Git Tips: Sync up upstream

Configuring a remote for a fork

List the current configured remote repository for your fork.

$git remote -v
origin  https://github.com/YOUR_USERNAME/YOUR_FORK.git (fetch)
origin  https://github.com/YOUR_USERNAME/YOUR_FORK.git (push)

Specify a new remote upstream repository that will be synced with the fork.

$git remote add upstream https://github.com/ORIGINAL_OWNER/ORIGINAL_REPOSITORY.git

Verify the new upstream repository you’ve specified for your fork.

$git remote -v
origin    https://github.com/YOUR_USERNAME/YOUR_FORK.git (fetch)
origin    https://github.com/YOUR_USERNAME/YOUR_FORK.git (push)
upstream  https://github.com/ORIGINAL_OWNER/ORIGINAL_REPOSITORY.git (fetch)
upstream  https://github.com/ORIGINAL_OWNER/ORIGINAL_REPOSITORY.git (push)

Syncing a fork

Fetch the branches and their respective commits from the upstream repository. Commits to master will be stored in a local branch, upstream/master.

$git fetch upstream
remote: Counting objects: 75, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (53/53), done.
remote: Total 62 (delta 27), reused 44 (delta 9)
Unpacking objects: 100% (62/62), done.
From https://github.com/ORIGINAL_OWNER/ORIGINAL_REPOSITORY
* [new branch]      master     -> upstream/master

Check out your fork’s local master branch.

$git checkout master
Switched to branch 'master'

Merge the changes from upstream/master into your local master branch. This brings your fork’s master branch into sync with the upstream repository, without losing your local changes.

$git merge upstream/master
Updating a422352..5fdff0f
Fast-forward
 README                    |    9 -------
 README.md                 |    7 ++++++
 2 files changed, 7 insertions(+), 9 deletions(-)
 delete mode 100644 README
 create mode 100644 README.md

If your local branch didn’t have any unique commits, Git will instead perform a “fast-forward”:

$git merge upstream/master
Updating 34e91da..16c56ad
Fast-forward
 README.md                 |    5 +++--
 1 file changed, 3 insertions(+), 2 deletions(-)
Written on November 30, 2015