GitHub to rename the default branch to main

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GitHub to replace 'master' with 'main' starting next month

All new Git repositories on GitHub will be named "main" instead of "master" post September, 2020.


Why rename main?

main is the most popular replacement for master that we’re seeing across GitHub. We like it because it’s short, it keeps your muscle memory intact, and it translates well across most languages. We’re using main for our newly-created repositories and for the repositories we’re moving now, like dependabot-core.

On October 1, 2020: newly-created repositories will default to main On October 1, 2020, any new repositories you create will use main as the default branch, instead of master.

This change does not impact any of your existing repositories, existing repositories will continue to have the same default branch they have now.

You can opt out of this change at any time. To opt out, set the default branch for new repositories for your user, organization, or enterprise:

"By the end of the year, we'll make it seamless for existing repositories to rename their default branch," GitHub said.

When you rename the branch, we'll retarget your open PRs and draft releases, move your branch protection policies, and more - all automatically.

What are your views on this? What are the other features you wish GitHub had?

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Mark's photo

Glad they're eventually going to make it easy to rename in existing repositories; it would be annoying to do by hand, but also annoying to have different names in different repos.

I wonder if someone will make some git extension to make "master" an alias of "main".

Now that I think about it, I usually do "git init" and add a remote later. I guess this change only works if you clone the empty repo that Github creates. Is git itself going to change too?

Dinys Monvoisin's photo

Do you know the reason it was changed to "main"?

Show +4 replies
Daniel Ziltener's photo

Michelle Janosi So you are trying to tell me "master" is offensive to black people? Why? Probably the next thing you're going to tell me that the world revolves around the US, and that slavery is an exclusively black problem? I hope you also bring this discussion to the local BDSM community, I am sure they're thrilled to stop using "master". Also, while you're at it, tell the Germans to stop using "master" as a term for someone who... wait for it... mastered his field of work and got a certificate for that.

Daniel Ziltener's photo

Michelle Janosi of course, there's no reply to that... I hope this bullshit at least makes you feel good in some way.