git - How to modify a specified commit?

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Top 5 Answer for git - How to modify a specified commit?

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You can use git rebase. For example, if you want to modify commit bbc643cd, run

$ git rebase --interactive 'bbc643cd^' 

Please note the caret ^ at the end of the command, because you need actually to rebase back to the commit before the one you wish to modify.

In the default editor, modify pick to edit in the line mentioning 'bbc643cd'.

Save the file and exit: git will interpret and automatically execute the commands in the file. You will find yourself in the previous situation in which you just had created commit bbc643cd.

At this point, bbc643cd is your last commit and you can easily amend it: make your changes and then commit them with the command:

$ git commit --all --amend --no-edit 

After that, type:

$ git rebase --continue 

to return back to the previous HEAD commit.

WARNING: Note that this will change the SHA-1 of that commit as well as all children -- in other words, this rewrites the history from that point forward. You can break repos doing this if you push using the command git push --force

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Use the awesome interactive rebase:

git rebase -i @~9   # Show the last 9 commits in a text editor 

Find the commit you want, change pick to e (edit), and save and close the file. Git will rewind to that commit, allowing you to either:

  • use git commit --amend to make changes, or
  • use git reset @~ to discard the last commit, but not the changes to the files (i.e. take you to the point you were at when you'd edited the files, but hadn't committed yet).

The latter is useful for doing more complex stuff like splitting into multiple commits.

Then, run git rebase --continue, and Git will replay the subsequent changes on top of your modified commit. You may be asked to fix some merge conflicts.

Note: @ is shorthand for HEAD, and ~ is the commit before the specified commit.

Read more about rewriting history in the Git docs.

Don't be afraid to rebase

ProTip™:   Don't be afraid to experiment with "dangerous" commands that rewrite history* — Git doesn't delete your commits for 90 days by default; you can find them in the reflog:

$ git reset @~3   # go back 3 commits $ git reflog c4f708b HEAD@{0}: reset: moving to @~3 2c52489 HEAD@{1}: commit: more changes 4a5246d HEAD@{2}: commit: make important changes e8571e4 HEAD@{3}: commit: make some changes ... earlier commits ... $ git reset 2c52489 ... and you're back where you started 

* Watch out for options like --hard and --force though — they can discard data.
* Also, don't rewrite history on any branches you're collaborating on.

On many systems, git rebase -i will open up Vim by default. Vim doesn't work like most modern text editors, so take a look at how to rebase using Vim. If you'd rather use a different editor, change it with git config --global core.editor your-favorite-text-editor.

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Interactive rebase with --autosquash is something I frequently use when I need to fixup previous commits deeper in the history. It essentially speeds up the process that ZelluX's answer illustrates, and is especially handy when you have more than one commit you need to edit.

From the documentation:


When the commit log message begins with "squash! …​" (or "fixup! …​"), and there is a commit whose title begins with the same …​, automatically modify the todo list of rebase -i so that the commit marked for squashing comes right after the commit to be modified

Assume you have a history that looks like this:

$ git log --graph --oneline * b42d293 Commit3 * e8adec4 Commit2 * faaf19f Commit1 

and you have changes that you want to amend to Commit2 then commit your changes using

$ git commit -m "fixup! Commit2" 

alternatively you can use the commit-sha instead of the commit message, so "fixup! e8adec4 or even just a prefix of the commit message.

Then initiate an interactive rebase on the commit before

$ git rebase e8adec4^ -i --autosquash 

your editor will open with the commits already correctly ordered

pick e8adec4 Commit2 fixup 54e1a99 fixup! Commit2 pick b42d293 Commit3 

all you need to do is save and exit

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$ git rebase --interactive commit_hash^

each ^ indicates how many commits back you want to edit, if it's only one (the commit hash that you specified), then you just add one ^.

Using Vim you change the words pick to reword for the commits you want to change, save and quit(:wq). Then git will prompt you with each commit that you marked as reword so you can change the commit message.

Each commit message you have to save and quit(:wq) to go to the next commit message

If you want to exit without applying the changes, press :q!

EDIT: to navigate in vim you use j to go up, k to go down, h to go left, and l to go right( all this in NORMAL mode, press ESC to go to NORMAL mode ). To edit a text, press i so that you enter the INSERT mode, where you insert text. Press ESC to go back to NORMAL mode :)

UPDATE: Here's a great link from github listing How to undo (almost) anything with git

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Based on Documentation

Amending the message of older or multiple commit messages

git rebase -i HEAD~3  

The above displays a list of the last 3 commits on the current branch, change 3 to something else if you want more. The list will look similar to the following:

pick e499d89 Delete CNAME pick 0c39034 Better README pick f7fde4a Change the commit message but push the same commit. 

Replace pick with reword before each commit message you want to change. Let say you change the second commit in the list, your file will look like the following:

pick e499d89 Delete CNAME reword 0c39034 Better README pick f7fde4a Change the commit message but push the same commit. 

Save and close the commit list file, this will pop up a new editor for you to change your commit message, change the commit message and save.

Finally, force-push the amended commits.

git push --force 

Top 3 video Explaining git - How to modify a specified commit?