By default master is checked out on clone.
To check out any remote branch as a local branch, double-click on the remote branch either in the log or in the sidebar under Remotes > YourRemote > remotebranch, and you can checkout a local branch from it. If the local branch is already there, you can double-click on the local branch again in the log or the sidebar to check it out.
Also if you already have a local branch and want it to track a different remote branch, right click on your local branch in the sidebar then use the Track Remote Branch submenu to pick what to track. This tracking is set up by default when you checkout a remote branch as a new local branch though.
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