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Git Rebase vs Merge: Simplified Guide


Navigating through Git commands can be daunting for beginners and experienced developers alike. Two such commands that often cause confusion are git rebase and git merge. Both serve the fundamental purpose of integrating changes from one branch into another, yet they do so in distinct manners that suit different development workflows. This post aims to demystify these commands, breaking down their complexities into digestible pieces. 🚀

Git Merge Explained

git merge is your go-to command for combining the history of two branches. When you merge a branch, say main, into your current working branch, Git creates a new "merge commit". This special commit ties together the histories of both branches, marking a point where they converge.

How to Perform a Merge

git checkout feature-branch
# After making your changes
git merge main

This command sequence switches you to your feature-branch, ready to absorb the latest updates from main. If conflicts arise, Git halts the process, allowing you to resolve them before finalizing the merge.

Key Points of Git Merge

Git Rebase Simplified

On the flip side, git rebase offers a cleaner, linear history by "replaying" your feature branch's commits on top of the main branch's latest commit. It's like telling a story in a straight line, without the side plots that merges introduce.

Executing a Rebase

git checkout feature-branch
# Make your changes and then
git rebase main

Should conflicts interrupt the rebase, you'll need to address them and then proceed with the rebase operation. The result is a streamlined project history that looks as though your changes were made in direct succession to the main branch's current state.

Advantages of Rebasing

When to Use Each


Both git merge and git rebase are powerful tools in the Git arsenal, each with its ideal use cases. By understanding the nuances of each, you can better manage your project histories and streamline your development workflow.

Happy coding! 🎉

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