Git Fork vs Branch

Abdul Jabbar Nov 21, 2022
  1. Forking
  2. Branching
  3. Forking VS Branching in Git
Git Fork vs Branch

Git is the finest, cheapest, and simplest version control system of this modern era. It is considered the main core part of the developer’s life as it is used in their daily workflows and projects within the complex team environment.

In this block, we will look deeply into the process of forking and branching in Git and discuss the main differences between these features of Git one by one.

Forking and branching are considered two brilliant methods for developing an open-source project. These essential and beneficial features of Git let its users enhance their contributions and collaboration on open-source projects.

Let’s discuss both concepts in detail below, and then we will compare both with the table.


Forking in the software world is a term in which a developer creates a copy of some source code from the original software package and makes some independent development by making some unique or special code.

Forking applies to the Git account. In Git, when developers fork a repository, they make a copy of the original upstream repository.

Instead of creating a new repository from the original one, the original remains on the developer’s Git account.

Forking a repository is to observe changes in the project without infecting the original project. The reasons why forking could be beneficial are listed below.

  1. Forking proposes changes to other developers’ projects.
  2. Forking helps in availing an existing project as an initial point.


The branch in Git is referred to as the distinct and latest form of the main repository. It’s the killer feature of Git that is very flexible and easy to use.

It allows multiple developers to work on other parts of the open-source project without affecting the main branch. It lets us work on the project by improving the working codebase.

Branches are used to develop a different and distinct line of development in the project to fix a bug or add a new feature. The Master branch is the default or primary branch in Git.

When we create a repository, the main branch is created. Branching is mostly used when in a big team, many developers are working on the same feature, so each of them creates a separate branch for their work, and once every one of them completes the desired work, then they merge all the separate branches into a single branch.

Forking VS Branching in Git

A fork is the only copy of a Git repository, whereas a branch is a place that stores snapshots of a commit and these commits are added to a branch.

Forking is the process done once while starting work on the project, whereas branching can be regularly done while working on a big project within the team.

Let’s observe this through the comparison table below.

Forking Branching
A fork is the copy of the repository A branch is a place to attach, amend or remove some code without making any impact on the main code
Forking in Git is done on the complete repository Branching in Git is done on a single repository
Forking helps in creating an entire copy of the repository Branching helps in creating a branch so that we can make changes without impacting other developer’s work
It aims to add new features to the existing repo to upgrade the other developer’s project Branching aims to distract from the original code without impacting the developer’s work
Changes that are made in the forked repository can be afterward merged with the original repository through a pull request After the completion of work, a branch can be combined with the main project of the developer
Author: Abdul Jabbar
Abdul Jabbar avatar Abdul Jabbar avatar

Abdul is a software engineer with an architect background and a passion for full-stack web development with eight years of professional experience in analysis, design, development, implementation, performance tuning, and implementation of business applications.


Related Article - Git Branch

Related Article - Git Fork