Git’s built in Merge conflict resolution is awful. Although all the information is there it is difficult to use for all but the simplest of conflicts. Luckily, it is relatively easy to wire up a third party diff and merge tools to help.
Setting up as a diff tool.
You can download the Perforce Visual Merge Tool here. The only part of the installer that is needed is the “Visual Merge Tool (P4Merge)”
To configure Git to use the p4merge as the diff tool, the global config needs to be edited. The global config, on Windows 7 and 8 is found in
The following needs to be added:
[diff] tool = P4Merge [difftool "P4Merge"] cmd = p4merge "$LOCAL" "$REMOTE"
[diff] section sets up the default tool to use, you can configure as many as you like. The
[difftool "toolname"] section sets up the options for a specific tool.
Now, in Git Bash, you can type
git difftool and it will show the diffs in the perforce merge tool between the current file and the previous commit.
If you have multiple files that have changes it will prompt one-by-one to view them in the diff tool.
If you’ve already staged the files (prior to a commit) then you’ll need to type
git difftool --cached in order for them to show up.
If you wish to see just a specific file you can use
git difftool name-of-file
Again, add the
--cached option (just before the filename) if you’ve already staged the file prior to a commit.
Setting up as a Merge Tool
Open up the
.gitconfig file, as above, and make some changes to it. Add the following sections to it which are similar to the diff tool.
[merge] tool = P4Merge [mergetool "P4Merge"] cmd = p4merge "$BASE" "$LOCAL" "$REMOTE" "$MERGED" keepTemporaries = false trustExitCode = false keepBackup = false
If you get a merge conflict when merging branches or pulling down from the remote repository you can now use
git mergetool to merge the changes.