Git --everything-is-local
Topics ▾ Version 2.0.3 ▾ git-merge last updated in 2.0.3


git-merge - Join two or more development histories together


'git merge' [-n] [--stat] [--no-commit] [--squash] [--[no-]edit]
	[-s <strategy>] [-X <strategy-option>] [-S[<key-id>]]
	[--[no-]rerere-autoupdate] [-m <msg>] [<commit>...]
'git merge' <msg> HEAD <commit>...
'git merge' --abort


Incorporates changes from the named commits (since the time their histories diverged from the current branch) into the current branch. This command is used by git pull to incorporate changes from another repository and can be used by hand to merge changes from one branch into another.

Assume the following history exists and the current branch is "master":

	  A---B---C topic
    D---E---F---G master

Then "git merge topic" will replay the changes made on the topic branch since it diverged from master (i.e., E) until its current commit (C) on top of master, and record the result in a new commit along with the names of the two parent commits and a log message from the user describing the changes.

	  A---B---C topic
	 /         \
    D---E---F---G---H master

The second syntax (<msg> HEAD <commit>…) is supported for historical reasons. Do not use it from the command line or in new scripts. It is the same as git merge -m <msg> <commit>....

The third syntax ("git merge --abort") can only be run after the merge has resulted in conflicts. git merge --abort will abort the merge process and try to reconstruct the pre-merge state. However, if there were uncommitted changes when the merge started (and especially if those changes were further modified after the merge was started), git merge --abort will in some cases be unable to reconstruct the original (pre-merge) changes. Therefore:

Warning: Running git merge with non-trivial uncommitted changes is discouraged: while possible, it may leave you in a state that is hard to back out of in the case of a conflict.



GPG-sign the resulting merge commit.

-m <msg>

Set the commit message to be used for the merge commit (in case one is created).

If --log is specified, a shortlog of the commits being merged will be appended to the specified message.

The git fmt-merge-msg command can be used to give a good default for automated git merge invocations.


Allow the rerere mechanism to update the index with the result of auto-conflict resolution if possible.


Abort the current conflict resolution process, and try to reconstruct the pre-merge state.

If there were uncommitted worktree changes present when the merge started, git merge --abort will in some cases be unable to reconstruct these changes. It is therefore recommended to always commit or stash your changes before running git merge.

git merge --abort is equivalent to git reset --merge when MERGE_HEAD is present.


Commits, usually other branch heads, to merge into our branch. Specifying more than one commit will create a merge with more than two parents (affectionately called an Octopus merge).

If no commit is given from the command line, and if merge.defaultToUpstream configuration variable is set, merge the remote-tracking branches that the current branch is configured to use as its upstream. See also the configuration section of this manual page.


Before applying outside changes, you should get your own work in good shape and committed locally, so it will not be clobbered if there are conflicts. See also linkgit:git-stash[1]. git pull and git merge will stop without doing anything when local uncommitted changes overlap with files that git pull/git merge may need to update.

To avoid recording unrelated changes in the merge commit, git pull and git merge will also abort if there are any changes registered in the index relative to the HEAD commit. (One exception is when the changed index entries are in the state that would result from the merge already.)

If all named commits are already ancestors of HEAD, git merge will exit early with the message "Already up-to-date."


Often the current branch head is an ancestor of the named commit. This is the most common case especially when invoked from git pull: you are tracking an upstream repository, you have committed no local changes, and now you want to update to a newer upstream revision. In this case, a new commit is not needed to store the combined history; instead, the HEAD (along with the index) is updated to point at the named commit, without creating an extra merge commit.

This behavior can be suppressed with the --no-ff option.


Except in a fast-forward merge (see above), the branches to be merged must be tied together by a merge commit that has both of them as its parents.

A merged version reconciling the changes from all branches to be merged is committed, and your HEAD, index, and working tree are updated to it. It is possible to have modifications in the working tree as long as they do not overlap; the update will preserve them.

When it is not obvious how to reconcile the changes, the following happens:

  1. The HEAD pointer stays the same.

  2. The MERGE_HEAD ref is set to point to the other branch head.

  3. Paths that merged cleanly are updated both in the index file and in your working tree.

  4. For conflicting paths, the index file records up to three versions: stage 1 stores the version from the common ancestor, stage 2 from HEAD, and stage 3 from MERGE_HEAD (you can inspect the stages with git ls-files -u). The working tree files contain the result of the "merge" program; i.e. 3-way merge results with familiar conflict markers <<< === >>>.

  5. No other changes are made. In particular, the local modifications you had before you started merge will stay the same and the index entries for them stay as they were, i.e. matching HEAD.

If you tried a merge which resulted in complex conflicts and want to start over, you can recover with git merge --abort.


When merging an annotated (and possibly signed) tag, Git always creates a merge commit even if a fast-forward merge is possible, and the commit message template is prepared with the tag message. Additionally, if the tag is signed, the signature check is reported as a comment in the message template. See also linkgit:git-tag[1].

When you want to just integrate with the work leading to the commit that happens to be tagged, e.g. synchronizing with an upstream release point, you may not want to make an unnecessary merge commit.

In such a case, you can "unwrap" the tag yourself before feeding it to git merge, or pass --ff-only when you do not have any work on your own. e.g.

git fetch origin
git merge v1.2.3^0
git merge --ff-only v1.2.3


During a merge, the working tree files are updated to reflect the result of the merge. Among the changes made to the common ancestor’s version, non-overlapping ones (that is, you changed an area of the file while the other side left that area intact, or vice versa) are incorporated in the final result verbatim. When both sides made changes to the same area, however, Git cannot randomly pick one side over the other, and asks you to resolve it by leaving what both sides did to that area.

By default, Git uses the same style as the one used by the "merge" program from the RCS suite to present such a conflicted hunk, like this:

Here are lines that are either unchanged from the common
ancestor, or cleanly resolved because only one side changed.
<<<<<<< yours:sample.txt
Conflict resolution is hard;
let's go shopping.
Git makes conflict resolution easy.
>>>>>>> theirs:sample.txt
And here is another line that is cleanly resolved or unmodified.

The area where a pair of conflicting changes happened is marked with markers <<<<<<<, =======, and >>>>>>>. The part before the ======= is typically your side, and the part afterwards is typically their side.

The default format does not show what the original said in the conflicting area. You cannot tell how many lines are deleted and replaced with Barbie’s remark on your side. The only thing you can tell is that your side wants to say it is hard and you’d prefer to go shopping, while the other side wants to claim it is easy.

An alternative style can be used by setting the "merge.conflictstyle" configuration variable to "diff3". In "diff3" style, the above conflict may look like this:

Here are lines that are either unchanged from the common
ancestor, or cleanly resolved because only one side changed.
<<<<<<< yours:sample.txt
Conflict resolution is hard;
let's go shopping.
Conflict resolution is hard.
Git makes conflict resolution easy.
>>>>>>> theirs:sample.txt
And here is another line that is cleanly resolved or unmodified.

In addition to the <<<<<<<, =======, and >>>>>>> markers, it uses another ||||||| marker that is followed by the original text. You can tell that the original just stated a fact, and your side simply gave in to that statement and gave up, while the other side tried to have a more positive attitude. You can sometimes come up with a better resolution by viewing the original.


After seeing a conflict, you can do two things:

  • Decide not to merge. The only clean-ups you need are to reset the index file to the HEAD commit to reverse 2. and to clean up working tree changes made by 2. and 3.; git merge --abort can be used for this.

  • Resolve the conflicts. Git will mark the conflicts in the working tree. Edit the files into shape and git add them to the index. Use git commit to seal the deal.

You can work through the conflict with a number of tools:

  • Use a mergetool. git mergetool to launch a graphical mergetool which will work you through the merge.

  • Look at the diffs. git diff will show a three-way diff, highlighting changes from both the HEAD and MERGE_HEAD versions.

  • Look at the diffs from each branch. git log --merge -p <path> will show diffs first for the HEAD version and then the MERGE_HEAD version.

  • Look at the originals. git show :1:filename shows the common ancestor, git show :2:filename shows the HEAD version, and git show :3:filename shows the MERGE_HEAD version.


  • Merge branches fixes and enhancements on top of the current branch, making an octopus merge:

    $ git merge fixes enhancements
  • Merge branch obsolete into the current branch, using ours merge strategy:

    $ git merge -s ours obsolete
  • Merge branch maint into the current branch, but do not make a new commit automatically:

    $ git merge --no-commit maint

    This can be used when you want to include further changes to the merge, or want to write your own merge commit message.

    You should refrain from abusing this option to sneak substantial changes into a merge commit. Small fixups like bumping release/version name would be acceptable.



Sets default options for merging into branch <name>. The syntax and supported options are the same as those of git merge, but option values containing whitespace characters are currently not supported.


linkgit:git-fmt-merge-msg[1], linkgit:git-pull[1], linkgit:gitattributes[5], linkgit:git-reset[1], linkgit:git-diff[1], linkgit:git-ls-files[1], linkgit:git-add[1], linkgit:git-rm[1], linkgit:git-mergetool[1]


Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite