Backout

hg backout [OPTION]... [-r] REV

Revert/undo the effect of an earlier changeset.

Backout works by applying a changeset that's the opposite of the changeset to be backed out. That new changeset is committed to the repository, and eventually merged.

Help text: http://www.selenic.com/mercurial/hg.1.html#backout

0.1. Here's some more detail from Matt about the inner workings (and slightly adapted by experience)

(see also this email thread)

Let <startrev> be the revision we're at when we start the backout.
Backout is basically four steps rolled into one:

  1. hg update -C -r <rev-to-backout>

  2. hg revert --all -r <parent of rev-to-backout>

  3. hg commit

  4. hg update -C -r <startrev>

There's a fifth step that is done automatically if you specify --merge :

  1. hg merge  (merges <startrev> with the newly committed rev from 3.)

And there's a sixth, manual step:

  1. hg commit  (the result of merging)

When step 3 (commit) aborts, you're left with the first two steps completed and you can either:

Step 4 assures the parents of the committed merge changeset are in the right order. That is : parent1 = <startrev>, and parent2 = <the new backout rev>.

0.2. An example:

$ hg init borepo
$ cd borepo
$ echo line1 > file.txt
$ echi line2 >> file.txt
$ hg ci -Am "add file"

Edit file.txt, so it contains:

line1
line1a
line2

Commit and add a few more changesets:

$ hg ci -m "add line1a"
$ echo line3 >> file.txt
$ hg ci -m "add line3"
$ echo line4 >> file.txt
$ hg ci -m "add line4"

Which produces the following (somewhat shortened) graph:

@  changeset:   3:36b1c0649d3e
|  tag:         tip
|  summary:     add line4
|
o  changeset:   2:2612107e45fe
|  summary:     add line3
|
o  changeset:   1:1f33c361852e
|  summary:     add line1a
|
o  changeset:   0:e3e45b087239
   summary:     add file

Now we backout changeset 1:1f33c361852e.

$ hg backout -r 1

The graph is now:

o  changeset:   4:c3daad6d657d
|  tag:         tip
|  parent:      1:1f33c361852e
|  summary:     Backed out changeset 1f33c361852e
|
| @  changeset:   3:36b1c0649d3e
| |  summary:     add line4
| |
| o  changeset:   2:2612107e45fe
|/   summary:     add line3
|
o  changeset:   1:1f33c361852e
|  summary:     add line1a
|
o  changeset:   0:e3e45b087239
   summary:     add file

We merge and commit, yielding the final graph:

@    changeset:   5:236d8d74edf8
|\   tag:         tip
| |  parent:      3:36b1c0649d3e
| |  parent:      4:c3daad6d657d
| |  summary:     merge backout
| |
| o  changeset:   4:c3daad6d657d
| |  parent:      1:1f33c361852e
| |  summary:     Backed out changeset 1f33c361852e
| |
o |  changeset:   3:36b1c0649d3e
| |  summary:     add line4
| |
o |  changeset:   2:2612107e45fe
|/   summary:     add line3
|
o  changeset:   1:1f33c361852e
|  summary:     add line1a
|
o  changeset:   0:e3e45b087239
   summary:     add file

And file.txt looks like this, nicely eliminating the 'line1a' from rev 1.

line1
line2
line3
line4



When we try this using the separate steps, and we omit step 4, we get a slightly different graph. Note the reversed order of the parents in changeset 5:0eeac5ff9c76.

@    changeset:   5:0eeac5ff9c76
|\   tag:         tip
| |  parent:      4:cbca219e80e1      | <---
| |  parent:      3:f82e9468d652      |
| |  summary:     merge backout
| |
| o  changeset:   4:cbca219e80e1
| |  parent:      1:0cf85b44002c
| |  summary:     Backed out changeset 0cf85b44002c
| |
o |  changeset:   3:f82e9468d652
| |  summary:     add line4
| |
o |  changeset:   2:24ceac6b9018
|/   summary:     add line3
|
o  changeset:   1:0cf85b44002c
|  summary:     add line1a
|
o  changeset:   0:73af1be51d81
   summary:     add file



See also: Update, Revert, Commit, Merge


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