Is 'pull' a synonym for 'clone' in a Mercurial source-control repository?
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hg clone is how you make a local copy of a remote repository. The Subversion equivalent is
hg pull pulls changes from another repository.
hg update applies those changes to the local repository.
hg pull -u is equivalent to
hg pull; hg update. The Subversion equivalent to
hg pull -u is
Use clone when you need to make a new repository based on another. Use pull later to transfer new changesets into the clone. You cannot use clone to fetch just the newest changesets — that is what pull is for. The pull command will compare the two repositories, find the missing changesets in your repository and finally transfer those.
However, you are right that there are similarities between clone and pull: they both transfer history between repositories. If you clone first
hg clone https://www.mercurial-scm.org/repo/hg/
then this has the exact same effect as doing
hg init hg cd hg hg pull https://www.mercurial-scm.org/repo/hg/ hg update
You get the exact same history in both cases. The clone command is more convenient, though, since it also edits the
.hg/hgrc file for you to setup the default path:
[paths] default = https://www.mercurial-scm.org/repo/hg/
This is what lets you do
hg pull in the repository without specifying a URL. Another advantage of using clone is when you work with repositories on the same disk:
hg clone a b will be very fast and cheap in terms of disk space since
b will share the history with
a. This is done using hardlinks and works on all platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac).
clone creates a new repository as a copy of an existing repository.
pull imports all changesets (not already present) from another repository into an existing repository.