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November 14, 2023 No Comments

Explain the difference between Git merge and Git rebase

Explain the difference between Git merge and Git rebase. When would you use one over the other, and what are the potential risks associated with each?

Git Merge vs. Git Rebase:

  1. Difference:
    • Git Merge:
      • Merges changes from one branch into another.
      • Creates a new commit, representing the merge point, with two parent commits.
      • Preserves the commit history of both branches.
    • Git Rebase:
      • Integrates changes by moving or combining a sequence of commits to a new base commit.
      • Results in a linear commit history with a single branch.
      • Alters commit history by discarding old commits and creating new ones.
  2. When to Use:
    • Use Git Merge:
      • When working on a shared branch, maintaining a clear history is less critical.
      • To integrate changes from one branch into another while preserving the original commit history.
    • Use Git Rebase:
      • When working on a feature branch, ensure a clean and linear history before merging into the main branch.
      • To incorporate changes from the main branch into a feature branch, avoiding unnecessary merge commits.
  3. Potential Risks:
    • Git Merge Risks:
      • Cluttered commit history with multiple merge commits.
      • Difficulty in tracking the chronological order of feature additions or bug fixes.
    • Git Rebase Risks:
      • Alters commit history, which can cause conflicts for collaborators who have pulled the old history.
      • It should not be used on a branch that is shared with others, as it rewrites the commit history.
  4. Considerations:
    • Git Merge Considerations:
      • Suitable for branches with a shared history.
      • Guarantees the preservation of all original commits.
    • Git Rebase Considerations:
      • Results in a cleaner, more linear history.
      • Best suited for feature branches or private branches, not shared with others.

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