Skip main navigation

“Master” or “Main”?

This short article discusses the importance (or lack thereof) of the "main" branch.
This short article discusses the importance (or lack thereof) of the “main” branch.

In the previous article, you read how branches are often used such that they can be thought of as “lines of development”. Not all projects will use all the lines of development or even conform to the broad categories which have been identified.

However, most workflows will tend to have a branch which can be considered the main branch of development. Traditionally this has been referred to as the “master” branch by default. However, there has been a shift towards referring to this branch as the “main” branch by default.

It is important to understand that Git does not consider the main branch to be special in any way. It is just another branch like any other, it can be named anything and can even be deleted. The only importance or special treatment a branch receives is that which the development team has agreed upon by their working conventions or workflow.

© The University of Manchester
This article is from the free online

Collaborative Coding with Git

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now