GitHub - error failed to publish this branch

Posted by Blake on 11/12/2013
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    Failed to publish this branch.

I received the above error while trying to commit and push a new project into a GitHub repository.

I went back to my repository in the GitHub client, right clicked on it and choose “open a shell here”. In the shell I entered “git push” and received a more explanatory error message which was:

    “fatal: The current branch master has no upstream branch.”

I assumed this meant it can’t publish the branch (even the master) because there is no master branch currently in my new repository. I assumed it would go ahead and create that branch for me but I guess that’s not the case. Based on a StackExchange article I found I used the following command to try to push the initial commit into the master branch:

    git push –u origin master

... which, gave me this error message “failed to push some refs to ‘my repository’” and hints:

    hint: Updates were rejected because the remote contains work that you do
    hint: not have locally. This is usually caused by another repository pushing
    hint: to the same ref. You may want to first integrate the remote changes
    hint: (e.g., 'git pull ...') before pushing again.
    hint: See the 'Note about fast-forwards' in 'git push --help' for details.

So, the only thing that was in my repository on the server was the README.md file and apparently I can’t commit my changes to everything else without getting that first. So… I issued this command:

    git pull origin master

Now, this brought down the only file in the repository (which I didn’t have locally because it was created with the repository when I created it through the front end). After doing this I was able to publish my code up to GitHub.