Pierre Lison Pierre Lison - 4 years ago 204
Git Question

Error with git rebase ("could not apply...")

I'm the administrator of the GitHub repository https://github.com/plison/opendial. I would like to reduce the number of commits on the repository, since the repository already has a few thousand commits, many of whom are minor debugging changes that could easily be squashed together (especially the ones that are a few years old).

I'm therefore trying to apply rebasing in order to squash together part of my commits. However, I've experience the following issue:


  1. When I type e.g.
    git rebase -i HEAD~10
    , I get a quite long number of commit lines (much more than 10) in the interactive editor. What could be the reason?

  2. More importantly, once I close the interactive editor to start the rebasing, I systematically get the error message "error:could not apply ', even when I do not make any change to the commits (i.e. if I leave all lines as 'pick', without any modification or reordering).



How can I solve these issues? It should be noted that the repository was automatically imported from a previous (SVN) repository hosted on Google Code. The conversion seemed so far to have worked well, but I'm wondering why I get these errors when trying to rebase my commits.

Answer Source

The history of your project seems to contain a number of merge commits recently (presumably you made those). The presence of merge commits in what you want to interactively rebase usually causes problems. (An interactive rebase pretty much assumes a linear history, but merge commits are not linear.)

Your project history also somehow seems to have two parallel histories that are merged together in commit 11b3653 (use a tool like gitk or tig to see this, it's not shown well on Github's web interface).

I would suggest that you attempt to first flatten your history to get rid of the parallel histories, and to remove the merge commits. Then, once you have a strictly linear history, you can set about rewriting the history to remove all the debugging churn.

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