in Rails

git branches, merges and remotes

After releasing the first version of git-rails, Ron Damen created a clone of the repository and started improving on it. And I liked what he was doing, so now was the time to figure out how to get some of his changes back in to the master repo.

Here is the list of steps (and what they mean) to get his changes into the master branch on Gitorious.

First, define a remote branch to track his cloned repository

git remote add ron git://

This adds this to .git/config:

[remote "ron"]
        url = git://
        fetch = +refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/ron/*

Before doing the actual checkout, make sure you have nothing to commit in the current branch, then checkout a tracking branch:

git checkout -b ron/master

Now get the content from thre remote (remote “ron”, branch “master”)

git pull ron master

Once you’ve reached this point, it is easy to switch back and forth between branches

git checkout master
git checkout ron/master

Next, I created a temporary branch to merge what I like from Ron (not needed really)

git branch merge-ron
git status # does not switch branch!
git checkout merge-ron

This could be used as a shortcut: checkout -b merge-ron

Merge only specific changes (obtained using git log in ron/master branch)

git cherry-pick dc3de57a073e24eeb398e0cacbe52340258e861b
git cherry-pick 61579f92e1bfc95e582728011fcd21c79f08c3ae

Merge from merge-ron branch into local master

git checkout master
git merge merge-ron

And finally, push to origin

git push origin

From now on, the only thing needed to get more changes from Ron is to pull changes into ron/master, cherry-pick changes and merge back into master. Sweet!