How can I create a new branch in git from an existing file tree?

I am looking to add an existing file tree to a git repository as a new branch (I can’t just copy the existing tree into my git tree, since the existing tree is versioned under a different VCS, and I am trying to sync them up).

Is this possible?

EDIT: Would setting up a new git repository, that is connected to the existing remote repository, and then moving the resulting .git folder work? That seems really hackish, but if that’s the way to do it…

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  • 5 Solutions collect form web for “How can I create a new branch in git from an existing file tree?”

    You can try to use --work-tree=<path> option to git to add files from other directory, e.g.:

    git --work-tree=/path/to/file add .

    I have moved the .git folder before and while hackish it did work.

    My reason for doing this was working with TFS as the “real” VCS but using git on my own machine – TFS branches are actually just copies, so when I worked in a TFS branch I just checked out the branch in git, then moved the .git folder into the TFS branch root.

    which VCS are you using? I’d look around to see if there’s an importer from your VCS to Git.

    Then just switch to a new branch (git checkout -b import-branch) and run the importer.

    The simplest way to do this is to create a branch based off where you need to add the new files, clear the index and add the new files from where they are at the moment.


    git checkout -b newbranch [<option starting sha1>]
    git rm -r --cached -- .
    cd /other/tree
    git --git-dir=/first/tree/.git add .

    Once you’ve done this you will probably want to reset the working tree in the original location.

    cd /first/tree
    git checkout -- .

    You can

    • create a new branch (git checkout -b aNewBranch)
    • copy your tree
    • add it (git add path/to/new/tree)
    • and commit

    But the future syncs between that new tree under git and the one in the other VCS will have to be manual: i.e. by using a diff tool to compare the two trees and update/add/remove the relevant files between those two directories.

    If you must conserve the tree where it is (in the VCS), you can:

    • refer to Charles Bayley’s answer and git add by refering the other git
    • or just git init within your “other VCS” tree
      • then you can consider that git repo as a submodule (less simple, but allows you to reference in your Git repo a precise reference of the VCS tree)
    Git Baby is a git and github fan, let's start git clone.