How to clone all remote branches in Git?

First, clone a remote Git repository and cd into it:

$ git clone git://example.com/myproject
$ cd myproject

Next, look at the local branches in your repository:

$ git branch
* master

But there are other branches hiding in your repository! You can see these using the -a flag:

$ git branch -a
* master
  remotes/origin/HEAD
  remotes/origin/master
  remotes/origin/v1.0-stable
  remotes/origin/experimental

If you just want to take a quick peek at an upstream branch, you can check it out directly:

$ git checkout origin/experimental

But if you want to work on that branch, you'll need to create a local tracking branch which is done automatically by:

$ git checkout experimental

and you will see

Branch experimental set up to track remote branch experimental from origin.
Switched to a new branch 'experimental'

That last line throws some people: "New branch" - huh? What it really means is that the branch is taken from the index and created locally for you. The previous line is actually more informative as it tells you that the branch is being set up to track the remote branch, which usually means the origin/branch_name branch

Now, if you look at your local branches, this is what you'll see:

$ git branch
* experimental
  master

You can actually track more than one remote repository using git remote.

$ git remote add win32 git://example.com/users/joe/myproject-win32-port
$ git branch -a
* master
  remotes/origin/HEAD
  remotes/origin/master
  remotes/origin/v1.0-stable
  remotes/origin/experimental
  remotes/win32/master
  remotes/win32/new-widgets

At this point, things are getting pretty crazy, so run gitk to see what's going on:

$ gitk --all &