Git Merge vs Git Rebase vs Git Squash – Understanding the differences.

Git is a powerful version control system that allows developers to collaborate on code and track changes to it over time. One of the key features of Git is the ability to merge, rebase, and squash commits. These commands allow developers to manipulate the commit history of a repository and make it easier to collaborate with others.

Git merge is used to combine multiple branches into a single branch. When you run the command git merge, Git will take the changes from one branch and apply them to another branch. For example, if you are working on a new feature in a branch called “feature-branch” and you want to merge those changes into the “master” branch, you would run the command git merge feature-branch. This will take all the changes that were made in “feature-branch” and apply them to the “master” branch.

Git rebase is similar to git merge, but it works a little differently. Instead of applying changes to another branch, git rebase takes the commits from one branch and applies them to the base of another branch. This can make your commit history look cleaner, as all the commits are grouped together. For example, if you are working on a feature branch and you want to rebase the commits onto the “master” branch, you would run the command git rebase master. This will take all the commits from your feature branch and apply them to the “master” branch.

Git squash is a command that allows you to combine multiple commits into a single commit. This can be useful when you want to clean up a messy commit history or when you want to make a single, atomic change. For example, if you have made several commits on a feature branch and you want to squash them into a single commit, you would run the command git squash. This will combine all the commits into a single commit with a new commit message.

When to use git merge, git rebase, and git squash depends on your specific use case.

Git merge is best used when you want to combine changes from multiple branches into a single branch. It’s a simple way to merge changes without altering the commit history.

Git rebase is best used when you want to clean up a messy commit history or when you want to make a single, atomic change. It’s a good option when you want to keep your commit history clean and easy to understand.

Git squash is best used when you want to combine multiple commits into a single commit. This is a good option when you want to make a single, atomic change or when you want to clean up a messy commit history.

It is important to note that git merge and git rebase should be used with care, particularly when working on a shared repository with other people. If you use git merge or git rebase, it can cause conflicts and make it difficult for other people to work on the repository.

It is also important to note that when you squash commits, you lose the commit message, so it is best not to use git squash when working on a shared repository with other people.

In conclusion, git merge, git rebase, and git squash are powerful commands that can help you manage your code and collaborate with others. However, it is important to understand the difference between these commands and when to use them in order to avoid conflicts and other issues. In summary, git merge is best when combining multiple branches, git rebase is best when cleaning up commit history and git squash is best when combining multiple commits into a single commit

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