Git: Moving old commits to a new branch08 Oct 2012
Before I started judiciously applying the topic branch workflow in git, I did a lot of commits in master and my pull requests were really messed up. I needed to clean this up the other day. The idea is that I wanted to be able to move a couple of really old commits off into their own topic branch, but my local repository and upstream had diverged significantly. For some reason, it wasn’t possible to just cherry-pick everything, and exporting the commits as patches to apply later didn’t seem to work either. Instead I found a pretty good solution with interactive rebase, one of my favorite tools. Here’s what I did:
# Make sure you're on master and save a reference to your current # local HEAD as master-backup git checkout master git checkout master-backup # Add the upstream repository as a remote and fetch their commits git remote add upstream https://github.com/..../whatever.git git fetch upstream # Move the local HEAD to the upstream HEAD git reset --hard upstream/master # Create a new topic branch for your fix, based on our old master # branch (the new branch is pointing upstream) git checkout -b topic-branch master-backup # Interactively rebase the new topic branch against master git rebase -i master
Then you can just force push everything up to Github and open a pull request like normal against the topic branch. In my case I had several different commits tangled up into
master, so I had to repeat the last two steps a few times.