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Note to self: How to sync from the original repo on GitHub (Git merge upstream)

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This is one of those “note to self” -kind of entries. This workflow is probably so natural to a lot of you all, that you won’t need to document it – but since I don’t do that much development with the full “fork – clone – branch – submit pull request” -process (whic is really typical with GitHub and I guess Open Source in general), I always need to look up the instructions on how to add pull any changes from the original repository to yours.

I still need to do that often enough, that I wanted to document it somewhere where I can find it easily. Like my blog :) So here goes:

How to synchronize your forked and local repositories with the original one on GitHub?

There’s a number of steps – see below.

  • Open Git Bash
  • Change the current working directory to your local project.
    cd [your_directory] 
  • Change to your desired branch
    • You’ll probably want to merge to your master – so make sure your branch is “master”.
    • You can change it from GitHub Desktop, if you’re using it!
    • Or you can run this:
      git checkout [branch_name]
  • Configure the origin as a remote repository
    • This needs to be done to enable you to fetch the new commits from it
    • You can verify if it already is by running this:
      git remote -v 
    • If it isn’t, then run this:
      git remote add upstream
  • Sync your local repository with the upstream (the original one)
    git fetch upstream 
  • Perform merge
    git merge upstream/master 
  • If you get a text editor window in your bash, that’s just Vi asking for your commit comment for your merge. Don’t have to enter anything, just write “:wq” and you should be good.
  • Push your local changes to your repository
    • You can do this in GitHub Desktop
    • Or by running this:
      git push 

And now you should be good.


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