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Arpit Sheth

Github Quick Tricks

2 min read

Remove a file from a pushed commit

Sometimes you may accidentally commit changes to a file and push it to GitHub. Because this file wasn't supposed to be modified and committed, you may be asked to remove the file from your commit or pull request.

  1. Go to your git directory and cd to the location of the file you want to remove from your commit
  2. git checkout origin/develop package-lock.json
    1. Where package-lock.json is the name of the file you want to revert changes to
    2. Where origin/develop is the name of the remote branch on github you want your file to revert back to
    3. By doing this, your file no longer has any differences with the branch you are looking to merge onto
  3. git commit -m "Removes package-lock.json"
  4. git push

Reset to a branch from remote

Sometimes you just want to reset your working branch back to how things were when they were last pushed up to GitHub

1git reset --hard origin/NAME-OF-BRANCH

Rebasing the base branch

Let's say you are working on a new feature A in branch featA

1develop: --1--2--4--6--7
2featA: \--3--5

But then, you need to begin working on feature B which builds on top of feature A, before feature A has been merged into develop.

So, you create a new branch featB based on featA

1develop: --1--2--4--6--7
2featA: \--3--5
3featB: \--8

If featA has new commits, you can simply rebase them onto featB

While you are on the featB branch run

1git rebase featA
1develop: --1--2--4--6--7
2featA: \--3--5--9
3featB: \--8

Then, suppose featA is complete and gets squashed and merged into develop

1develop: --1--2--4--6--7--10
2featA: \--3--5--9----/
3featB: \--8

After featA gets squashed and merged, it is often safely deleted.

1develop: --1--2--4--6--7--10
3featB: \--3--5--9--8

Now, you'll want to rebase featB and make it based off of develop instead of featA since all that work has been merged in.

Notice how the commits with hash 3, 5, and 9 on featB are redundant since they have already been squashed and merged into commit with hash 10. This means we can safely drop commits 3, 5, and 9 as long as featB is based off of commit 10 (or later) on the develop branch. The new work is on commit 8 and later.

While in featB branch, run the below command. (Replace 3 with the appropriate commit hash for your branch).

1git rebase -i 3

You'll get something like this:

1pick 3 commit message
2pick 5 commit message
3pick 9 commit message
4pick 8 commit message

Edit and save the file to something like this:

1d 3 commit message
2d 5 commit message
3d 9 commit message
5pick 8 commit message

The d command is short for drop. This means we will drop that commit and lose it. Since commits 3, 5, and 9 are merged and squashed into commit 10 (on develop), this is fine.

The b command is short for break. This pauses the interactive rebase at this step.

When the interactive rebase stops at the break, we will merge in our work from the develop branch.

1git merge origin/develop

There shouldn't be any merge conflicts at this point because we haven't applied any new work on top of this detached branch.

Then, continue our rebase with the new work we did on featB

1git rebase --continue

Now our featB branch should be rebased off of develop

1develop: --1--2--4--6--7--10
2featB: \--8

Check if everything is working!! Then, force push this up to your remote repository.

1git push --force

If you mess up trying to rebase featB follow these steps:

  1. Checkout to another branch. Ex git checkout develop
  2. Delete your local featB branch. git branch -D featB
  3. Pull down the remote featB branch. git checkout -b origin/featB


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