Git merge hotfix branch into feature branch

GitGit BranchGit MergeGit FlowFeature Branch

Git Problem Overview

Let’s say we have the following situation in Git:

  1. A created repository:

     mkdir GitTest2
     cd GitTest2
     git init
  2. Some modifications in the master take place and get committed:

     echo "On Master" > file
     git commit -a -m "Initial commit"
  3. Feature1 branched off master and some work is done:

     git branch feature1
     git checkout feature1
     echo "Feature1" > featureFile
     git commit -a -m "Commit for feature1"
  4. Meanwhile, a bug is discovered in the master-code and a hotfix-branch is established:

     git checkout master
     git branch hotfix1
     git checkout hotfix1
  5. The bug is fixed in the hotfix branch and merged back into the master (perhaps after a pull request/code review):

     echo "Bugfix" > bugfixFile
     git commit -a -m "Bugfix Commit"
     git checkout master
     git merge --no-ff hotfix1
  6. Development on feature1 continues:

     git checkout feature1

Say I need the hotfix in my feature branch, maybe because the bug also occurs there. How can I achieve this without duplicating the commits into my feature branch?

I want to prevent to get two new commits on my feature branch which have no relation to the feature implementation. This especially seems important for me if I use pull requests: All these commits will also be included in the pull request and have to be reviewed although this has already been done (as the hotfix is already in the master).

I can not do a git merge master --ff-only: "fatal: Not possible to fast-forward, aborting.", but I am not sure if this helped me.

Git Solutions

Solution 1 - Git

How do we merge the master branch into the feature branch? Easy:

git checkout feature1
git merge master

There is no point in forcing a fast forward merge here, as it cannot be done. You committed both into the feature branch and the master branch. Fast forward is impossible now.

Have a look at GitFlow. It is a branching model for git that can be followed, and you unconsciously already did. It also is an extension to Git which adds some commands for the new workflow steps that do things automatically which you would otherwise need to do manually.

So what did you do right in your workflow? You have two branches to work with, your feature1 branch is basically the "develop" branch in the GitFlow model.

You created a hotfix branch from master and merged it back. And now you are stuck.

The GitFlow model asks you to merge the hotfix also to the development branch, which is "feature1" in your case.

So the real answer would be:

git checkout feature1
git merge --no-ff hotfix1

This adds all the changes that were made inside the hotfix to the feature branch, but only those changes. They might conflict with other development changes in the branch, but they will not conflict with the master branch should you merge the feature branch back to master eventually.

Be very careful with rebasing. Only rebase if the changes you did stayed local to your repository, e.g. you did not push any branches to some other repository. Rebasing is a great tool for you to arrange your local commits into a useful order before pushing it out into the world, but rebasing afterwards will mess up things for the git beginners like you.

Solution 2 - Git

You should be able to rebase your branch on master:

git checkout feature1
git rebase master

Manage all conflicts that arise. When you get to the commits with the bugfixes (already in master), Git will say that there were no changes and that maybe they were already applied. You then continue the rebase (while skipping the commits already in master) with

git rebase --skip

If you perform a git log on your feature branch, you'll see the bugfix commit appear only once, and in the master portion.

For a more detailed discussion, take a look at the Git book documentation on git rebase ( which cover this exact use case.

================ Edit for additional context ====================

This answer was provided specifically for the question asked by @theomega, taking his particular situation into account. Note this part:

> I want to prevent [...] commits on my feature branch which have no relation to the feature implementation.

Rebasing his private branch on master is exactly what will yield that result. In contrast, merging master into his branch would precisely do what he specifically does not want to happen: adding a commit that is not related to the feature implementation he is working on via his branch.

To address the users that read the question title, skip over the actual content and context of the question, and then only read the top answer blindly assuming it will always apply to their (different) use case, allow me to elaborate:

  • only rebase private branches (i.e. that only exist in your local repository and haven't been shared with others). Rebasing shared branches would "break" the copies other people may have.
  • if you want to integrate changes from a branch (whether it's master or another branch) into a branch that is public (e.g. you've pushed the branch to open a pull request, but there are now conflicts with master, and you need to update your branch to resolve those conflicts) you'll need to merge them in (e.g. with git merge master as in @Sven's answer).
  • you can also merge branches into your local private branches if that's your preference, but be aware that it will result in "foreign" commits in your branch.

Finally, if you're unhappy with the fact that this answer is not the best fit for your situation even though it was for @theomega, adding a comment below won't be particularly helpful: I don't control which answer is selected, only @theomega does.

Solution 3 - Git

git merge

> you can follow below steps

1. merge origin/master branch to feature branch

# step1: change branch to master, and pull to update all commits
$ git checkout master
$ git pull

# step2: change branch to target, and pull to update commits
$ git checkout feature
$ git pull

# step3: merge master to feature(⚠️ current is feature branch)
$ git merge master

2. merge feature branch to origin/master branch

> origin/master is the remote master branch, while master is the local master branch

$ git checkout master
$ git pull origin/master

$ git merge feature
$ git push origin/master

Solution 4 - Git

Based on this article, you should:

  • create new branch which is based upon new version of master

    git branch -b newmaster

  • merge your old feature branch into new one

    git checkout newmaster

  • resolve conflict on new feature branch

The first two commands can be combined to git checkout -b newmaster.

This way your history stays clear because you don't need back merges. And you don't need to be so super cautious since you don't need to do a Git rebase.

Solution 5 - Git

I add my answer, similar to others but maybe it will be the quickest one to read and implement.

NOTE: Rebase is not needed in this case.

Assume I have a repo1 and two branches master and dev-user.

dev-user is a branch done at a certain state of master.

Now assume that both dev-user and master advance.

At some point I want dev-user to get all the commits made in master.

How do I do it?

I go first in my repository root folder

cd name_of_the_repository


git checkout master 
git pull 
git checkout dev-user
git pull
git merge master 
git push 

I hope this helps someone else in the same situation.

Solution 6 - Git

Zimi's answer describes this process generally. Here are the specifics:

  1. Create and switch to a new branch. Make sure the new branch is based on master so it will include the recent hotfixes.

     git checkout master
     git branch feature1_new
     git checkout feature1_new
     # Or, combined into one command:
     git checkout -b feature1_new master
  2. After switching to the new branch, merge the changes from your existing feature branch. This will add your commits without duplicating the hotfix commits.

     git merge feature1
  3. On the new branch, resolve any conflicts between your feature and the master branch.

Done! Now use the new branch to continue to develop your feature.

Solution 7 - Git

Here is a script you can use to merge your master branch into your current branch.

The script does the following:

  • Switches to the master branch
  • Pulls the master branch
  • Switches back to your current branch
  • Merges the master branch into your current branch

Save this code as a batch file (.bat) and place the script anywhere in your repository. Then click on it to run it and you are set.

:: This batch file pulls current master and merges into current branch

@echo off

:: Option to use the batch file outside the repo and pass the repo path as an arg
set repoPath=%1
cd %repoPath%

FOR /F "tokens=*" %%g IN ('git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD') do (SET currentBranch=%%g)

echo current branch is %currentBranch%
echo switching to master
git checkout master
echo pulling origin master
git pull origin master
echo switching back to %currentBranch%
git checkout %currentBranch%
echo attemting merge master into %currentBranch%
git merge master
echo script finished successfully

Solution 8 - Git

You might be able to do a "cherry-pick" to pull the exact commit(s) that you need in to your feature branch.

Do a git checkout hotfix1 to get on the hotfix1 branch. Then do a git log to get the SHA-1 hash (big sequence of random letters and numbers that uniquely identifies a commit) of the commit in question. Copy that (or the first 10 or so characters).

Then, git checkout feature1 to get back onto your feature branch.

Then, git cherry-pick <the SHA-1 hash that you just copied>

That will pull that commit, and only that commit, into your feature branch. That change will be in the branch - you just "cherry-picked" it in. Then, resume work, edit, commit, push, etc. to your heart's content.

When, eventually, you perform another merge from one branch into your feature branch (or vice-versa), Git will recognize that you've already merged in that particular commit, know that it doesn't have to make it again, and just "skip over" it.

Solution 9 - Git

Complementing the existing answers, as these commands are recurrent we can do it in a row. Given we are in the feature branch:

git checkout master && git pull && git checkout - && git merge -

Or add them in an alias:

alias merge_with_master="git checkout master && git pull && git checkout - && git merge -"

Solution 10 - Git

I am on the feature branch and made refactorings. I want to merge the master changes now to my feature branch. I am far behind. Note I do not want to pull the master changes to my local because my feature branch have modules moved from one place to another. I found just performing below without pull does not work. it says "Already up to date."

 //below does not get the latest from remote master to my local feature branch without git pull
    git checkout master 
    git fetch 
    git checkout my-feature-branch 
    git merge master

This below works, note use git merge origin/master:

 git checkout master 
    git fetch 
    git checkout my-feature-branch 
    git merge origin/master

Solution 11 - Git

In Eclipse -

1)Checkout master branch

Git Repositories ->Click on your repository -> click on Local ->double click master branch
->Click on yes for check out

2)Pull master branch

Right click on project ->click on Team -> Click on Pull

3)Checkout your feature branch(follow same steps mentioned in 1 point)

4)Merge master into feature

Git Repositories ->Click on your repository -> click on Local ->Right Click on your selected feature branch ->Click on merge ->Click on Local ->Click on Master ->Click on Merge.

5)Now you will get all changes of Master branch in feature branch. Remove conflict if any.

For conflict if any exists ,follow this -
Changes mentioned as Head(<<<<<< HEAD) is your change, Changes mentioned in branch(>>>>>>> branch) is other person change, you can update file accordingly.

Note - You need to do add to index for conflicts files

6)commit and push your changes in feature branch.

Right click on project ->click on Team -> Click on commit -> Commit and Push.


Git Repositories ->Click on your repository -> click on Local ->Right Click on your selected feature branch ->Click on Push Branch ->Preview ->Push


All content for this solution is sourced from the original question on Stackoverflow.

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Content TypeOriginal AuthorOriginal Content on Stackoverflow
QuestiontheomegaView Question on Stackoverflow
Solution 1 - GitSvenView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 2 - GitDavid SulcView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 3 - GitxgqfrmsView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 4 - GitzimiView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 5 - Gitdesmond13View Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 6 - GitjkdevView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 7 - GitAaron M.View Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 8 - GitBob GilmoreView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 9 - GitfabriciorissettoView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 10 - GitTonyView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 11 - GitVijayView Answer on Stackoverflow