Conflicts in Git Rebasing

After using Git for a while I’m finding the most confusing aspect of it is rebasing. The git-rebase man page says “forward-port local commits to the updated upstream head”. Hmm. Thankfully James Bowes posted a solid explanation of the basic principles.

Which leaves me wondering about corner cases. I have local commits which I’ve submitted as patches upstream. Now I’ll be fetching my changes from upstream, one of which has an updated comment and the other has had minor edits applied. How does Git handle this? In a good way! For commits which are already upstream, with identical content, even with differing comments, rebasing removes the local commit. That’s exactly what you want. For example simply specify the upstream branch to rebase against:

git rebase origin/master

In cases where the commit contents have received minor edits the rebase will pause. Assuming you are happy to drop the local commit tell Git to do exactly that:

git rebase --skip

or if there’s any doubt tell Git to rollback to before the rebase started:

git rebase --abort

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