# Cherry Picking

A cherry-pick takes the patch that was introduced in a commit and tries to reapply it on the branch you’re currently on.

Source: Git SCM Book (opens new window)

# Copying a commit from one branch to another

git cherry-pick <commit-hash> will apply the changes made in an existing commit to another branch, while recording a new commit. Essentially, you can copy commits from branch to branch.

Given the following tree (Source) (opens new window)

dd2e86 - 946992 - 9143a9 - a6fd86 - 5a6057 [master]
            76cada - 62ecb3 - b886a0 [feature]

Let's say we want to copy b886a0 to master (on top of 5a6057).

We can run

git checkout master
git cherry-pick b886a0

Now our tree will look something like:

dd2e86 - 946992 - 9143a9 - a6fd86 - 5a6057 - a66b23 [master]
            76cada - 62ecb3 - b886a0 [feature]

Where the new commit a66b23 has the same content (source diff, commit message) as b886a0 (but a different parent). Note that cherry-picking will only pick up changes on that commit(b886a0 in this case) not all the changes in feature branch (for this you will have to either use rebasing or merging).

# Copying a range of commits from one branch to another

git cherry-pick <commit-A>..<commit-B> will place every commit after A and up to and including B on top of the currently checked-out branch.

git cherry-pick <commit-A>^..<commit-B> will place commit A and every commit up to and including B on top of the currently checked-out branch.

# Checking if a cherry-pick is required

Before you start the cherry-pick process, you can check if the commit you want to cherry-pick already exists in the target branch, in which case you don't have to do anything.

git branch --contains <commit> lists local branches that contain the specified commit.

git branch -r --contains <commit> also includes remote tracking branches in the list.

# Find commits yet to be applied to upstream

Command git cherry shows the changes which haven't yet been cherry-picked.


git checkout master
git cherry development

... and see output a bit like this:

+ 492508acab7b454eee8b805f8ba906056eede0ff
- 5ceb5a9077ddb9e78b1e8f24bfc70e674c627949
+ b4459544c000f4d51d1ec23f279d9cdb19c1d32b
+ b6ce3b78e938644a293b2dd2a15b2fecb1b54cd9

The commits that being with + will be the ones that haven't yet cherry-picked into development.


git cherry [-v] [<upstream> [<head> [<limit>]]]


-v Show the commit subjects next to the SHA1s.

< upstream > Upstream branch to search for equivalent commits. Defaults to the upstream branch of HEAD.

< head > Working branch; defaults to HEAD.

< limit > Do not report commits up to (and including) limit.

Check git-cherry documentation (opens new window) for more info.

# Syntax

  • git cherry-pick [--edit] [-n] [-m parent-number] [-s] [-x] [--ff] [-S[key-id]] commit...
  • - git cherry-pick --continue - git cherry-pick --quit - git cherry-pick --abort

    # Parameters

    Parameters Details
    -e, --edit With this option, git cherry-pick will let you edit the commit message prior to committing.
    -x When recording the commit, append a line that says "(cherry picked from commit …​)" to the original commit message in order to indicate which commit this change was cherry-picked from. This is done only for cherry picks without conflicts.
    --ff If the current HEAD is the same as the parent of the cherry-pick’ed commit, then a fast forward to this commit will be performed.
    --continue Continue the operation in progress using the information in .git/sequencer. Can be used to continue after resolving conflicts in a failed cherry-pick or revert.
    --quit Forget about the current operation in progress. Can be used to clear the sequencer state after a failed cherry-pick or revert.
    --abort Cancel the operation and return to the pre-sequence state.