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How to resolve Git rebase conflicts on renamed files

If there’s been a large-scale renaming of files in master and you attempt to rebase your pull-request branch, the resulting conflicts can be tricky to resolve. You’ll see lots of conflicts of form:

CONFLICT (modify/delete): $FILEPATH deleted in HEAD and modified in $SHA... $COMMIT_MSG

One resolution is to manually apply the changes in $SHA to the new filepaths but this is manual and error-prone.

Better is to use git diff to generate patch files and apply these with patch.

Run this for each filepath modified in your PR but deleted in master:

$ git show REBASE_HEAD $OLD_FILEPATH | patch $NEW_FILEPATH

Note, REBASE_HEAD is a useful pseudo-ref for the conflicting commit from the ongoing rebase.

If you’re interested, I’ve written previously about resolving Git conflicts during a Git rebase.