Collection of Handy Git Commands

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4 mins read

Intial setup after installing Git on the machine :

setup the git user details for the currently logged in user on your machine using --global flag.

# set a name of git user
git config --global “<Firstname Lastname>
# set an email address that will be associated with each history marker
git config --global “<Your Email ID>
# set automatic command line coloring for Git for easy reviewing
git config --global color.ui auto

Initialize git repository :

git init

Cloning remote git repository to local :

git clone <repo_url>

Preventing unintentional staging or commiting of files :

create .gitignore file in the repo directory to exclude unnecessary or secret files from commiting

Example -


# debug

# .env

Working with snapshots and the Git staging area:

# show modified files in working directory, staged for your next commit
git status

# add a file as it looks now to your next commit (stage)
git add <file>  # "git add ." will add everything to staging area

# commit your staged content as a new commit snapshot
git commit -m "<descriptive message>"

# unstage a file while retaining the changes in working directory
git reset <file>

# diff of what is changed but not staged
git diff    # adding "--staged" flag will only show what is staged & not committed

Note: Not explaining git reset --hard commands, cause it's a danger zone.
Work with those at your own risk & wisdom!!

Branching in Git :

# list your branches. a "*" will appear next to the currently active branch
git branch

# create a new branch at the current commit
git branch <branch_name>

# switch to another branch and check it out into your working directory
git checkout <branch_name>

# shorthand command to create a new branch as well as checkout to it
git checkout -b <branch_name>

# merge the specified branch’s history into the current one
git merge <branch_name>

# show all commits in the current branch’s history
git log

Temporarily store modified, tracked files in order to change branches :

# Save modified and staged changes
git stash

# list stack-order of stashed file changes
git stash list

# write to working from top of stash stack and pop it out of the stash
git stash pop

# discard the changes from top of stash stack
git stash drop

# delete/empty the complete stash stack
git stash clear

Working with Remore and local repositories :

# add a git URL of remote repo as an alias
git remote add <alias> <remote_url>     # e.g. git remote add origin <github_url>

# fetch down all the branches from that Git remote
git fetch <alias>

# merge a remote branch into your current branch to bring it up to date
git merge <alias>/<branch>

# Transmit local branch commits to the remote repository branch
git push <alias> <branch>

# fetch and merge any commits from the tracking remote branch
git pull

Renaming a file/directory within git repository :

Simply renaming by IDE or file manager will not work because git will not recognize the change.

You can do it with the following command:

git mv

Then follow with the usual git workflow:

git add .
git commit -m "Rename to"

Git Squash :

When we say squash in Git, it means to combine multiple continuous commits into one.

Here's the syntax to squash the last X commits using interactive rebase:

git rebase -i HEAD~X

# Note: this command opens vi/vim editor, you can change 'pick' to 'squash' for whichever commits you want to squash.

# Now to push the commit changes to the remote repo
git push -f origin <branch_name>

Git Cherry-Pick :

This lets you apply a commit from one branch to any other branch. Useful for undoing the accidently commited changes.

git cherry-pick <commit-id>

That's it! Now you can move ahead with your version control journey.

Happy commiting!