git-replace - Linux


git-replace is a powerful Git command used to replace or modify specific portions of a file’s history. It allows developers to selectively rewrite commits or revert changes without affecting the entire file history.


git replace [options] <commit> [<paths>...]


  • <commit> is the SHA-1 of the commit where the changes will be made.
  • <paths> specify the files or directories where the changes will be applied.


  • -f, --force: Overwrite existing files without confirmation.
  • -n, --dry-run: Show what changes would be made without performing them.
  • -i, --interactive: Launch an interactive editor to manually select the changes to be made.
  • --no-commit: Do not commit the changes to the index.


Simple Replacement:

git replace HEAD -- file.txt

Replaces the contents of file.txt in the HEAD commit with the current version.

Directory Replacement:

git replace HEAD -- path/to/directory

Replaces all files within the specified directory in the HEAD commit.

Interactive Replacement:

git replace -i HEAD -- path/to/file.txt

Opens an editor where you can manually choose which changes to make to file.txt.

Common Issues:

Permission Denied: Ensure you have write permissions to the files or directories you are trying to replace.


git-diff can be used to view the changes made by git-replace:

git diff HEAD HEAD^

Related Commands:

  • git revert: Reverts a specific commit without modifying the file history.
  • git commit –amend: Amends the most recent commit with new changes.