Skip to main content

Git magic - Make commits disappear

So fellas, it's been a while since I wrote and I hope this article is of help to whoever reads this. 

Let's start with bit of an introduction. Until my previous employment, there wasn't much guideline on how we write Github's commit message. One single feature could have n number of commits and it doesn't bother the repository. 

Now, am part of @webex's webex-js-sdk team where committing guidelines are very strict and having a bit more deep knowledge of git commands has become essential. This made me explore git commands on regular basis. So I thought why keep them to myself while I can share them.

It was my first ever PR and my changes were approved except for a few minor changes. I honestly didn't know how to make changes to existing commit and now, I had two choices. 

  1. Create a new branch from master and re-do the work manually
  2. Do some git magic and make the current branch work well. 
If it were old times, I'd have gone with option 1. It's very simple. However in this case, the PR was approved already. I wasn't ready to go over the approval once again. Therefore, I went in search of how to do the magic. 

 * Please read this post fully before executing any command. My scenario might not be same as yours.

I wanted something like git revert that doesn't add a new commit. So this is when I found my first ever weapon. 
git reset --hard

This command simply rolls back to one of the commits in the history making all commits from that one to the most recent disappear. 

So, the steps goes as,
  1. Backup your changes
  2. Do git log
  3. Scroll down to the commit until which you want to remove the history.
  4. Copy it's commit hash and execute the following command -> git reset --hard <copied_commit_hash>
  5. For instance, git reset --hard 54ace3456ka235rtyc90
This will place your head at the mentioned commit hash. Now you can manually paste your changes in the respective files either from your backup or from git GUI (github, bitbucket, gitlab etc.,) and commit it. Once done you could do a force push as indicated here -> git push --force.

Such a nasty way to update a commit right? I couldn't agree more. But this helps in cases when you mess up rebase and a lot of commit from upstream/master shows up in your commit history. 

If this is not a recommended way, then what is? Please head over to my next article -> Git magic - commit amend.


Popular posts from this blog

WebRTC - What the heck?

Over the past few weeks, I happened to work on stuff that enabled me to understand what WebRTC is and how useful it is.  The full form? Web R eal- T ime C ommunication The history It's first release was by 2011. If you want to know more, well, please read the wikipedia . WebRTC  has been a boon to web developers who want to build streaming applications or video calling applications. As you move downward, you'll just may be understand how WebRTC works but nothing technicals.  The story Let's begin with a short story. Long long ago, so long ago, nobody knew how long ago, there lived two shop keeper farmers John & Finch. It was that old point in time when barter system was a thing and money wasn't invented.  These shopkeepers lived in different cities across a river and the cities were connected by a rock solid bridge. Like how the golden gate connects the San Francisco city and the Marin County. Finch is a very private person and takes hard time to trust people. John

Git - How to drop a commit in history?

Back after a while with another git magic. We already have seen how to get rid of the top most commit in this article ->  Git magic - Make commits disappear First of all, it's one of the not so recommended way of doing it and more than that, it can only get rid of sequential commits from latest. I recently happened to get into a scenario where I had to drop a commit in the history by keeping the latest ones. As part of that exploration, presenting you this article. /**  *  @disclaimer  * Please read this post fully before executing any command. My scenario might not be same as yours. */ To my greatest surprise, I didn't know a git rebase could do this. Please continue to read to know how. The steps are simple, Count until the commit line you need to drop using git log Do an interactive rebase and you're done.  Let me explain step by step. 1. Look at the commit log & count commits This is the first step. First let's list the commits using the following command,  

Git - Removing a file from a commit

Once again, another git magic that might be of help to some of you. This research came up when I accidentally added a couple of unwanted files and wanted to remove them from a commit. We all know that to update an existing commit, we shall follow this git magic to amend commits . However, how do we drop changes to a particular file in a commit? While that is easy, it is also tricky. This blog post covers scenarios and respective commands that help you understand what should be done. /**  *  @disclaimer  * Please read this post fully before executing any command. My scenario might not be the same as yours. */ There are two scenarios to be handled here, Remove a newly added file Remove changes to an existing file Let's look at them separately, Remove a newly added file This is the scenario where an unwanted file added to the commit. This file might be some config.json that got generated while doing a research on a new testing tool or a bundling tool. Such scenarios are easier. 1. Re