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Resynchronizing an Out-of-Sync Git Branch

Suppose you have committed to your master branch, and now need to update your QMK repository. You could git pull QMK's master branch into your own, but GitHub will tell you that your branch is a number of commits ahead of qmk:master, which can create issues if you want to make a pull request to QMK.


This document builds upon the concepts detailed in Your Fork's Master: Update Often, Commit Never. If you are not familiar with that document, please read it first, then return here.

Backing Up the Changes on Your Own Master Branch (Optional)

No one wants to lose work if it can be helped. If you want to save the changes you've already made to your master branch, the simplest way to do so is to simply create a duplicate of your "dirty" master branch:

git branch old_master master

Now you have a branch named old_master that is a duplicate of your master branch.

Resynchronizing Your Branch

Now it's time to resynchronize your master branch. For this step, you'll want to have QMK's repository configured as a remote in Git. To check your configured remotes, run git remote -v, which should return something similar to:

QMKuser ~/qmk_firmware (master)
$ git remote -v
origin<your_username>/qmk_firmware.git (fetch)
origin<your_username>/qmk_firmware.git (push)
upstream (fetch)
upstream (push)

If you only see one fork referenced:

QMKuser ~/qmk_firmware (master)
$ git remote -v
origin (fetch)
origin (push)

add a new remote with:

git remote add upstream

Then, redirect the origin remote to your own fork with:

git remote set-url origin<your_username>/qmk_firmware.git

Now that you have both remotes configured, you need to update the references for the upstream repository, which is QMK's, by running:

git fetch --recurse-submodules upstream

At this point, resynchronize your branch to QMK's by running:

git reset --recurse-submodules --hard upstream/master

These steps will update the repository on your computer, but your GitHub fork will still be out of sync. To resynchronize your fork on GitHub, you need to push to your fork, instructing Git to override any remote changes that are not reflected in your local repository. To do this, run:

git push --recurse-submodules=on-demand --force-with-lease


DO NOT run git push --recurse-submodules=on-demand --force-with-lease on a fork to which other users post commits. This will erase their commits.

Now your GitHub fork, your local files, and QMK's repository are all the same. From here you can make further needed changes (use a branch!) and post them as normal.