hg bisect

subdivision search of changesets



hg bisect [-gbsr] [-U] [-c CMD] [REV]


This command helps to find changesets which introduce problems. To use, mark the earliest changeset you know exhibits the problem as bad, then mark the latest changeset which is free from the problem as good. Bisect will update your working directory to a revision for testing (unless the -U/--noupdate option is specified). Once you have performed tests, mark the working directory as good or bad, and bisect will either update to another candidate changeset or announce that it has found the bad revision.

As a shortcut, you can also use the revision argument to mark a revision as good or bad without checking it out first.

If you supply a command, it will be used for automatic bisection. The environment variable HG_NODE will contain the ID of the changeset being tested. The exit status of the command will be used to mark revisions as good or bad: status 0 means good, 125 means to skip the revision, 127 (command not found) will abort the bisection, and any other non-zero exit status means the revision is bad.

Some examples:

  • start a bisection with known bad revision 34, and good revision 12:

    hg bisect --bad 34
    hg bisect --good 12
  • advance the current bisection by marking current revision as good or bad:

    hg bisect --good
    hg bisect --bad
  • mark the current revision, or a known revision, to be skipped (e.g. if that revision is not usable because of another issue):

    hg bisect --skip
    hg bisect --skip 23
  • skip all revisions that do not touch directories foo or bar:

    hg bisect --skip "!( file('path:foo') & file('path:bar') )"
  • forget the current bisection:

    hg bisect --reset
  • use 'make && make tests' to automatically find the first broken revision:

    hg bisect --reset
    hg bisect --bad 34
    hg bisect --good 12
    hg bisect --command "make && make tests"
  • see all changesets whose states are already known in the current bisection:

    hg log -r "bisect(pruned)"
  • see the changeset currently being bisected (especially useful if running with -U/--noupdate):

    hg log -r "bisect(current)"
  • see all changesets that took part in the current bisection:

    hg log -r "bisect(range)"
  • you can even get a nice graph:

    hg log --graph -r "bisect(range)"

See hg help revisions.bisect for more about the bisect() predicate.

Returns 0 on success.


-r, --reset reset bisect state
-g, --good mark changeset good
-b, --bad mark changeset bad
-s, --skip skip testing changeset
-e, --extend extend the bisect range
-c, --command <CMD>
 use command to check changeset state
-U, --noupdate do not update to target