Using git reflog to Fix Rebase Problems

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My git jedi skills aren't top class yet but I'm learning how to use the force.  I recently rebased  a pull request, only to find that it added about two dozen more commits, thus my branch was hosed.  After a bit of research, I found git reflog, a utility to view previous actions and get the information I needed to fix my rebase.

When you execute git reflog, you get a massive list of your previous actions.  The list will look like:

d2ed542 HEAD@{0}: checkout: moving from badges-ui-rebase to sign-in-width
fd69f6e HEAD@{1}: rebase -i (finish): returning to refs/heads/badges-ui-rebase
fd69f6e HEAD@{2}: rebase -i (squash): First pass at badge improvements
f79a769 HEAD@{3}: checkout: moving from badges-ui-rebase to f79a769
552473c HEAD@{4}: commit: First pass at badge improvements
f79a769 HEAD@{5}: rebase -i (finish): returning to refs/heads/badges-ui-rebase
f79a769 HEAD@{6}: commit: More
e9227ed HEAD@{7}: checkout: moving from badges-ui-rebase to e9227ed257ea1966fffc
5f0d862 HEAD@{8}: checkout: moving from master to badges-ui-rebase
e9227ed HEAD@{9}: pull mozilla master: Fast-forward
bf9084a HEAD@{10}: checkout: moving from sign-in-width to master
d2ed542 HEAD@{11}: rebase -i (finish): returning to refs/heads/sign-in-width
d2ed542 HEAD@{12}: checkout: moving from sign-in-width to d2ed542
d2ed542 HEAD@{13}: checkout: moving from use-strict to sign-in-width
4f3443d HEAD@{14}: rebase -i (finish): returning to refs/heads/use-strict
4f3443d HEAD@{15}: rebase -i (squash): Adding 'use strict' to JS files
294c376 HEAD@{16}: rebase -i (pick): Adding 'use strict' to JS files
bf9084a HEAD@{17}: checkout: moving from use-strict to bf9084ae49c269ce85651b829
824920e HEAD@{18}: commit: fix
47f9969 HEAD@{19}: checkout: moving from badges-ui-rebase to use-strict
5f0d862 HEAD@{20}: rebase -i (finish): returning to refs/heads/badges-ui-rebase
5f0d862 HEAD@{21}: rebase -i (squash): First pass at badge improvements
95ae782 HEAD@{22}: checkout: moving from badges-ui-rebase to 95ae782
a75a292 HEAD@{23}: commit: Fix else error
#....

When I found the commit I wanted to roll back to, I used git reset to do so:

# git reset --hard HEAD@{##}
git reset --hard HEAD@{87}

Awesome!  Instead of needing to start over with my changes, I was able to retry my rebase and get things fixed.  git reflog can be a massive time-saver!

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Discussion

  1. I agree! I was so relieved when I discovered this, I thought my work was gone forever. :)

  2. It’d be more time saver and help you keep track of your work if you make a branch and reset hard to base ( Head 87 in your case ). Then commit it and merge the branch to current branch.

    This way you can again go to certain point as you please.

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