When merging branches in Git, conflicts
can occur when there are conflicting changes made to the same part of a file in the branches being merged. Git provides a mechanism to handle these conflicts, allowing you to manually resolve them. Here's an overview of how Git handles file conflicts during merging:
1. Detecting conflicts:
When you attempt to merge two branches using the `git merge`
command, Git analyzes the changes made in each branch and tries to automatically merge them. If Git encounters changes that conflict, it identifies the conflicted files and marks them as "unmerged".
2. Conflict markers:
Git inserts special markers into the conflicted file to indicate the conflicting sections. These markers typically look like this:
// changes from the current branch
// changes from the branch being merged
The section between `<<<<<<< HEAD` and `=======` represents the changes from the current branch (the branch you are on), while the section between `=======` and `>>>>>>> branch-name` represents the changes from the branch being merged (the branch you are merging into the current branch).
3. Manual conflict resolution:
Git stops the merging process when conflicts occur and requires manual intervention to resolve them. You need to open the conflicted file in a text editor and edit it to choose which changes to keep. Remove the conflict markers and modify the file to include the desired content.
For example, you may decide to keep the changes from the current branch and discard the changes from the branch being merged, or vice versa. Alternatively, you might choose to combine both sets of changes or make further modifications.
4. Marking conflicts as resolved:
Once you have resolved the conflicts in the file, you need to inform Git that the conflicts have been resolved. Use the `git add` command to stage the modified file.
Replace `<file>` with the path to the conflicted file.
5. Completing the merge:
After you have resolved all the conflicts and staged the modified files, you can continue the merge process by running `git commit`
. Git will create a new commit that represents the merged state, incorporating the resolved conflicts.
Git will automatically generate a commit message for the merge, but you can modify it if needed.
Once the merge commit is created, the conflicted file is no longer marked as unmerged, and Git considers the conflict resolved. You can continue working with the merged branch as needed.
It's important to note that conflicts are a normal part of the merging process, especially when multiple developers are working on the same codebase. Resolving conflicts requires careful consideration to ensure that the merged code remains correct and functional. Reviewing and testing the merged code is essential before pushing it to a shared repository or deploying it.