git-checkout-index - Copy files from the index to the working tree


   git checkout-index [-u] [-q] [-a] [-f] [-n] [--prefix=<string>]
                      [-z] [--stdin]
                      [--] [<file>...]


   Will copy all files listed from the index to the working directory (not
   overwriting existing files).


   -u, --index
       update stat information for the checked out entries in the index

   -q, --quiet
       be quiet if files exist or are not in the index

   -f, --force
       forces overwrite of existing files

   -a, --all
       checks out all files in the index. Cannot be used together with
       explicit filenames.

   -n, --no-create
       Don't checkout new files, only refresh files already checked out.

       When creating files, prepend <string> (usually a directory
       including a trailing /)

       Instead of checking out unmerged entries, copy out the files from
       named stage. <number> must be between 1 and 3. Note: --stage=all
       automatically implies --temp.

       Instead of copying the files to the working directory write the
       content to temporary files. The temporary name associations will be
       written to stdout.

       Instead of taking list of paths from the command line, read list of
       paths from the standard input. Paths are separated by LF (i.e. one
       path per line) by default.

       Only meaningful with --stdin; paths are separated with NUL
       character instead of LF.

       Do not interpret any more arguments as options.

   The order of the flags used to matter, but not anymore.

   Just doing git checkout-index does nothing. You probably meant git
   checkout-index -a. And if you want to force it, you want git
   checkout-index -f -a.

   Intuitiveness is not the goal here. Repeatability is. The reason for
   the "no arguments means no work" behavior is that from scripts you are
   supposed to be able to do:

       $ find . -name '*.h' -print0 | xargs -0 git checkout-index -f --

   which will force all existing *.h files to be replaced with their
   cached copies. If an empty command line implied "all", then this would
   force-refresh everything in the index, which was not the point. But
   since git checkout-index accepts --stdin it would be faster to use:

       $ find . -name '*.h' -print0 | git checkout-index -f -z --stdin

   The -- is just a good idea when you know the rest will be filenames; it
   will prevent problems with a filename of, for example, -a. Using -- is
   probably a good policy in scripts.


   When --temp is used (or implied by --stage=all) git checkout-index will
   create a temporary file for each index entry being checked out. The
   index will not be updated with stat information. These options can be
   useful if the caller needs all stages of all unmerged entries so that
   the unmerged files can be processed by an external merge tool.

   A listing will be written to stdout providing the association of
   temporary file names to tracked path names. The listing format has two

    1. tempname TAB path RS

       The first format is what gets used when --stage is omitted or is
       not --stage=all. The field tempname is the temporary file name
       holding the file content and path is the tracked path name in the
       index. Only the requested entries are output.

    2. stage1temp SP stage2temp SP stage3tmp TAB path RS

       The second format is what gets used when --stage=all. The three
       stage temporary fields (stage1temp, stage2temp, stage3temp) list
       the name of the temporary file if there is a stage entry in the
       index or .  if there is no stage entry. Paths which only have a
       stage 0 entry will always be omitted from the output.

   In both formats RS (the record separator) is newline by default but
   will be the null byte if -z was passed on the command line. The
   temporary file names are always safe strings; they will never contain
   directory separators or whitespace characters. The path field is always
   relative to the current directory and the temporary file names are
   always relative to the top level directory.

   If the object being copied out to a temporary file is a symbolic link
   the content of the link will be written to a normal file. It is up to
   the end-user or the Porcelain to make use of this information.


   To update and refresh only the files already checked out

           $ git checkout-index -n -f -a && git update-index --ignore-missing --refresh

   Using git checkout-index to "export an entire tree"
       The prefix ability basically makes it trivial to use git
       checkout-index as an "export as tree" function. Just read the
       desired tree into the index, and do:

           $ git checkout-index --prefix=git-export-dir/ -a

       git checkout-index will "export" the index into the specified

       The final "/" is important. The exported name is literally just
       prefixed with the specified string. Contrast this with the
       following example.

   Export files with a prefix

           $ git checkout-index --prefix=.merged- Makefile

       This will check out the currently cached copy of Makefile into the
       file .merged-Makefile.


   Part of the git(1) suite


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