It has the following important properties: A branch in Git is a named reference to a commit.
There are two types of branches, namely "Local" and "Remote Tracking" branches which serve different purposes.
A remote tracking branch in the local repository always corresponds to a (local) branch in the remote repository.
The name of such a branch follows certain conventions.
If you selected one of the options to use Git from the Command Line Prompt when you installed Git for Windows, then the location of the system wide settings is filled in with a path and everything is fine.
Without any other means, it would be very difficult to keep track of the changes in the Repository, in particular when other commits are added to the Repository, for example due to an update from the remote Repository or when checking out another commit.
You will have to restart Eclipse for it to recognize the HOME value.
If you use Git for Windows as a companion to EGit, make sure EGit knows where Git is installed so it can find the "system wide settings", e.g. Go to the settings and look under Team Configuration and then the System Settings tab.
The Preferences Dialog is spawned, naturally enough, from a menu item labeled Preferences.
But the Preferences menu item is somewhat hard to find.