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    1 MERGE STRATEGIES
    2 ----------------
    3 
    4 The merge mechanism (`git merge` and `git pull` commands) allows the
    5 backend 'merge strategies' to be chosen with `-s` option.  Some strategies
    6 can also take their own options, which can be passed by giving `-X<option>`
    7 arguments to `git merge` and/or `git pull`.
    8 
    9 resolve::
   10 	This can only resolve two heads (i.e. the current branch
   11 	and another branch you pulled from) using a 3-way merge
   12 	algorithm.  It tries to carefully detect criss-cross
   13 	merge ambiguities and is considered generally safe and
   14 	fast.
   15 
   16 recursive::
   17 	This can only resolve two heads using a 3-way merge
   18 	algorithm.  When there is more than one common
   19 	ancestor that can be used for 3-way merge, it creates a
   20 	merged tree of the common ancestors and uses that as
   21 	the reference tree for the 3-way merge.  This has been
   22 	reported to result in fewer merge conflicts without
   23 	causing mismerges by tests done on actual merge commits
   24 	taken from Linux 2.6 kernel development history.
   25 	Additionally this can detect and handle merges involving
   26 	renames, but currently cannot make use of detected
   27 	copies.  This is the default merge strategy when pulling
   28 	or merging one branch.
   29 +
   30 The 'recursive' strategy can take the following options:
   31 
   32 ours;;
   33 	This option forces conflicting hunks to be auto-resolved cleanly by
   34 	favoring 'our' version.  Changes from the other tree that do not
   35 	conflict with our side are reflected to the merge result.
   36 	For a binary file, the entire contents are taken from our side.
   37 +
   38 This should not be confused with the 'ours' merge strategy, which does not
   39 even look at what the other tree contains at all.  It discards everything
   40 the other tree did, declaring 'our' history contains all that happened in it.
   41 
   42 theirs;;
   43 	This is the opposite of 'ours'; note that, unlike 'ours', there is
   44 	no 'theirs' merge strategy to confuse this merge option with.
   45 
   46 patience;;
   47 	With this option, 'merge-recursive' spends a little extra time
   48 	to avoid mismerges that sometimes occur due to unimportant
   49 	matching lines (e.g., braces from distinct functions).  Use
   50 	this when the branches to be merged have diverged wildly.
   51 	See also linkgit:git-diff[1] `--patience`.
   52 
   53 diff-algorithm=[patience|minimal|histogram|myers];;
   54 	Tells 'merge-recursive' to use a different diff algorithm, which
   55 	can help avoid mismerges that occur due to unimportant matching
   56 	lines (such as braces from distinct functions).  See also
   57 	linkgit:git-diff[1] `--diff-algorithm`.
   58 
   59 ignore-space-change;;
   60 ignore-all-space;;
   61 ignore-space-at-eol;;
   62 ignore-cr-at-eol;;
   63 	Treats lines with the indicated type of whitespace change as
   64 	unchanged for the sake of a three-way merge.  Whitespace
   65 	changes mixed with other changes to a line are not ignored.
   66 	See also linkgit:git-diff[1] `-b`, `-w`,
   67 	`--ignore-space-at-eol`, and `--ignore-cr-at-eol`.
   68 +
   69 * If 'their' version only introduces whitespace changes to a line,
   70   'our' version is used;
   71 * If 'our' version introduces whitespace changes but 'their'
   72   version includes a substantial change, 'their' version is used;
   73 * Otherwise, the merge proceeds in the usual way.
   74 
   75 renormalize;;
   76 	This runs a virtual check-out and check-in of all three stages
   77 	of a file when resolving a three-way merge.  This option is
   78 	meant to be used when merging branches with different clean
   79 	filters or end-of-line normalization rules.  See "Merging
   80 	branches with differing checkin/checkout attributes" in
   81 	linkgit:gitattributes[5] for details.
   82 
   83 no-renormalize;;
   84 	Disables the `renormalize` option.  This overrides the
   85 	`merge.renormalize` configuration variable.
   86 
   87 no-renames;;
   88 	Turn off rename detection. This overrides the `merge.renames`
   89 	configuration variable.
   90 	See also linkgit:git-diff[1] `--no-renames`.
   91 
   92 find-renames[=<n>];;
   93 	Turn on rename detection, optionally setting the similarity
   94 	threshold.  This is the default. This overrides the
   95 	'merge.renames' configuration variable.
   96 	See also linkgit:git-diff[1] `--find-renames`.
   97 
   98 rename-threshold=<n>;;
   99 	Deprecated synonym for `find-renames=<n>`.
  100 
  101 subtree[=<path>];;
  102 	This option is a more advanced form of 'subtree' strategy, where
  103 	the strategy makes a guess on how two trees must be shifted to
  104 	match with each other when merging.  Instead, the specified path
  105 	is prefixed (or stripped from the beginning) to make the shape of
  106 	two trees to match.
  107 
  108 octopus::
  109 	This resolves cases with more than two heads, but refuses to do
  110 	a complex merge that needs manual resolution.  It is
  111 	primarily meant to be used for bundling topic branch
  112 	heads together.  This is the default merge strategy when
  113 	pulling or merging more than one branch.
  114 
  115 ours::
  116 	This resolves any number of heads, but the resulting tree of the
  117 	merge is always that of the current branch head, effectively
  118 	ignoring all changes from all other branches.  It is meant to
  119 	be used to supersede old development history of side
  120 	branches.  Note that this is different from the -Xours option to
  121 	the 'recursive' merge strategy.
  122 
  123 subtree::
  124 	This is a modified recursive strategy. When merging trees A and
  125 	B, if B corresponds to a subtree of A, B is first adjusted to
  126 	match the tree structure of A, instead of reading the trees at
  127 	the same level. This adjustment is also done to the common
  128 	ancestor tree.
  129 
  130 With the strategies that use 3-way merge (including the default, 'recursive'),
  131 if a change is made on both branches, but later reverted on one of the
  132 branches, that change will be present in the merged result; some people find
  133 this behavior confusing.  It occurs because only the heads and the merge base
  134 are considered when performing a merge, not the individual commits.  The merge
  135 algorithm therefore considers the reverted change as no change at all, and
  136 substitutes the changed version instead.