Pull requests and remote rebase

I'm sure others must have come across this but couldn't find anything specifically on it:

Suppose i have a master and a feature (based on master, added so i could do a pull request) branch on the remote  i hae locall tracking branches. Before i issue the pull request, i want to rebase my feature branch so that when the merge to the master happens after the review, it will just be a ff merge. Rebasing the local branch is fine but how do i do it on the remote branch? I can just do a push --force on my feature branch but seems to be a bit brute force. Since pull requests force creation of remote branches, this must be a generice issue.

2 answers

You have two options:

  1. Rebase and force push as you described
  2. Delete the remote branch (if it exists; you can do it from the branches page on the web interface), rebase the local one and push the rebased branch.

Adding to @Balazs Szakmary's answer, a third option would be to enable the "squash" merge strategy, which is a special type of rebase that squashes the commits on your feature branch into a single commit before applying it to the target branch.

Edit: There's a feature request here requesting a rebase workflow for pull requests, but it is a technically difficult problem to solve in a way that doesn't hurt performance, because a rebase involves re-applying every single commit onto the target branch, whereas a merge only considers the two branch tips and their common ancestor.

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