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    Cleanup and Delete Branches After a Pull Request

    Chris AchardChris Achard
    gitgit
    githubGitHub

    We've made a pull request and now we can clean up the branches by deleting the feature branch.

    Branches are just pointers to commits - so we can safely delete branches without losing the underlying commits (once the commits are merged back into master).

    So we'll use the github interface to delete the branch remotely, and to delete it locally we'll use git remote prune origin --dry-run and then git remote prune origin

    That will tell us that the remote is gone, and we can finally clean up the feature branch with: git branch -d feature-branch

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    Transcript

    Transcript

    Instructor: 0:00 We have just successfully merged this pull request and now we can click delete branch to clean it up. Let's take a look at why we can do that. Back in our code, we can do git branch -vv to see that master and that jsChanges both point to origin.

    0:17 If we do a git log oneline and we can add graph here to see our merge graph, we can see that these branches are really just pointers to these hashes. Deleting a branch is just deleting the pointer and not deleting the actual commit.

    0:33 Importantly, the jsChanges branch is pointing to a commit, which is in the master tree now. Deleting this branch won't lose the commit because the commit's in this tree. However, if we do git branch here, we see that jsChanges still exists locally. If we do git branch -vv, it even thinks that it exists in the origin still, but we've deleted that on GitHub.

    0:55 We can tell it that it's gone by doing git remote prune origin. If we want, we can do a dry run first, and it will go to GitHub and say that it would prune the jsChanges branch, because that no longer exists on our remote. Let's do that. We do git remote prune origin, and it has pruned the jsChanges branch.

    1:18 If we do branch -vv, we still have the jsChanges branch. It points to origin jsChanges, but it says it's gone. This is how we know that we can now successfully delete the jsChanges branch. We can do git branch -d, or delete, jsChanges. Now if we do git branch -vv, that branch is now gone. We just have the exploring jsFeature branch and the master branch left.

    1:48 Now, notice it gives the hash here, so we can get that branch back if we wanted to. We can even go to git reflog and see all of the changes that we just made. Reflog is a way to get back to a commit even if you've deleted the branch that it was on. We could check out any of these hashes that we want and get back to code even if we've deleted the branch that it was on.