I have a remote Git repository, and I need to roll back the last
n commits into cold oblivion.
You can use
git revert <commit>… for all the n commits, and then push as usual, keeping history unchanged.
Or you can “roll back” with
git reset --hard HEAD~n. If you are pushing in a public or shared repository, you may diverge and break others work based on your original branch. Git will prevent you doing so, but you can use
git push -f to force the update.
elmarco is correct… his suggestion is the best for shared/public repositories (or, at least public branches). If it wasn’t shared (or you’re willing to disrupt others) you can also push a particular ref:
git push origin old_master:master
Or, if there’s a particular commit SHA1 (say 1e4f99e in abbreviated form) you’d like to move back to:
git push origin 1e4f99e:master
Fortunately I was in a position to use Pat Notz’s solution which completely removed the unwanted commit. However, initially I got the error
error: failed to push some refs to 'ssh://email@example.com' To prevent you from losing history, non-fast-forward updates were rejected*
But adding the force (
-f) option overwrite this error
git push -f origin 52e36b294e:master
If you have direct access to the remote repo, you could always use:
git reset --soft <sha1>
This works since there is no attempt to modify the non-existent working directory. For more details please see the original answer: