5.9. Synchronize

Synchronize dialog

Synchronize dialog

The synchronize tool is used to transmit changesets between repositories or to email recipients.

show changesets that would be pulled from target repository, the changes in the target repository that are not in local repository
pull incoming changesets from target repository
show changesets that would be pushed to target repository, the changes in the local repository that are not in target repository
push outgoing changesets to target repository, make the local tip the new tip in the target repository
send outgoing changesets (to target repository) as email
stop current operation

The Post Pull dialog contains radio buttons for selecting the operation which is performed after a pull. If you open the configuration tool, you can select a default behavior for your user account and override that selection on a per-repository basis.

No operations are performed after a pull. You will be allowed to view the pulled changesets in the log viewer, and you will have the option to update to the new tip if applicable.
Automatically update to the current branch tip if, and only if, new revisions were pulled into the local repository. This could trigger a merge if the pulled changes conflict with local uncommitted changes.
Equivalent to hg fetch. See the fetch extension documentation for its behavior. This feature is only available if the fetch extension has been enabled by the user.
Equivalent to pull –rebase. See the rebase extension documentation for its behavior. This feature is only available if the rebase extension has been enabled by the user.
Automatically resolve merge conflicts where possible
If update or rebase are selected, a pull operation may result in a merge. If checked, Mercurial will try to resolve trivial merge conflicts without user interaction. If not checked, all merges will be interactive.

The Options dialog provides checkboxes for selecting infrequently used command options.

Allow push of a new branch
allow a new named branch to be pushed
Force pull or push
override warnings about multiple heads or unrelated repositories
Recurse into subdirectories
incoming or outgoing commands can recurse into subdirectories and provide a full report
Temporarily disable configured proxy
only sensitive when a web proxy is configured for the given repository. While checked it will disable that proxy.
Remote Command
provides a –remotecmd argument

When the sync tool is opened within the Workbench, the toolbar has a Target checkbox. While checked, the target dropdown box is sensitive and the selected target revision, bookmark, or branch will be added to every synchronization command. When the sync tool is opened outside of the Workbench, the target checkbox and dropdown box is hidden. Clicking on a revision in the graph will update the values in the dropdown box. Holding Alt while clicking on a revision will select the revision without switching away from the sync tool tab.

Below the toolbar is the currently selected URL. All synchronization commands will use this URL. The general effect of the toolbar is that it can be read as a Mercurial command line. The tool buttons select the command, the Post Pull and Options dialog specify options, the target dropdown box can specify revisions, and finally the URL completes the command.

5.9.1. Adding an URL

By far the easiest way to add a new URL to your respository is to drag and drop the URL from another application, then press the save button and provide the URL an alias.

The two list panes display URLs that are stored in the current repository’s configuration file (Stored Paths) and URLs that are stored in other related repositories that are listed in the Workbench repository registry (Related Paths). When the sync tool is opened outside of the Workbench, the Related Paths list will be empty.


Being related means two repositories share at least a common root changeset. Cloned are obviously related. Push and pull operations require that repositories to be related, or that you use –force to override the relationship check.

The URL lists have a context menu that allows you to browse, open a terminal, or delete an URL from your local configuration file. The platform standard delete key sequence will also remove an URL.

5.9.2. Security

Mercurial (and TortoiseHg) support two secure protocols for exchanging data with remove servers. HTTPS (SSL) and SSH. HTTPS

There are two asymmetrical parts to a secure HTTPS connection. The first part of the secure connection is authenticating the identification of the server. The second is authenticating yourself (the client) to the server, either via a username and passphrase or a certificate key. Host Authentication

Prior to version 1.7, Mercurial ignored this half of HTTPS connection security. In version 1.7 it began warning that the server’s certificate was not being verified.

Mercurial version 1.7.5 introduced the ability to validate an HTTPS server’s certificate against a stored fingerprint. TortoiseHg 2.0’s synchronize tool has an HTTPS security dialog that allows you to select between using a host fingerprint or using the CA certificates.

In theory, a host fingerprint is more secure than the CA certificates if you do not necessarily trust all of the signing authorities listed in the default store. However you must be sure that the fingerprint you store is the correct fingerprint for the server to which you believe you are communicating.

TortoiseHg 2.0 also allows you to select an insecure connection for a given host. This disables validation of the host’s certificate but still uses an encrypted data stream (which was essentially the behavior of Mercurial pre-1.7 except for the warning messages). User Authentication

There are several mechanisms available for authenticating yourself to an HTTPS server. The simplest is to allow Mercurial to prompt you for the username and passphrase. However this quickly grows old as the two prompts are always made separately and each push operation can require multiple connections to be established.

The next option is to encode the username in the URL so that Mercurial only prompts for a passphrase. This cuts the number of prompts in half, but is still annoying. If you do not wish to be prompted for the passphrase, it must be stored somewhere. Your choices, in increasing security, are:

  1. encode the clear-text passphrase in each HTTPS URL in your repository configuration files
  2. store the clear-text passphrase in your user configuration file
  3. use the mercurial_keyring extension to store the passphrase cryptographically

Until recently, TortoiseHg only supported the first option in the graphical interface even though the second and third options were supported internally. TortoiseHg 2.0, we only support the latter two options in the graphical interface, and we do not allow the user configure the first option anymore. By default we strip the username and password off of URLs when they are saved.

To migrate from the first option to the later options, select an HTTPS URL in the sync tool, open the security dialog and enter a username and passphrase for the host if none are configured, and save. Next save the URL itself and allow the save dialog to strip the user authentication data from the URL.


If the mercurial_keyring extension is enabled, the security dialog will not allow you to enter a passphrase since you do not want to store the passphrase in clear text in your configuration file if you are going to later store it cryptographically.

Options 2 and 3 use the [auth] section of your user configuration file to configure a single username and passphrase (or certificate key files) to authenticate to a given HTTPS hostname. The [auth] section supports many more configurations than this, see the man page for details.

Once the mercurial_keyring extension has been enabled (and all applications are restarted), you can remove the HTTPS passphrases from all of your configuration files. Mercurial will prompt for the passphrase once, then store it cryptographically using the best back-end it can find for your platform.

The mercurial_keyring extension requires the [auth] section to be configured for the host to which you are connecting, to provide the username. If your URL has an encoded username or passphrase, the [auth] section is ignored. SSH

SSH is a symmetrical peer-to-peer secure tunnel. SSH clients and servers have their own key management systems, so Mercurial does not get involved with password prompts when SSH is used. This is problematic on Windows and thus TortoiseHg bundles the TortoisePlink SSH client with its Windows installers. TortoisePlink is a port of the Plink SSH client that uses dialog prompts for host-key authorizations and passphrase prompts. TortoisePlink (developed by the TortoiseSVN project) can use the other SSH tools that are part of the Plink toolchain, including the Pageant key agent.

It is a known issue that TortoisePlink does not use compression in many scenarios, and thus is up to four times slower than openssh and other clients. TortoiseHg recommends the use of HTTPS for Windows clients.

See the Frequently Asked Questions for help if you have trouble connecting to ssh servers.

5.9.3. Email

Email dialog

Email dialog

The email dialog can be launched from two TortoiseHg tools.

  1. The Workbench, in which case the user intends to email a selection of revisions.
  2. The synchronize tool, in which case the user intends to email all outgoing changes to the current target repository.

The Send button is obvious, and the Configure dialog predictably opens the TortoiseHg Settings dialog to the email tab where you can configure your SMTP settings and set default To: and From: addresses.

In-Reply-To: is used to make your patches properly threaded in mailing lists.

Please consult the Mercurial documentation for the differences between plain patches, Hg patches, Git patches, and bundles.

5.9.4. From command line

The synchronize tool can be started from command line

thg sync

aliases: synchronize

Synchronize with other repositories

use "thg -v help sync" to show global options

The syntax is simple, no options or parameters are needed, except the global options.