Is it possible to exclude specific commits when doing a git merge?

Let's say that I want to merge from a release branch to the master branch and there are some commits in the release branch that I don't want to include in the master branch. Is there a way to do the merge so that one or more of those commits will not be merged?

My strategy so far is to do the following (in master):

git merge --no-commit release-branch
# Resolve conflicts and apply reverse patch of the commits that I don't want included
git commit # Edit commit message so that it lists the commits that have been reverse-patched

Is there a better way to do this?


Create a new branch, rebase the branch interactively and drop commits you don't want, and then merge that.

You can't take changes out of the middle of a branch without rehashing, but the right thing will happen when it sees the same changes in a later merge (e.g. from cherry-picking and what-not).

I've found a solution that works for me in the Pro Git book.

Let's say you want to exclude the file config.php.

On branch A:

  1. Create a file named .gitattributes in the same dir, with this line: config.php merge=ours. This tells git what strategy to use when merging the file. In this case it always keep your version, ie. the version on the branch you are merging into.

  2. Add the .gitattributes file and commit

On branch B: repeat steps 1-2

Try merging now. Your file should be left untouched.

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