crazybyte crazybyte - 11 months ago 80
Git Question

How to cherry pick a range of commits and merge into another branch

I have the following repository layout:

  • master branch (production)

  • integration

  • working

What I want to achieve is to cherry pick a range of commits from the working branch and merge it into the integration branch. I pretty new to git and I can't figure out how to exactly do this (the cherry picking of commit ranges in one operation not the merging) without messing the repository up. Any pointers or thoughts on this? Thanks!

Answer Source

When it comes to a range of commits, cherry-picking is was not practical.

As mentioned below by Keith Kim, Git 1.7.2+ introduced the ability to cherry-pick a range of commits (but you still need to be aware of the consequence of cherry-picking for future merge)

git cherry-pick" learned to pick a range of commits
(e.g. "cherry-pick A..B" and "cherry-pick --stdin"), so did "git revert"; these do not support the nicer sequencing control "rebase [-i]" has, though.

damian comments and warns us:

In the "cherry-pick A..B" form, A should be older than B.
If they're the wrong order the command will silently fail.

If you want to pick the range B through D (inclusive) that would be B^..D.
See "Git create branch from range of previous commits?" as an illustration.

As Jubobs mentions in the comments:

This assumes that B is not a root commit; you'll get an "unknown revision" error otherwise.

Note: as of Git 2.9.x/2.10 (Q3 2016), you can cherry-pick a range of commit directly on an orphan branch (empty head): see "How to make existing branch an orphan in git".

Original answer (January 2010)

A rebase --onto would be better, where you replay the given range of commit on top of your integration branch, as Charles Bailey described here.
(also, look for "Here is how you would transplant a topic branch based on one branch to another" in the git rebase man page, to see a pratical example of git rebase --onto)

If your current branch is integration:

# Checkout a new temporary branch at the current location
git checkout -b tmp

# Move the integration branch to the head of the new patchset
git branch -f integration last_SHA-1_of_working_branch_range

# Rebase the patchset onto tmp, the old location of integration
git rebase --onto tmp first_SHA-1_of_working_branch_range~1 integration

That will replay everything between:

  • after the parent of first_SHA-1_of_working_branch_range (hence the ~1): the first commit you want to replay
  • up to "integration" (which points to the last commit you want to replay, from the working branch)

to "tmp" (which points to where integration was pointing before)

If there is any conflict when one of those commits is replayed:

  • either solve it and run "git rebase --continue".
  • or skip this patch, and instead run "git rebase --skip"
  • or cancel the all thing with a "git rebase --abort" (and put back the integration branch on the tmp branch)

After that rebase --onto, integration will be back at the last commit of the integration branch (that is "tmp" branch + all the replayed commits)

With cherry-picking or rebase --onto, do not forget it has consequences on subsequent merges, as described here.

A pure "cherry-pick" solution is discussed here, and would involve something like:

If you want to use a patch approach then "git format-patch|git am" and "git cherry" are your options.
Currently, git cherry-pick accepts only a single commit, but if you want to pick the range B through D that would be B^..D in git lingo, so

git rev-list --reverse --topo-order B^..D | while read rev 
  git cherry-pick $rev || break 

But anyway, when you need to "replay" a range of commits, the word "replay" should push you to use the "rebase" feature of Git.