Git tip #3: `git cherry-pick`

| git | 4 minute read

If you ever have a commit in one branch and you need it in another you might want to use git cherry-pick.

A common use-case for this command is if I have made a change in a feature branch, but need a part of it merged into another branch before the entire feature is complete.

Aside: This is another reason for keeping your commits smaller and contextual.

Here is the is result of git log --oneline --no-decorate on my feature branch. (See this post for more about git log)

$ git log --oneline --no-decorate

dedee6f (HEAD -> feature/new-about-page) Adds About page component (that I don't want added to my project yet)
7d5f979 Updates global.scss to include About page styles
15db5ca Updates favicon.png (that I want to update on master immediately)

In this example I want to move the favicon.png commit to master now, but I want to leave the other changes until the are complete. The id of the commit is 15db5ca.

$ git checkout master
$ git cherry-pick 15db5ca

And that's it. This command simply copies the changes from the chosen commit to your current branch as a new commit. The old commit remains in the feature branch so there is no impact on your history.

I sometimes like using the -x flag. It appends "(cherry picked from commit )" to the newly created commit.

$ git cherry-pick -x 15db5ca

If you want to write your own commit message you'll use the -e flag.

$ git cherry-pick -e 15db5ca

Learn more

If you want to learn more about git cherry-pick I recommend taking a look at the docs here.

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