How to pull into not-the-current-branch?

Say my current branch is myfeature. I want to get master up to date. Both git merge git pull always merge into the current branch, as far as I can tell.

Is there a way to merge changes from a remote branch (eg, origin/master) into a branch I’m not currently on (master)? I can think of one way:

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  • git stash
    git checkout master
    git pull origin/master
    git checkout myfeature
    git stash apply
    

    Is there a better one?

    (It’s possibly my whole question is wrong: would git fetch automatically update master to match origin/master, if remote-tracking is enabled?)

    Answer

    To summarise the answer below, it’s basically “just use origin/master directly, you probably don’t need to actually do this merge”.

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  • 2 Solutions collect form web for “How to pull into not-the-current-branch?”

    You are correct that pull/merge only merges into the current branch.

    You can, however, still use fetch. For instance (names below changed to protect the innocent but the hashes are real):

    $ git branch | grep '^*'
    * SOMEBRANCH
    $ git rev-parse OTHER_BRANCH origin/OTHER_BRANCH
    7b9b8e57cf19964b60ebda0f03a1d5da3de9e2fe
    7b9b8e57cf19964b60ebda0f03a1d5da3de9e2fe
    $ git fetch
    7b9b8e5..1efca56  OTHER_BRANCH -> origin/OTHER_BRANCH
    $ git rev-parse OTHER_BRANCH origin/OTHER_BRANCH
    7b9b8e57cf19964b60ebda0f03a1d5da3de9e2fe
    1efca56c08b7a0f511a3951195656a798c56aa62
    

    In this case, fetch updated a bunch of origin/ branches. None of the local branches were updated (git rev-parse output for those remains the same) but the new commits are now in the repo and can be viewed (git log origin/OTHER_BRANCH, gitk --all, etc).

    Depending on your needs, this might be sufficient. In particular you can see what needs to be applied from origin/master onto master, all without leaving your current branch.

    git fetch -u origin master:master

    Merge, update, and pull Git branches without using checkouts

    git fetch -u <remote> <remoteBranch>:<localBranch>

    The -u ensures that the command still works even if you have the given branch checked out.

    Git Baby is a git and github fan, let's start git clone.