The “git reauthor” command is a feature provided by the “git-extras” package, developed by TJ Holowaychuk. This command allows you to change details about an author’s identity in Git history. It is particularly useful when you need to update or correct information such as the author’s name or email address associated with a commit.
Here’s a more detailed explanation of how “git reauthor” works:
1. Install “git-extras”: Before using the “git reauthor” command, you need to install the “git-extras” package. You can follow the installation instructions provided in the “git-extras” repository to set it up.
2. Correcting Author Details: Once the package is installed, you can use the “git reauthor” command to modify author information. The command syntax is as follows:
# git reauthor [old-name] [new-name] [new-email]
Replace [old-name] with the existing author name,
For example, if you want to change the author name from “Old Name” to “New Name” and the email address from “firstname.lastname@example.org” to “email@example.com,” you would run:
# git reauthor "Old Name" "New Name" "firstname.lastname@example.org"
3. Rewriting Git History: The “git reauthor” command rewrites the Git history by updating the author information for all the affected commits. It automatically searches for commits associated with the old author name and email address and replaces them with the new author details.
4. Pushing Changes: Since the “git reauthor” command modifies the Git history, you need to use the “–force” option when pushing the updated commits to a remote repository. This option ensures that the remote repository accepts the rewritten history. For example:
# git push --force
It’s important to exercise caution when using the “git reauthor” command because rewriting Git history can have significant implications, especially when collaborating with others. Rewriting history can create conflicts and cause problems for anyone who has already cloned or based their work on the existing commits.
Therefore, it is generally recommended to use the “git reauthor” command with caution and communicate the changes to other collaborators so that they can update their repositories accordingly.
git reauthor Command Examples
1. Change an author’s email and name across the whole Git repository:
# git reauthor --old-email email@example.com --correct-email firstname.lastname@example.org --correct-name "name"
2. Change the email and name to the ones defined in the Git config:
# git reauthor --old-email email@example.com --use-config
3. Change the email and name of all commits, regardless of their original author:
# git reauthor --all --correct-email firstname.lastname@example.org --correct-name name
In summary, the “git reauthor” command provided by the “git-extras” package allows you to modify author details in Git history. It helps correct or update information such as the author’s name or email address associated with commits. However, it’s important to be mindful of the implications of rewriting Git history and to communicate any changes to other collaborators.