Pushing the current branch without specifying its name is easy:

# push current branch without specifying its name
git push origin HEAD

Git figures out the name of the current branch, as its tip and HEAD are pointing at the same thing. For example if you’re on a branch named somebranch:

  • If somebranch doesn’t exist on origin, it will be created
  • If somebranch already exists on origin, it will be updated, if needed

What if you don’t want to name the remote explicitly? If the current branch is tracking a branch on a specific remote, how to make Git push to that remote?

Unfortunately there’s no easy trick like HEAD for the branch name. But it’s possible to get the remote’s name with git rev-parse:

# get the current tracking remote/branch name
git rev-parse --abbrev-ref --symbolic-full-name @{u}

This will output in the format origin/somebranch, from which you can extract the remote’s name with a little Bash:

refname=$(git rev-parse --abbrev-ref --symbolic-full-name @{u})
IFS=/ read -a arr <<< "$refname"

Now you can push to the right remote with:

git push $remote $branch
# or like this:
# git push $remote HEAD
Inspired by this question on #stackoverflow: How to push a branch of unknown name to it's remote every time?

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