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CompTIA Linux+ XK0-005 - 3.4 - Advanced Git Topics: Merge

Git is a powerful version control system that allows developers to manage their source code effectively. One of the essential features of Git is merging, which enables the combination of multiple branches into a single branch. This guide will provide a detailed explanation of git merging and how it works.

Understanding Git Merging

Merging in Git is the process of integrating changes from one branch into another branch. It is typically used to combine the work done on separate branches, allowing developers to incorporate new features, bug fixes, or updates into a main branch or release branch.

Git uses a three-way merge algorithm to perform merging. This algorithm takes into account the common ancestor of the branches being merged, along with the changes made in each branch. By comparing and combining these changes, Git automatically resolves most merging conflicts.

Example of Git Merge

Let's consider a practical example to understand how git merging works. Suppose we have a repository with two branches: main and feature. The main branch contains the stable and main codebase, while the feature branch has new features that need to be integrated into the main branch.

To merge the feature branch into the main branch, follow these steps:

  • Ensure you are on the branch where you want to merge the changes (main branch in this case). You can use the following command to switch to the main branch:

    git checkout main
  • Initiate the merge command using the git merge command followed by the branch you want to merge (feature branch in this case):

    git merge feature

    Git will analyze the changes made in the feature branch and automatically merge them into the main branch, creating a new merge commit.

  • Resolve any merging conflicts that may arise. Git will attempt to automatically merge the changes, but if there are conflicting modifications in the same part of a file, manual intervention is required. Git will highlight the conflicting sections, allowing you to edit and resolve the conflicts.

    For example, let's say there is a merge conflict in a file called app.js. The conflicting sections may look like this:

    <<<<<<< HEAD
    function foo() {
        // Code from main branch
    function foo() {
        // Code from feature branch
    >>>>>>> feature

    To resolve the conflict, you need to edit the conflicting sections, keeping the desired changes and removing the conflict markers (<<<<<<< HEAD, =======, >>>>>>> feature).

  • Once the conflicts are resolved, save the changes and commit the merge using the following command:

    git commit -m "Merge feature branch"

    This commit message will document the merge operation.

  • Finally, push the merged changes to the remote repository if necessary:

    git push origin main

    This command will update the remote main branch with the merged changes.


Git merging is a crucial operation that allows developers to integrate changes from one branch into another. It helps maintain a clean and organized codebase by combining different branches and their respective changes.

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