Git Cherry Picking


A cherry-pick takes the patch that was introduced in a commit and tries to reapply it on the branch you’re currently on.

Source: Git SCM Book


  • git cherry-pick [--edit] [-n] [-m parent-number] [-s] [-x] [--ff] [-S[key-id]] commit...
  • git cherry-pick --continue
  • git cherry-pick --quit
  • git cherry-pick --abort


-e, --editWith this option, git cherry-pick will let you edit the commit message prior to committing.
-xWhen recording the commit, append a line that says "(cherry picked from commit …​)" to the original commit message in order to indicate which commit this change was cherry-picked from. This is done only for cherry picks without conflicts.
--ffIf the current HEAD is the same as the parent of the cherry-pick’ed commit, then a fast forward to this commit will be performed.
--continueContinue the operation in progress using the information in .git/sequencer. Can be used to continue after resolving conflicts in a failed cherry-pick or revert.
--quitForget about the current operation in progress. Can be used to clear the sequencer state after a failed cherry-pick or revert.
--abortCancel the operation and return to the pre-sequence state.

Copying a commit from one branch to another

git cherry-pick <commit-hash> will apply the changes made in an existing commit to another branch, while recording a new commit. Essentially, you can copy commits from branch to branch.

Given the following tree (Source)

dd2e86 - 946992 - 9143a9 - a6fd86 - 5a6057 [master]
            76cada - 62ecb3 - b886a0 [feature]

Let's say we want to copy b886a0 to master (on top of 5a6057).

We can run

git checkout master
git cherry-pick b886a0

Now our tree will look something like:

dd2e86 - 946992 - 9143a9 - a6fd86 - 5a6057 - a66b23 [master]
            76cada - 62ecb3 - b886a0 [feature]

Where the new commit a66b23 has the same content (source diff, commit message) as b886a0 (but a different parent). Note that cherry-picking will only pick up changes on that commit(b886a0 in this case) not all the changes in feature branch (for this you will have to either use rebasing or merging).

Copying a range of commits from one branch to another

git cherry-pick <commit-A>..<commit-B> will place every commit after A and up to and including B on top of the currently checked-out branch.

git cherry-pick <commit-A>^..<commit-B> will place commit A and every commit up to and including B on top of the currently checked-out branch.

Checking if a cherry-pick is required

Before you start the cherry-pick process, you can check if the commit you want to cherry-pick already exists in the target branch, in which case you don't have to do anything.

git branch --contains <commit> lists local branches that contain the specified commit.

git branch -r --contains <commit> also includes remote tracking branches in the list.

Find commits yet to be applied to upstream

Command git cherry shows the changes which haven't yet been cherry-picked.


git checkout master
git cherry development

... and see output a bit like this:

+ 492508acab7b454eee8b805f8ba906056eede0ff
- 5ceb5a9077ddb9e78b1e8f24bfc70e674c627949
+ b4459544c000f4d51d1ec23f279d9cdb19c1d32b
+ b6ce3b78e938644a293b2dd2a15b2fecb1b54cd9

The commits that being with + will be the ones that haven't yet cherry-picked into development.


git cherry [-v] [<upstream> [<head> [<limit>]]]


-v Show the commit subjects next to the SHA1s.

< upstream > Upstream branch to search for equivalent commits. Defaults to the upstream branch of HEAD.

< head > Working branch; defaults to HEAD.

< limit > Do not report commits up to (and including) limit.

Check git-cherry documentation for more info.