git rerere: Streamline conflict resolution

Conflict resolution in Git can be a repetitive and time-consuming process. Fortunately, Git offers a feature called rerere (reuse recorded resolution) that can save you time by remembering how you resolved conflicts and applying the same resolution in the future. In this post, we’ll explore how to use rerere to streamline your conflict resolution process.

I learned about rerere from the YouTube video So You Think You Know Git - FOSDEM 2024 by Scott Chacon, an insightful video about Git that recently reached 1 million views!

What is rerere?

rerere is a Git feature that records how you resolve a merge conflict and reuses that resolution the next time it encounters the same conflict. This can be particularly useful when you’re rebasing a branch or cherry-picking commits.

Enable rerere

To enable rerere, run:

git config --global rerere.enabled true

How It Works

When you encounter a conflict and resolve it, Git records the resolution. If you face the same conflict again, Git will automatically apply the recorded resolution.

Example Workflow

  1. Encounter a Conflict: During a rebase or merge, a conflict occurs.
  2. Resolve the Conflict: Manually resolve the conflict.
  3. Git Records the Resolution: Git saves the conflict resolution.
  4. Reapply the Resolution: If the same conflict appears in the future, Git applies the saved resolution automatically.

Benefits of using rerere

  • Time-saving: You don’t have to resolve the same conflicts repeatedly.
  • Consistency: Ensures that conflicts are resolved in the same way each time.
  • Reduced errors: Minimizes the chance of introducing errors when resolving conflicts manually.

By enabling rerere, you can significantly reduce the effort required to handle recurring conflicts. This feature is particularly useful in long-running feature branches or when working with frequently changing codebases. Give rerere a try in your next Git project and experience smoother, more efficient conflict resolutions.

Stay tuned for more Git tips and tricks in our upcoming posts!