When to Use the "git cherry-pick" Command?

Git cherry-picking is useful when you need to selectively apply specific commits from one branch to another. This can be a valuable tool in several scenarios, such as the following:

  1. Misplaced Commits;
  2. Concurrent Feature Development;
  3. Patching Critical Bug on Production;
  4. Extracting Commits from Closed Pull Requests.

It's crucial to keep in mind that, in most cases, traditional merges remain the recommended approach to maintain a clean version history. This is because cherry-picking can introduce duplicate commits, potentially complicating the version history.

Misplaced Commits

  • Scenario: Accidentally committing changes to the wrong branch.
  • Use of git cherry-pick: Helps extract the specific commit and apply it to the correct branch, ensuring a clean version history.

Concurrent Feature Development

  • Scenario: Simultaneous development of features on different branches by multiple contributors.
  • Use of git cherry-pick: Helps incorporate a feature from another branch, facilitating parallel development efforts.

Patching Critical Bug on Production

  • Scenario: Addressing a critical bug in the production environment while feature development continues.
  • Use of git cherry-pick: Assists in isolating and applying the bug-fix commit to the production branch, ensuring prompt issue resolution without delaying ongoing feature work.

Extracting Commits from Closed Pull Requests

  • Scenario: Stale pull requests that were closed without merging, but contain valuable changes.
  • Use of git cherry-pick: Enables retrieval of specific commits from the closed or stale pull request, incorporating them into the current branch to leverage valuable contributions.

This post was published (and was last revised ) by Daniyal Hamid. Daniyal currently works as the Head of Engineering in Germany and has 20+ years of experience in software engineering, design and marketing. Please show your love and support by sharing this post.