GitLab Documentation

Fast-forward merge requests

Retain a linear Git history and a way to accept merge requests without creating merge commits.

Overview

When the fast-forward merge (--ff-only) setting is enabled, no merge commits will be created and all merges are fast-forwarded, which means that merging is only allowed if the branch could be fast-forwarded.

When a fast-forward merge is not possible, the user is given the option to rebase.

Use cases

Sometimes, a workflow policy might mandate a clean commit history without merge commits. In such cases, the fast-forward merge is the perfect candidate.

Enabling fast-forward merges

  1. Navigate to your project's Settings and search for the 'Merge method'
  2. Select the Fast-forward merge option
  3. Hit Save changes for the changes to take effect

Now, when you visit the merge request page, you will be able to accept it only if a fast-forward merge is possible.

Fast forward merge request

If the target branch is ahead of the source branch, you need to rebase the source branch locally before you will be able to do a fast-forward merge.

Fast forward merge rebase locally