out one, or is there a better way to do this?

For example, here’s what I’d like to be able to do (again lets say I’m on my-branch and want to merge in master):

git pull master
git merge master

The git-pull man page says that a git pull is just a get fetch followed by a git merge, so is there a way to do the merge part of the git pull on a branch other than the one that’s currently checked out?

Or is what I’m asking for just not possible?


I found an incantation that worked for me:

git fetch origin master:master

then (if you want to merge right away):

git merge master

I was really surprised how hard it was to find an answer to this since it seems like it would be a common use case.


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