Merge Tool Configuration
How to customize which merge tools Mercurial chooses.
Mercurial delegates most non-trivial file-level merging operations to an external program, called a merge tool. In most installations, Mercurial will automatically search your system for the 'best' available tool, based on a set of known tools in its global configuration.
This tool choice can be extensively customized based on various properties like filename, binary data, running in a GUI, etc.
2. Defining a merge tool
To define a merge tool, add something like the following in .hgrc:
[merge-tools] mymergetool.something = something
which will define mymergetool (the left hand side until the first dot). The option values defines the behaviour of the tool.
For each file changed in both parents Mercurial chooses a merge tool. The merge tool is chosen from the list of file pattern matches in the [merge-patterns] section followed by all tools sorted by decreasing priority order. The list is filtered for whether the executable (defaulting to mymergetool) can be found, whether it supports symlinks or binary files, and whether gui is available. To bypass the priority scheme and set the default tool directly, specify the merge tool in [ui] sections merge option. For backwards compatibility the tool hgmerge is implicitly added with lowest priority.
If the chosen merge tools premerge is True then an internal merge is attempted, and if it seems successful then the result it will silently be used without running the actual merge tool.
The merge tool is run with an argument list of args with the following variables expanded:
$output expands to the existing file which already contains the version from the first parent - and this is also where the result of the merge ends up / must end up
$local expands to file.orig which is created as a copy of file in the working directory version - it thus contains the unmerged version from the first parent
$base expands to /tmp/file~base.* which is created with the version from the common ancestor revision (see hg debugancestor)
$other expands to /tmp/file~other.* which is created with the version from the new second parent revision which the first parent is merged with
[merge-tools] mymergetool.priority = 100 mymergetool.premerge = False mymergetool.args = $local $other $base -o $output myimgmerge = [merge-patterns] **.jpg = myimgmerge **.exe = internal:fail
Further tool options include:
<tool>.args - the arguments to pass (defaults to $local $base $other) <tool>.executable - executable name or path (defaults to <tool>) <tool>.binary - supports binary files (False) <tool>.symlinks - supports symlinks (False) <tool>.gui - requires a GUI (False) <tool>.priority - priority of this tool (0)
3. Internal merge with conflict markers
Mercurial has a selection of "internal" tools for various purposes (ee merge-tools for full details). The most interesting of these is internal:merge, which provides a traditional merge with conflict markers. To set this as your default tool, simply add the following to you config:
[ui] merge = internal:merge
This is not generally recommended as Mercurial gets no direct feedback when merges are successfully completed, and it's not terribly user-friendly compared to modern tools.
When using internal:merge, you'll want to carefully read the help for the resolve command to avoid losing your merge work.
3.1. See also
3.2.1. Choosing internal merge with conflict markers
To have the internal merge with the conflict markers for example in TortoiseHg set
[ui] merge = internal:merge
3.2.2. Overriding merge.ui configuration from the command line
See How to keep "My" or "Their" files when doing merge for an example on how you can override merge configuration on the command line.