Git rebase: Everything You Need to Know – How-To Geek

Git rebase is a powerful and commonly used command in the Git version control system. It allows you to integrate changes from one branch into another by moving, combining, or modifying commits. It is an alternative to merging and is particularly useful for keeping a clean and linear commit history.

Here’s everything you need to know about Git rebase:

  1. Basic Syntax:
    git rebase <base-branch>
  2. Rebasing vs. Merging:
    • Merging: Creates a new “merge commit” that combines the changes from one branch into another. This can lead to a complex commit history with many merge commits.
    • Rebasing: Moves the entire branch to a new base commit. It applies each commit in the branch on top of the target branch’s latest commit. This results in a linear commit history without additional merge commits.
  3. When to Use Git Rebase:
    • Use rebase when you want to integrate changes from one branch into another while maintaining a clean and linear commit history.
    • Use rebase for feature branches to keep the commit history straightforward before merging into the main branch (e.g., master).
  4. How to Use Git Rebase:
    • Switch to the branch you want to rebase (feature-branch):
      git checkout feature-branch
    • Ensure your working branch is up-to-date with the latest changes from the target branch (main):
      git pull origin main
    • Initiate the rebase, moving the changes from feature-branch on top of the latest commit in main:
      git rebase main
    • If there are any conflicts, resolve them by editing the affected files, then use git add to stage the changes and git rebase --continue to continue the rebase process.
  5. Cautions with Git Rebase:
    • Never rebase a branch that is shared with others, as it rewrites the commit history, causing confusion and conflicts for collaborators.
    • Use rebase on local feature branches before merging into shared branches.
  6. Undoing a Rebase:
    • If you encounter issues during a rebase, you can use git rebase --abort to return to the state before the rebase started.

Remember that Git rebase can be a powerful tool but should be used with care, especially when working on shared branches with other developers. Always communicate with your team and follow best practices when using rebase to avoid potential issues.

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