Select Page

How to Flatten git Commits

David Walsh
Published: January 7, 2022

One of my least favorite tasks as a software engineer is resolving merge conflicts. A simple rebase is a frequent occurrence but the rare massive conflict is inevitable when many engineers work in a single codebase. One thing that helps me deal with large rebases with many merge conflicts is flattening a branch’s commits before fixing merge conflicts. Let’s have a look at how to flatten those commits before resolving those conflicts!

My typical command for rebasing off of the main branch is:

# While on the feature branch...
git rebase -i master

To flatten commits before the rebase, which can make resolving merge conflicts easier, you can slightly modify the original command:

# While on the feature branch...
# git rebase -i HEAD~[NUMBER_OF_COMMITS]
git rebase -i HEAD~10

The example above would flatten the last 10 commits on the branch. With just one single commit, you avoid the stop-start nature of fixing merge conflicts with multiple commits!

  • Chris Coyier’s Favorite CodePen Demos

    David asked me if I’d be up for a guest post picking out some of my favorite Pens from CodePen. A daunting task! There are so many! I managed to pick a few though that have blown me away over the past few months. If you…

  • Creating Scrolling Parallax Effects with CSS

    Introduction For quite a long time now websites with the so called “parallax” effect have been really popular. In case you have not heard of this effect, it basically includes different layers of images that are moving in different directions or with different speed. This leads to a…