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List only local branches when autocompleting git checkout (Zsh)
git config --global alias.checkoutr checkout
$EDITOR /usr/local/share/zsh/site-functions/git-completion.bash

...and then modify the file as follows...

-__gitcomp_nl "$(__git_refs '' $track)"
+if [ "$command" = "checkoutr" ]; then
+    __gitcomp_nl "$(__git_refs '' $track)"
+    __gitcomp_nl "$(__git_heads '' $track)"

... and source your shell (source ~/.bashrc / source ~/.zshrc...).

Use git checkoutr for the default behavior and git checkout (or just gco) for browsing only local branches. Credits to

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aok1425 commented Oct 2, 2017

Because of changes made to the git repo as of Mar 23, 2017, the changes are now:

-__git_complete_refs $track_opt
+if [ "$command" = "checkoutr" ]; then
+    __git_complete_refs $track_opt
+    __gitcomp_nl "$(__git_heads '' $track)"

On my Mac, the file is in $(brew --prefix)/etc/bash_completion.d/git-completion.bash.

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mmrko commented Oct 7, 2017

Thanks for pointing that out! 👍

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elcortez commented Feb 8, 2018

You just saved me from hundreds of tiny frustrations :)

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keenahn commented Jan 4, 2019

@aok1425 @mmrko thanks a million. Got here through Google.

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joelhock commented Jan 17, 2019

yeah, this is great. i had to do additional machinery to store the original $command to get checkoutr to work; i think the git repo's source might necessitate that now.

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alswl commented Mar 18, 2019

/usr/local/share/zsh/site-functions/git-completion.bash works for me.

macOS, zsh in brew + oh-my-zsh

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zihotki commented Mar 25, 2019

I'm encountering one issue, I can't make checkoutr working. For some reason when any alias is used for checkout the $command parameter is always checkout but not checkoutr or any other alias. I'm using bash on Windows. Did anybody encounter it? To test I'm using the same snippet with echos:

        if [ "$command" = "rcheckout" ]; then
            echo "rcheckout!"
            __git_complete_refs $track_opt            
            echo "checkout!"
            __gitcomp_nl "$(__git_heads '' $track)"

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CodeRedDev commented Jul 19, 2019

@zihotki I just encountered the same issue. I'm just using normal Mac bash aliases and my solution was just to create a copy of _git_checkout that will be called from my remote checkout alias.

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OmisNomis commented Nov 12, 2019

I've added the amended _git_checkout () function in my .zshrc file, but the function doesn't work unless I manually source for every new terminal session.

I assume this is because the git plugin is loaded after the redeclaration, is there a way around this? Currently, I've amended the git-completion.bash file manually.

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gkop commented Aug 31, 2020

In hopes that it could save another person some time debugging, I just wanted to say I found that I needed to install git from homebrew, and then the autocompletion worked perfectly out of the box with macos Mojave and oh-my-zsh. The system git that comes with developer tools had otherwise worked well for me, I never realized that I was even using it versus git from brew. But for the autocompletion of local branches only to work, I found I needed git from brew.

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mrinal-scio commented Dec 10, 2020

To get this working on zsh, you might need to get, follow the instructions in the comments to setup a link to git-completion.bash, then edit the latter file according to the instructions above

Note that the $track variable has now been renamed to $dwim

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luoluoluolin commented Feb 25, 2021

For new version of git(2.30.1):

  1. modify file /usr/local/share/zsh/site-functions/git-completion.bash: copy shell function _git_checkout to _git_checkoutr, then change _git_checkout function below:
if [ -n "$(__git_find_on_cmdline "-b -B -d --detach --orphan")" ]; then
-			__git_complete_refs --mode="refs"
+			__git_complete_refs --mode="heads"
		elif [ -n "$(__git_find_on_cmdline "--track")" ]; then
			__git_complete_refs --mode="remote-heads"
-			__git_complete_refs $dwim_opt --mode="refs"
+			__git_complete_refs $dwim_opt --mode="heads"
  1. add GIT_COMPLETION_CHECKOUT_NO_GUESS=1 to .zshrc/.bash_profile
  2. git config --global alias.checkoutr checkout

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anthonycvella commented Apr 7, 2022

@luoluoluolin Any ideas how to get this to work for git 2.35? I am running in zsh, made these changes, and it is still pulling remote branches in autocomplete.

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Nick-foote commented May 18, 2022

@luoluoluolin Any ideas how to get this to work for git 2.35? I am running in zsh, made these changes, and it is still pulling remote branches in autocomplete.

I've just followed the steps above and confirmed it works with git version 2.35.1

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KarelCemus commented May 29, 2022

@anthonycvella you must have enabled plugin gitfast otherwise it doesn't work. It took me a while to figure it out.

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anthonycvella commented May 31, 2022

@KarelCemus Hmm I don't have this plugin enabled.

I have the following enabled: plugins=(git keychain gpg-agent)

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KarelCemus commented May 31, 2022

@anthonycvella I didn't have it enabled either. My point is when I did enable gitfast it magically started to work; although there is not much magic, I've read the scripts so IMO this plugin must be enabled in order to have this working. Can you try to enable gitfast and check if this gist works for you?

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ekoneko commented Oct 20, 2022

@luoluoluolin It not works for me in dwim mode. I think $dwim_opt is not necessary if only want to get local branches?

-                       __git_complete_refs $dwim_opt --mode="refs"
+                       __git_complete_refs --mode="heads"

or run

git config --global --type=bool checkout.guess false

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