git: upstream / stash – deciphering a conflict message

Say you’ve done a git stash pop then, when you’re resolving a conflict in a git merge, you may get something that looks like this:

<<<<<<< Updated upstream

some code A


some code B

>>>>>>> Stashed changes

There is no inherent upstream / downstream in git as it’s distributed. However, in terms of flow of data:

downstream means when you copy from a repo. i.e. your repo is at the bottom of a flow coming from upstream repos.


upstream means changes you want to send back to the repo.

i.e. code A is from changes you made in a branch (it could be the current branch) and code B is from changes you made and stashed.

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