Skip to content


A Pachyderm branch is a pointer, or an alias, to a commit that moves along with new commits as they are submitted. By default, when you create a repository, Pachyderm does not create any branches. Most users prefer to create a master branch by initiating the first commit and specifying the master branch in the put file command. Also, you can create additional branches to experiment with the data. Branches enable collaboration between teams of data scientists. However, many users find it sufficient to use the master branch for all their work. Although the concept of a branch is similar to Git branches, in most cases, branches are not used as extensively as in source code version-control systems.

Each branch has a HEAD which references the latest commit in the branch. Pachyderm pipelines look at the HEAD of the branch for changes and, if they detect new changes, trigger a job. When you commit a new change, the HEAD of the branch moves to the latest commit.

Sometimes you might see no HEAD in a branch. This happens when a branch does not have any commits yet or if all commits were deleted. This can also occur if you create a pipeline that takes an input that does not yet exist. In the example below, the test branch does not have a HEAD.

To view a list of branches in a repo, run the pachctl list branch command.


pachctl list branch images

System Response:

test   -
master c32879ae0e6f4b629a43429b7ec10ccc

Last update: April 5, 2021
Does this page need fixing? Edit me on GitHub