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+v0.1, May 2005
+git-checkout-index - Copy files from the cache to the working directory
+'git-checkout-index' [-u] [-q] [-a] [-f] [-n] [--prefix=<string>]
+ [--] <file>...
+Will copy all files listed from the cache to the working directory
+(not overwriting existing files).
+ update stat information for the checked out entries in
+ the cache file.
+ be quiet if files exist or are not in the cache
+ forces overwrite of existing files
+ checks out all files in the cache (will then continue to
+ process listed files).
+ Don't checkout new files, only refresh files already checked
+ out.
+ When creating files, prepend <string> (usually a directory
+ including a trailing /)
+ Do not interpret any more arguments as options.
+Note that the order of the flags matters:
+ git-checkout-index -a -f file.c
+will first check out all files listed in the cache (but not overwrite
+any old ones), and then force-checkout `file.c` a second time (ie that
+one *will* overwrite any old contents with the same filename).
+Also, just doing "git-checkout-index" does nothing. You probably meant
+"git-checkout-index -a". And if you want to force it, you want
+"git-checkout-index -f -a".
+Intuitiveness is not the goal here. Repeatability is. The reason for
+the "no arguments means no work" thing is that from scripts you are
+supposed to be able to do things like:
+ find . -name '*.h' -print0 | xargs -0 git-checkout-index -f --
+which will force all existing `*.h` files to be replaced with their
+cached copies. If an empty command line implied "all", then this would
+force-refresh everything in the cache, which was not the point.
+To update and refresh only the files already checked out:
+ git-checkout-index -n -f -a && git-update-index --ignore-missing --refresh
+Oh, and the "--" is just a good idea when you know the rest will be
+filenames. Just so that you wouldn't have a filename of "-a" causing
+problems (not possible in the above example, but get used to it in
+The prefix ability basically makes it trivial to use
+git-checkout-index as an "export as tree" function. Just read the
+desired tree into the index, and do a
+ git-checkout-index --prefix=git-export-dir/ -a
+and git-checkout-index will "export" the cache into the specified
+NOTE The final "/" is important. The exported name is literally just
+prefixed with the specified string, so you can also do something like
+ git-checkout-index --prefix=.merged- Makefile
+to check out the currently cached copy of `Makefile` into the file
+Written by Linus Torvalds <>
+Documentation by David Greaves, Junio C Hamano and the git-list <>.
+Part of the link:git.html[git] suite