When working on a project you usually synchronize your code by pulling it several times a day. What you might not know is that by typing
you actually issuing git fetch + git merge commands, which will result with an extra commit and ugly merge bubbles in your commit log (check out gitk to see them).
It's much better to use
git pull --rebase
to keep the repository clean, your commits always on top of the tree until you push them to a remote server. The command will apply all your yet-to-be-pushed commits on top of the remote tree commits allowing your commits to be straight in a row and without branches (easier git bisects, yay!).
Few notes though. If you want to merge a feature branch it might be wiser to actually merge your commits thus having a single point of integration of two distinct branches.
Also the conflict resolving will be now per commit basis, not everything-at-once, so you will have to use
git rebase --continue
to get to the next batch of conflicts (if you have any).
NOTE: Because of many discussions about this note. I DO NOT encourage rebasing remote (public or shared) branches. Rebasing local history is OK (it's more than OK, it's sometimes necessary to maintain a clean history), but changing other people commits history is considered a bad practice.