path: root/Documentation/git-read-tree.txt
diff options
authorJunio C Hamano <>2005-12-06 07:26:10 (GMT)
committerJunio C Hamano <>2005-12-06 07:26:10 (GMT)
commitbb6d7b893e7f9f22e58a63d871b5b4c87b887513 (patch)
tree7c2f662dc008d054344fd99a38d392c668617cf5 /Documentation/git-read-tree.txt
parent5f6da1d9d2b073c72d3588518934ade16df51268 (diff)
Documentaiton (read-tree): update description of 3-way
The merge-one-file used to leave the working tree intact, but it has long been changed to leave the merge result there since 2a68a8659f7dc55fd285d235ae2d19e7a8116c30 commit. Signed-off-by: Junio C Hamano <>
Diffstat (limited to 'Documentation/git-read-tree.txt')
1 files changed, 31 insertions, 12 deletions
diff --git a/Documentation/git-read-tree.txt b/Documentation/git-read-tree.txt
index 4377362..27ee590 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-read-tree.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-read-tree.txt
@@ -167,20 +167,26 @@ $ git-read-tree -m <tree1> <tree2> <tree3>
and you will end up with an index with all of the <tree1> entries in
"stage1", all of the <tree2> entries in "stage2" and all of the
-<tree3> entries in "stage3".
+<tree3> entries in "stage3". When performing a merge of another
+branch into the current branch, we use the common ancestor tree
+as <tree1>, the current branch head as <tree2>, and the other
+branch head as <tree3>.
Furthermore, `git-read-tree` has special-case logic that says: if you see
a file that matches in all respects in the following states, it
"collapses" back to "stage0":
- stage 2 and 3 are the same; take one or the other (it makes no
- difference - the same work has been done on stage 2 and 3)
+ difference - the same work has been done on our branch in
+ stage 2 and their branch in stage 3)
- stage 1 and stage 2 are the same and stage 3 is different; take
- stage 3 (some work has been done on stage 3)
+ stage 3 (our branch in stage 2 did not do anything since the
+ ancestor in stage 1 while their branch in stage 3 worked on
+ it)
- stage 1 and stage 3 are the same and stage 2 is different take
- stage 2 (some work has been done on stage 2)
+ stage 2 (we did something while they did nothing)
The `git-write-tree` command refuses to write a nonsensical tree, and it
will complain about unmerged entries if it sees a single entry that is not
@@ -223,11 +229,9 @@ populated. Here is an outline of how the algorithm works:
trivial rules ..
You would normally use `git-merge-index` with supplied
-`git-merge-one-file` to do this last step. The script
-does not touch the files in the work tree, and the entire merge
-happens in the index file. In other words, there is no need to
-worry about what is in the working directory, since it is never
-shown and never used.
+`git-merge-one-file` to do this last step. The script updates
+the files in the working tree as it merges each path and at the
+end of a successful merge.
When you start a 3-way merge with an index file that is already
populated, it is assumed that it represents the state of the
@@ -238,7 +242,8 @@ merge refuses to run if it finds an entry in the original index
file that does not match stage 2.
This is done to prevent you from losing your work-in-progress
-changes. To illustrate, suppose you start from what has been
+changes, and mixing your random changes in an unrelated merge
+commit. To illustrate, suppose you start from what has been
commited last to your repository:
@@ -251,8 +256,8 @@ you notice that the tip of your "upstream" tree has advanced
since you pulled from him:
-$ git-fetch rsync://.... linus
-$ LT=`cat .git/MERGE_HEAD`
+$ git-fetch git://.... linus
+$ LT=`cat .git/FETCH_HEAD`
Your work tree is still based on your HEAD ($JC), but you have
@@ -271,6 +276,20 @@ what you would commit is a pure merge between $JC and $LT without
your work-in-progress changes, and your work tree would be
updated to the result of the merge.
+However, if you have local changes in the working tree that
+would be overwritten by this merge,`git-read-tree` will refuse
+to run to prevent your changes from being lost.
+In other words, there is no need to worry about what exists only
+in the working tree. When you have local changes in a part of
+the project that is not involved in the merge, your changes do
+not interfere with the merge, and are kept intact. When they
+*do* interfere, the merge does not even start (`git-read-tree`
+complains loudly and fails without modifying anything). In such
+a case, you can simply continue doing what you were in the
+middle of doing, and when your working tree is ready (i.e. you
+have finished your work-in-progress), attempt the merge again.
See Also