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authorElijah Newren <>2019-09-04 22:32:38 (GMT)
committerJunio C Hamano <>2019-09-05 20:01:48 (GMT)
commit9df53c5de6e687df9cd7b36e633360178b65a0ef (patch)
treed033d2174071ee7270a30135f1dc69c1ea6042be /
parent7b6ad979391d908698cdef9358d3e13979e15c9f (diff)
Recommend git-filter-repo instead of git-filter-branch
filter-branch suffers from a deluge of disguised dangers that disfigure history rewrites (i.e. deviate from the deliberate changes). Many of these problems are unobtrusive and can easily go undiscovered until the new repository is in use. This can result in problems ranging from an even messier history than what led folks to filter-branch in the first place, to data loss or corruption. These issues cannot be backward compatibly fixed, so add a warning to both filter-branch and its manpage recommending that another tool (such as filter-repo) be used instead. Also, update other manpages that referenced filter-branch. Several of these needed updates even if we could continue recommending filter-branch, either due to implying that something was unique to filter-branch when it applied more generally to all history rewriting tools (e.g. BFG, reposurgeon, fast-import, filter-repo), or because something about filter-branch was used as an example despite other more commonly known examples now existing. Reword these sections to fix these issues and to avoid recommending filter-branch. Finally, remove the section explaining BFG Repo Cleaner as an alternative to filter-branch. I feel somewhat bad about this, especially since I feel like I learned so much from BFG that I put to good use in filter-repo (which is much more than I can say for filter-branch), but keeping that section presented a few problems: * In order to recommend that people quit using filter-branch, we need to provide them a recomendation for something else to use that can handle all the same types of rewrites. To my knowledge, filter-repo is the only such tool. So it needs to be mentioned. * I don't want to give conflicting recommendations to users * If we recommend two tools, we shouldn't expect users to learn both and pick which one to use; we should explain which problems one can solve that the other can't or when one is much faster than the other. * BFG and filter-repo have similar performance * All filtering types that BFG can do, filter-repo can also do. In fact, filter-repo comes with a reimplementation of BFG named bfg-ish which provides the same user-interface as BFG but with several bugfixes and new features that are hard to implement in BFG due to its technical underpinnings. While I could still mention both tools, it seems like I would need to provide some kind of comparison and I would ultimately just say that filter-repo can do everything BFG can, so ultimately it seems that it is just better to remove that section altogether. Signed-off-by: Elijah Newren <> Signed-off-by: Junio C Hamano <>
Diffstat (limited to '')
1 files changed, 14 insertions, 0 deletions
diff --git a/ b/
index 5c5afa2..fea7964 100755
--- a/
+++ b/
@@ -83,6 +83,20 @@ set_ident () {
finish_ident COMMITTER
+ cat <<EOF
+WARNING: git-filter-branch has a glut of gotchas generating mangled history
+ rewrites. Hit Ctrl-C before proceeding to abort, then use an
+ alternative filtering tool such as 'git filter-repo'
+ ( instead. See the
+ filter-branch manual page for more details; to squelch this warning,
+ sleep 10
+ printf "Proceeding with filter-branch...\n\n"
USAGE="[--setup <command>] [--subdirectory-filter <directory>] [--env-filter <command>]
[--tree-filter <command>] [--index-filter <command>]
[--parent-filter <command>] [--msg-filter <command>]