git merge-base [-a|--all] <commit> <commit>...
git merge-base [-a|--all] --octopus <commit>...
git merge-base --is-ancestor <commit> <commit>
git merge-base --independent <commit>...
git merge-base --fork-point <ref> [<commit>]
git merge-base finds best common ancestor(s) between two commits to use
in a three-way merge. One common ancestor is better than another common
ancestor if the latter is an ancestor of the former. A common ancestor
that does not have any better common ancestor is a best common
ancestor, i.e. a merge base. Note that there can be more than one merge
base for a pair of commits.
As the most common special case, specifying only two commits on the
command line means computing the merge base between the given two
More generally, among the two commits to compute the merge base from,
one is specified by the first commit argument on the command line; the
other commit is a (possibly hypothetical) commit that is a merge across
all the remaining commits on the command line.
As a consequence, the merge base is not necessarily contained in each
of the commit arguments if more than two commits are specified. This is
different from git-show-branch(1) when used with the --merge-base
Compute the best common ancestors of all supplied commits, in
preparation for an n-way merge. This mimics the behavior of git
Instead of printing merge bases, print a minimal subset of the
supplied commits with the same ancestors. In other words, among the
commits given, list those which cannot be reached from any other.
This mimics the behavior of git show-branch --independent.
Check if the first <commit> is an ancestor of the second <commit>,
and exit with status 0 if true, or with status 1 if not. Errors are
signaled by a non-zero status that is not 1.
Find the point at which a branch (or any history that leads to
<commit>) forked from another branch (or any reference) <ref>. This
does not just look for the common ancestor of the two commits, but
also takes into account the reflog of <ref> to see if the history
leading to <commit> forked from an earlier incarnation of the
branch <ref> (see discussion on this mode below).
the merge base between A and B is 1.
Given three commits A, B and C, git merge-base A B C will compute the
merge base between A and a hypothetical commit M, which is a merge
between B and C. For example, with this topology:
the result of git merge-base A B C is 1. This is because the equivalent
topology with a merge commit M between B and C is:
and the result of git merge-base A M is 1. Commit 2 is also a common
ancestor between A and M, but 1 is a better common ancestor, because 2
is an ancestor of 1. Hence, 2 is not a merge base.
The result of git merge-base --octopus A B C is 2, because 2 is the
best common ancestor of all commits.
When the history involves criss-cross merges, there can be more than
one best common ancestor for two commits. For example, with this
both 1 and 2 are merge-bases of A and B. Neither one is better than the
other (both are best merge bases). When the --all option is not given,
it is unspecified which best one is output.
A common idiom to check "fast-forward-ness" between two commits A and B
is (or at least used to be) to compute the merge base between A and B,
and check if it is the same as A, in which case, A is an ancestor of B.
You will see this idiom used often in older scripts.
A=$(git rev-parse --verify A)
if test "$A" = "$(git merge-base A B)"
... A is an ancestor of B ...
have been rewound and rebuilt, leading to a history of this shape:
where origin/master used to point at commits B3, B2, B1 and now it
points at B, and your topic branch was started on top of it back when
origin/master was at B3. This mode uses the reflog of origin/master to
find B3 as the fork point, so that the topic can be rebased on top of
the updated origin/master by:
$ fork_point=$(git merge-base --fork-point origin/master topic)
$ git rebase --onto origin/master $fork_point topic
git-rev-list(1), git-show-branch(1), git-merge(1)
Part of the git(1) suite
Git 2.7.4 12/09/2019 GIT-MERGE-BASE(1)
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