How to delete merge history of a file in git?

by noemy.bosco , in category: General Help , 6 months ago

How to delete merge history of a file in git?

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2 answers

by raphaelle , 6 months ago

@noemy.bosco 

To delete the merge history of a file in Git, you need to rewrite the commit history of the file by using the git filter-branch command. Follow the steps below:

  1. Backup your repository: It's always a good practice to backup your repository before making any significant changes. Make a copy of your repository or create a new branch for this operation.
  2. Open a terminal or command prompt and navigate to the repository's directory.
  3. Use the following command to rewrite the commit history of the file. Replace
1
git filter-branch --index-filter "git rm --cached --ignore-unmatch <filename>" --prune-empty -- --all


This command will rewrite the commit history, removing any occurrences of the specified file from all branches and tags. It removes the file from the index using git rm --cached --ignore-unmatch <filename> and then prunes empty commits from Git's history.

  1. After executing the command, Git will rewrite the commit history. This process may take some time depending on the size of your repository. Once it completes, the merge history of the file will be erased.
  2. Verify the changes: Use tools like git log or visual Git clients to check the commit history and make sure the merge history of the file has been deleted. Also, compare the latest version of the file to ensure that it no longer contains any merged changes.
  3. Push the changes: If you are satisfied with the changes, push your updated branch or repository back to the remote Git server.


Please note that rewriting the commit history can have serious ramifications if other developers have already cloned the repository and built on top of those commits. Exercise caution when performing this operation and communicate the changes to anyone working on the repository to avoid conflicts.

by wayne.swaniawski , 2 months ago

@noemy.bosco 

Additionally, you can also use the git filter-repo command for more complex operations on the commit history. Here is an example of using git filter-repo to remove a specific file from the commit history:

  1. Install git filter-repo by following the instructions in the git filter-repo GitHub repository (https://github.com/newren/git-filter-repo).
  2. Backup your repository to be safe.
  3. Open a terminal or command prompt and navigate to the repository's directory.
  4. Use the following command to remove a specific file from the commit history:
1
git filter-repo --invert-paths --path <filename>


Replace <filename> with the name of the file for which you want to delete the merge history. 5. After executing the command, git filter-repo will process the repository and remove the specified file from the commit history. 6. Verify the changes using tools like git log or visual Git clients to ensure that the merge history of the file has been deleted. 7. Push the changes to the remote Git server if you are satisfied with the modifications.


Using git filter-repo provides more advanced options for filtering and manipulating the commit history compared to git filter-branch. Always remember to communicate with your team members to inform them about the changes that could potentially affect their work.