merge - How to replace master branch in Git, entirely, from another branch?

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Top 5 Answer for merge - How to replace master branch in Git, entirely, from another branch?

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You should be able to use the "ours" merge strategy to overwrite master with seotweaks like this:

git checkout seotweaks git merge -s ours master git checkout master git merge seotweaks 

The result should be your master is now essentially seotweaks.

(-s ours is short for --strategy=ours)

From the docs about the 'ours' strategy:

This resolves any number of heads, but the resulting tree of the merge is always that of the current branch head, effectively ignoring all changes from all other branches. It is meant to be used to supersede old development history of side branches. Note that this is different from the -Xours option to the recursive merge strategy.

Update from comments: If you get fatal: refusing to merge unrelated histories, then change the second line to this: git merge --allow-unrelated-histories -s ours master

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What about using git branch -m to rename the master branch to another one, then rename seotweaks branch to master? Something like this:

git branch -m master old-master git branch -m seotweaks master git push -f origin master 

This might remove commits in origin master, please check your origin master before running git push -f origin master.

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You can rename/remove master on remote, but this will be an issue if lots of people have based their work on the remote master branch and have pulled that branch in their local repo.
That might not be the case here since everyone seems to be working on branch 'seotweaks'.

In that case you can:
git remote --show may not work. (Make a git remote show to check how your remote is declared within your local repo. I will assume 'origin')
(Regarding GitHub, house9 comments: "I had to do one additional step, click the 'Admin' button on GitHub and set the 'Default Branch' to something other than 'master', then put it back afterwards")

git branch -m master master-old  # rename master on local git push origin :master          # delete master on remote git push origin master-old       # create master-old on remote git checkout -b master seotweaks # create a new local master on top of seotweaks git push origin master           # create master on remote 

But again:

  • if other users try to pull while master is deleted on remote, their pulls will fail ("no such ref on remote")
  • when master is recreated on remote, a pull will attempt to merge that new master on their local (now old) master: lots of conflicts. They actually need to reset --hard their local master to the remote/master branch they will fetch, and forget about their current master.
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Since seotweaks was originally created as a branch from master, merging it back in is a good idea. However if you are in a situation where one of your branches is not really a branch from master or your history is so different that you just want to obliterate the master branch in favor of the new branch that you've been doing the work on you can do this:

git push [-f] origin seotweaks:master 

This is especially helpful if you are getting this error:

! [remote rejected] master (deletion of the current branch prohibited) 

And you are not using GitHub and don't have access to the "Administration" tab to change the default branch for your remote repository. Furthermore, this won't cause down time or race conditions as you may encounter by deleting master:

git push origin :master 
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I found this to be the best way of doing this (I had an issue with my server not letting me delete).

On the server that hosts the origin repository, type the following from a directory inside the repository:

git config receive.denyDeleteCurrent ignore 

On your workstation:

git branch -m master vabandoned                 # Rename master on local git branch -m newBranch master                  # Locally rename branch newBranch to master git push origin :master                         # Delete the remote's master git push origin master:refs/heads/master        # Push the new master to the remote git push origin abandoned:refs/heads/abandoned  # Push the old master to the remote 

Back on the server that hosts the origin repository:

git config receive.denyDeleteCurrent true 

Credit to the author of blog post

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