Updating a rebased commit’s timestamp

When I work on a feature branch with Git, I like to do smaller commits in the branch. This allows me to rollback certain changes and to easily switch to another computer.

One thing that I don’t like about this approach is that when I do my final

git rebase -i

to squash all my commits into one, the timestamp of the final commit is the same as the first commit in the chain.

When I’ve been working for 3 days on something, I’d rather the timestamp be the same as if I had done one big commit in my branch, at the end, rather than one commit at the start and then nothing.

To fix this, I’ve found that I simply need to do:

git commit --amend --reset-author

and leave the information as is. This will update the last rebased commit to the current date and time.

VS Code Tip: commit part of a file

A cool feature of Git is that you can stage/commit some of the modifcations that were made to a file while leaving the other parts unstaged.

This is nice when you’ve made several changes and need to commit one of them to fix something asap.

You can use this Git feature right from VS Code. Select the changes you want commited by clicking the change indicators in the gutter.


Stage the change using the + icon.


You can then commit it normally. You will see your other unstaged changes for this file under the CHANGES header.


Shell Script to update master

I was tired of always typing in the same commands to update my GitHub forks so I added this small shell script in /usr/local/bin (so it’s accessible from everywhere):

git fetch upstream
git merge upstream/master
git push origin master

So I can update my master branch quickly. I always work in feature branches so the merge from upstream is always a fast forward.

I named it update-master. Don’t forget to chmod 755.

Updating pull request branch with changes from upstream in GitHub

I don’t know if it’s the most efficient way but here’s one way of dealing with updating a pull request from a personal branch after upstream/master has been updated.

I update my origin/master:

git checkout master

git fetch upstream

git merge upstream/master

I switch to my local branch:

git checkout local-branch-name

“Pop” the PR commit back into unstaged:

git reset HEAD^

This will remove the last commit (I usually rebase all my PR commits into one before submitting a PR but you can also specify HEAD~x where x is the number of commits you want to pop back out) and put it back into unstaged.

And then try to merge master into the branch:

git merge master local-branch-name

If it merges cleanly I can proceed with a commit. If it can’t merge cleanly, I stash the unstaged changes, I merge and then pop the stash likewise:

git stash

git merge master local-branch-name

git stash pop

And then take care of the merge conflicts manually. You will get info on which files are in conflict by doing:

git status

After all of this I can commit and push the branch to GitHub which will update the pull request.