On Thursday, October 30, 2014 2:41:42 AM UTC-4, Anthony Berglas wrote:
> I am trying to do something really simple.  I want to commit local changes 
> to a remote repository.  But along the way other developers modified the 
> remote.  This appears to be very difficult to do in Git.

You can modify the remote by using git push. It's not too difficult, but it 
can be confusing! 

> When I finished my changes I did a commit -a.  All good.
> But then the push failed.  git fetch ok.  So I tried to checkout the 
> origin/master.  That gave me a "detached head", even though it looked like 
> I was on head.  It said create a branch so I created abtmp (I do not 
> actually want any branches).  Then merged origin/master back into abtmp 
> (which seems the wrong way).

Believe it or not, I think you're partially there!

One key: the origin/master represents the master on the remote repository. 
You cannot use "git checkout origin/master", because origin/master is a 
remote-tracking branch. These exist as book marks the where master is on 
the remote.

So now I have the following.  What I want is to get rid of abtmp and commit 
> back to origin/master on the remote server.
> $ git log --oneline --decorate --graph --all
> *   5e0fcfb (HEAD, abtmp) Merge remote branch 'origin/master' into abtmp
> |\  
> | * 944773a (origin/master, origin/HEAD) - shrm has to be optional 
> logically (if s
> | * 4952f9c - correct to point by default
> * | 75b9d6d (master)  Performace tests
> |/  
> * c1106db - replace with st
> * b046367 - set back further
> * 5a3ce83 - fixup doc link reference
> * 2ca8ecf (tag: 7.0e) - this 

I'm really glad you posted this git log output. It really helps us 
understand the state of your repository. 

I read your history like this:

Your last work was on 75b9d6d, aka master. When you did the git push, it 
complained because your master wasn't in sync with the remote. You 
performed a git fetch, which brought in the commits that were on the 
remote. Doing git log shows you that the remote's master was 944773a, aka 
origin/master. Per the 'detached HEAD' message, you learned you needed a 
branch to work on origin/master. You created the branch abtmp. You then 
merged abtmp into origin/master, but from the git log output, I believe 
that abtmp was created while you were on your local master. Do you remember 
how you created the abtmp branch? 

I say all this because 5e0fcfb, the abtmp branch, seems to have 944773a 
(origin/master) and 75b9d6d (master) as its parents.

To help further, give us the output of these commands:

git branch
git log --abbrev-commit --parents -n 1

This should give abtmp as the current branch, and it should say 944773a and 
75b9d6d in the commit line. 

> Questions:-
>    1. How do I fix this up.
>  I believe given the graph output that all you need to do is:

git checkout master
git merge abtmp

This will send master to the same commit as abtmp (because it should be a 
fast-forward merge), and you can then type:

git branch -D abtmp

This will delete the abtmp branch. 

>    1. What is the best way to deal with these simple conflicts in future.
> You're doing it already: git fetch, and then carefully merging 
origin/master back into your branch. If your concerned or paranoid, you can 
clone your repository to a separate directory, and try out the steps in 
your clone.

Is there any doc that goes over this clearly. (e.g. not 
> http://git-scm.com/book/en/v2/Git-Basics-Working-with-Remotes which goes 
> over setting up multiple remotes etc. and other cleverness but not the 
> basics.)

I'm writing a book that is going over the basics. There are other resources 
out there, though. Search for git merge, git branch, and remote-tracking 

Good luck!
Rick Umali / Author: "Learn Git in a Month of Lunches" / 

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