When you use
pull, Git tries to automatically do your work for you. It is context sensitive, so Git will merge any pulled commits into the branch you are currently working in.
pullautomatically merges the commits without letting you review them first. If you don’t closely manage your branches, you may run into frequent conflicts. A
git pull is what you would do to bring a local branch up-to-date with its remote version, while also updating your other remote-tracking branches.
fetch, Git gathers any commits from the target branch that do not exist in your current branch and stores them in your local repository. However, it does not merge them with your current branch. This is particularly useful if you need to keep your repository up to date, but are working on something that might break if you update your files. To integrate the commits into your master branch, you use
merge. You can do a
git fetch at any time to update your remote-tracking branches under
refs/remotes/<remote>/. This operation never changes any of your own local branches under
refs/heads, and is safe to do without changing your working copy.