SVN: Merging a Branch into Trunk

This is more for my benefit than anything else, but someone might find this useful.

Recently at work, I have taken on more responsibilities. Part of that includes branch control over a few web sites I work on. It took me a while to figure out how to manage everything properly and most of the stuff I found on the web wasn’t much help so I will explain it here.

The source control program I am using is SVN and the source code is stored on a server with SSH access.

Merge a Branch into Trunk

  1. Check out a copy of trunk:
    svn co svn+ssh://server/path/to/trunk
  2. Check out a copy of the branch you are going to merge:
    svn co svn+ssh://server/path/to/branch/myBranch
  3. Change your current working directory to “myBranch”
  4. Find the revision “myBranch” began at:
    svn log --stop-on-copy
    This should display back to you the changes that have been made back to the point the branch was cut. Remember that number (should be rXXXX, where XXXX is the revision number).
  5. Change your current working directory to trunk # Perform an SVN update:
    svn up
    This will update your copy of trunk to the most recent version, and tell you the revision you are at. Make note of that number as well (should say “At revision YYYY” where YYYY is the second number you need to remember).
  6. Now we can perform an SVN merge:
    svn merge -rXXXX:YYYY svn+ssh://server/path/to/branch/myBranch
    This will put all updates into your current working directory for trunk.
  7. Resolve any conflicts that arose during the merge
  8. Check in the results:
    svn ci -m "MERGE myProject myBranch [XXXX]:[YYYY] into trunk"

That is it. You have now merged “myBranch” with trunk.

Updated: June 18th, 2008

Steps 2-4 can be replaced by a remote log lookup:

svn log --stop-on-copy svn+ssh://server/path/to/branch

That is it. You have now merged “myBranch” with trunk.

My thanks to Samuel Wright for bringing that to my attention :-)

Bonus: Cutting a Branch

Cutting a branch is a lot easier than merging a branch. And as an added bonus, I will tell you how.

  1. Perform an SVN copy:
    svn copy svn+ssh://server/path/to/trunk svn+ssh://server/path/to/branch/newBranch -m "Cut branch: newBranch"

That’s all there is to it.