On Thursday, August 9, 2012 9:23:02 AM UTC+2, THUFIR HAWAT wrote:
> I somehow created a redundant branch with an extra "origin/" in it, so I 
> deleted that as so:
> thufir@dur:~/NetBeansProjects/USENET$ 
> thufir@dur:~/NetBeansProjects/USENET$ git push origin 
> :origin/4.GUI_loading_messages_slowlyTo g...@github.com:THUFIR/USENET.git
>  - [deleted]         origin/4.GUI_loading_messages_slowly
> thufir@dur:~/NetBeansProjects/USENET$ git push origin :master
> remote: error: refusing to delete the current branch: refs/heads/master
> To g...@github.com:THUFIR/USENET.git
>  ! [remote rejected] master (deletion of the current branch prohibited)
> error: failed to push some refs to 'g...@github.com:THUFIR/USENET.git'
> thufir@dur:~/NetBeansProjects/USENET$ 
> thufir@dur:~/NetBeansProjects/USENET$ git branch -a
> * master
>   remotes/origin/1.FetchBean_CLI
>   remotes/origin/2.some_GUI
>   remotes/origin/3.messageId__string
>   remotes/origin/4.GUI_loading_messages_slowly
>   remotes/origin/HEAD -> origin/master
>   remotes/origin/master
> thufir@dur:~/NetBeansProjects/USENET$ 
> Now, I would actually like to delete the master branch, as above with the 
> other branch.  Is that forbidden?

Github prohibits this as long as the branch you are trying to delete is the 
"Default Branch" in this repository. You can change this under the 
repository admin page (which is something like 
https://github.com/THUFIR/USENET/admin in your case).

Just to be clear, this is a Github safety feature, not a part of Git itself.

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