Fast-forward merge requests

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

With fast-forward merge requests, you can 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 can be fast-forwarded.

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

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 a fast-forward merge is not possible but a conflict free rebase is possible, a rebase button will be offered.

Fast forward merge request

If the target branch is ahead of the source branch and a conflict free rebase is not possible, you need to rebase the source branch locally before you will be able to do a fast-forward merge.

Fast forward merge rebase locally