[cvsnt] How to merge without conflicts?

Rick Genter rgenter at silverlink.com
Tue Feb 5 00:24:54 GMT 2008

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On 2/4/08 4:03 PM, "Arthur Barrett" <arthur.barrett at march-hare.com> wrote:

> Eric,
>> Is there any way to do a "merge", but to indicate to CVS that
>> what I really 
>> want is a fresh copy of a particular version of a file (in
>> this case, the 
>> latest HEAD version) in my branch and to not actually try to
>> merge the 
>> differences themselves?
> No there is not.
> The only instances where the 'whole file' should be in conflict is if it
> is a very very small file (diff can't really do much with a 3 line file)
> or if it is a unicode file (there is a bug - we have a patch for
> commercial customers but it is waiting resources to merge it in to
> 2.5.04).
> When I need to do a merge/replace what I do is a 'normal' merge then
> take the list of files that were updated and 'copy' them from the
> originating branch/head sandbox over the top of the 'merged' sandbox.
> It's a bit manual - but it is a fairly dangerous thing to do, so I'd
> personally not really be happy with it being automagic.
> Alternatively you can use Winmerge tree merge and copy from one
> direction to the other.  It is my intention to create a patch for
> Winmerge to create mergepoints properly when this is done - but I've no
> idea how far down my list that task is...

If you know that the version on the branch is what you want, you can do the

1) Create a sandbox for the trunk : cvs co -P module
-P says to prune empty directories

2) To update the trunk so that its contents match that of branch "b": cvs up
-P -d -jb -jHEAD

This tells cvs to update the current sandbox merging in all changes from "b"
to the trunk. Since you are already on the trunk, this effectively replaces
your files with a copy of what's on branch "b", but your sandbox is still
for the trunk. The -d flag will cause any directories that were created on
"b" since it was branched to be created in the sandbox. The -P will remove
any empty directories once the merge is finished. The result should be such
that the files/directories in your sandbox is a copy of branch "b", but is
still a trunk sandbox.

3) cvs commit -m "Replace trunk with what's on branch b"
This commits the changes to the repository.

Of course, you can do this for individual files as well:

cvs up -jb -jHEAD module/path/to/file

will only update the one file.

I recommend tagging both branch b and the trunk before you do this so you
can get back to a known state if something goes wrong (like, you meant to do
one file but do the whole module instead).
Rick Genter
Principal Software Engineer
Silverlink Communications
rgenter at silverlink.com

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