3/15/2011 - 2:25 PM

A cheat sheet for GIT

A cheat sheet for GIT


git clone <repo>

clone the repository specified by ; this is similar to "checkout" in some other version control systems such as Subversion and CVS

Add colors to your ~/.gitconfig file:

  ui = auto
[color "branch"]
  current = yellow reverse
  local = yellow
  remote = green
[color "diff"]
  meta = yellow bold
  frag = magenta bold
  old = red bold
  new = green bold
[color "status"]
  added = green
  changed = yellow
  untracked = red

Highlight whitespace in diffs

  ui = true
[color "diff"]
  whitespace = red reverse

Add aliases to your ~/.gitconfig file:

  st = status
  ci = commit
  br = branch
  co = checkout
  df = diff
  lg = log -p
  lol = log --graph --pretty=format:'%C(yellow)%h%Creset %an: %s - %Creset %C(yellow)%d%Creset %Cblue(%cr)%Creset' --abbrev-commit --date=relative
  lola = log --graph --pretty=format:'%C(yellow)%h%Creset %an: %s - %Creset %C(yellow)%d%Creset %Cblue(%cr)%Creset' --abbrev-commit --date=relative --all
  ls = ls-files


git config -e [--global]  

edit the .git/config [or ~/.gitconfig] file in your $EDITOR

git config --global 'John Doe'  
git config --global  

sets your name and email for commit messages

git config branch.autosetupmerge true  

tells git-branch and git-checkout to setup new branches so that git-pull(1) will appropriately merge from that remote branch. Recommended. Without this, you will have to add --track to your branch command or manually merge remote tracking branches with "fetch" and then "merge".

git config core.autocrlf true  

This setting tells git to convert the newlines to the system’s standard when checking out files, and to LF newlines when committing in

You can add "--global" after "git config" to any of these commands to make it apply to all git repos (writes to ~/.gitconfig).


git reflog  

Use this to recover from major fuck ups! It's basically a log of the last few actions and you might have luck and find old commits that have been lost by doing a complex merge.

git diff  

show a diff of the changes made since your last commit to diff one file: "git diff -- " to show a diff between staging area and HEAD: git diff --cached

git status

show files added to the staging area, files with changes, and untracked files

git log

show recent commits, most recent on top. Useful options: --color with color --graph with an ASCII-art commit graph on the left --decorate with branch and tag names on appropriate commits --stat with stats (files changed, insertions, and deletions) -p with full diffs --author=foo only by a certain author --after="MMM DD YYYY" ex. ("Jun 20 2008") only commits after a certain date --before="MMM DD YYYY" only commits that occur before a certain date --merge only the commits involved in the current merge conflicts

git log <ref>..<ref>  

show commits between the specified range. Useful for seeing changes from remotes: git log HEAD..origin/master # after git remote update

git show <rev>  

show the changeset (diff) of a commit specified by , which can be any SHA1 commit ID, branch name, or tag (shows the last commit (HEAD) by default)

git show --name-only <rev>  

show only the names of the files that changed, no diff information.

git blame <file>

show who authored each line in

git blame <file> <rev>

show who authored each line in as of (allows blame to go back in time)

git gui blame  

really nice GUI interface to git blame

git whatchanged <file>  

show only the commits which affected listing the most recent first E.g. view all changes made to a file on a branch:
git whatchanged | grep commit | \
colrm 1 7 | xargs -I % git show % this could be combined with git remote show to find all changes on all branches to a particular file.

git diff <commit> head path/to/fubar  

show the diff between a file on the current branch and potentially another branch

git diff head -- <file>  

use this form when doing git diff on cherry-pick'ed (but not committed) changes somehow changes are not shown when using just git diff.

git ls-files  

list all files in the index and under version control.

git ls-remote <remote> [HEAD]

show the current version on the remote repo. This can be used to check whether a local is required by comparing the local head revision.

Adding / Deleting

git add <file1> <file2> ...  

add , , etc... to the project

git add <dir>  

add all files under directory to the project, including subdirectories

git add .  

add all files under the current directory to the project WARNING: including untracked files.

git rm <file1> <file2> ...  

remove , , etc... from the project

git rm $(git ls-files --deleted)  

remove all deleted files from the project

git rm --cached <file1> <file2> ...  

commits absence of , , etc... from the project


Option 1:

Edit $GIT_DIR/info/exclude. See Environment Variables below for explanation on $GIT_DIR.

Option 2:

Add a file .gitignore to the root of your project. This file will be checked in.

Either way you need to add patterns to exclude to these files.


git add <file1> <file2> ...  
git stage <file1> <file2> ...  

add changes in , ... to the staging area (to be included in the next commit

git add -p  
git stage --patch  

interactively walk through the current changes (hunks) in the working tree, and decide which changes to add to the staging area.

git add -i  
git stage --interactive  

interactively add files/changes to the staging area. For a simpler mode (no menu), try git add --patch (above)


git reset HEAD <file1> <file2> ...  

remove the specified files from the next commit


git commit <file1> <file2> ... [-m <msg>]  

commit , , etc..., optionally using commit message , otherwise opening your editor to let you type a commit message

git commit -a  

commit all files changed since your last commit (does not include new (untracked) files)

git commit -v  

commit verbosely, i.e. includes the diff of the contents being committed in the commit message screen

git commit --amend  

edit the commit message of the most recent commit

git commit --amend <file1> <file2> ...  

redo previous commit, including changes made to , , etc...


git branch  

list all local branches

git branch -r  

list all remote branches

git branch -a  

list all local and remote branches

git branch <branch>  

create a new branch named , referencing the same point in history as the current branch

git branch <branch> <start-point>  

create a new branch named , referencing <start-point>, which may be specified any way you like, including using a branch name or a tag name

git push <repo> <start-point>:refs/heads/<branch>  

create a new remote branch named , referencing <start-point> on the remote.
Example: git push origin origin:refs/heads/branch-1
Example: git push origin origin/branch-1:refs/heads/branch-2

git branch --track <branch> <remote-branch>  

create a tracking branch. Will push/pull changes to/from another repository. Example: git branch --track experimental origin/experimental

git branch -d <branch>  

delete the branch ; if the branch you are deleting points to a commit which is not reachable from the current branch, this command will fail with a warning.

git branch -r -d <remote-branch>  

delete a remote-tracking branch.
Example: git branch -r -d wycats/master

git branch -D <branch>  

even if the branch points to a commit not reachable from the current branch, you may know that that commit is still reachable from some other branch or tag. In that case it is safe to use this command to force git to delete the branch.

git checkout <branch>  

make the current branch , updating the working directory to reflect the version referenced by

git checkout -b <new> <start-point>  

create a new branch referencing <start-point>, and check it out.

git push <repository> :<branch>  

removes a branch from a remote repository.
Example: git push origin :old_branch_to_be_deleted

git co <branch> <path to new file>  

Checkout a file from another branch and add it to this branch. File will still need to be added to the git branch, but it's present.
Eg. git co remote_at_origin__tick702_antifraud_blocking

git show <branch> -- <path to file that does not exist>  

Eg. git show remote_tick702 -- path/to/fubar.txt
show the contents of a file that was created on another branch and that does not exist on the current branch.

git show <rev>:<repo path to file>  

Show the contents of a file at the specific revision. Note: path has to be absolute within the repo.


git merge <branch>  

merge branch into the current branch; this command is idempotent and can be run as many times as needed to keep the current branch up-to-date with changes in

git merge <branch> --no-commit  

merge branch into the current branch, but do not autocommit the result; allows you to make further tweaks

git merge <branch> -s ours  

merge branch into the current branch, but drops any changes in , using the current tree as the new tree


git cherry-pick [--edit] [-n] [-m parent-number] [-s] [-x] <commit>  

selectively merge a single commit from another local branch
Example: git cherry-pick 7300a6130d9447e18a931e898b64eefedea19544


WARNING: "git rebase" changes history. Be careful. Google it.

git rebase --interactive HEAD~10  

(then change all but the first "pick" to "squash") squash the last 10 commits into one big commit


git mergetool  

work through conflicted files by opening them in your mergetool (opendiff, kdiff3, etc.) and choosing left/right chunks. The merged result is staged for commit.

For binary files or if mergetool won't do, resolve the conflict(s) manually and then do:

git add [ ...]

Once all conflicts are resolved and staged, commit the pending merge with:

git commit


git fetch <remote>  

update the remote-tracking branches for (defaults to "origin"). Does not initiate a merge into the current branch (see "git pull" below).

git pull  

fetch changes from the server, and merge them into the current branch. Note: .git/config must have a [branch "some_name"] section for the current branch, to know which remote-tracking branch to merge into the current branch. Git 1.5.3 and above adds this automatically.

git push  

update the server with your commits across all branches that are COMMON between your local copy and the server. Local branches that were never pushed to the server in the first place are not shared.

git push origin <branch>  

update the server with your commits made to since your last push. This is always required for new branches that you wish to share. After the first explicit push, "git push" by itself is sufficient.

git push origin <branch>:refs/heads/<branch>  

E.g. git push origin twitter-experiment:refs/heads/twitter-experiment Which, in fact, is the same as git push origin but a little more obvious what is happening.


git revert <rev>  

reverse commit specified by and commit the result. This does not do the same thing as similarly named commands in other VCS's such as "svn revert" or "bzr revert", see below

git checkout <file>  

re-checkout , overwriting any local changes

git checkout .  

re-checkout all files, overwriting any local changes. This is most similar to "svn revert" if you're used to Subversion commands

Fix mistakes / Undo

git reset --hard  

abandon everything since your last commit; this command can be DANGEROUS. If merging has resulted in conflicts and you'd like to just forget about the merge, this command will do that.

git reset --hard ORIG_HEAD  

undo your most recent successful merge and any changes that occurred after. Useful for forgetting about the merge you just did. If there are conflicts (the merge was not successful), use "git reset --hard" (above) instead.

git reset --soft HEAD^  

forgot something in your last commit? That's easy to fix. Undo your last commit, but keep the changes in the staging area for editing.

git commit --amend  

redo previous commit, including changes you've staged in the meantime. Also used to edit commit message of previous commit.


test <sha1-A> = $(git merge-base <sha1-A> <sha1-B>)
determine if merging sha1-B into sha1-A is achievable as a fast forward; non-zero exit status is false.


git stash  
git stash save <optional-name>  

save your local modifications to a new stash (so you can for example "git svn rebase" or "git pull")

git stash apply  

restore the changes recorded in the stash on top of the current working tree state

git stash pop  

restore the changes from the most recent stash, and remove it from the stack of stashed changes

git stash list  

list all current stashes

git stash show <stash-name> -p  

show the contents of a stash - accepts all diff args

git stash drop [<stash-name>]  

delete the stash

git stash clear  

delete all current stashes


git remote add <remote> <remote_URL>  

adds a remote repository to your git config. Can be then fetched locally. Example:

git remote add coreteam git://
git fetch coreteam

git push <remote> :refs/heads/<branch>  

delete a branch in a remote repository

git push <remote> <remote>:refs/heads/<remote_branch>  

create a branch on a remote repository
Example: git push origin origin:refs/heads/new_feature_name

git push <repository> +<remote>:<new_remote>  

replace a branch with <new_remote> think twice before do this
Example: git push origin +master:my_branch

git remote prune <remote>  

prune deleted remote-tracking branches from "git branch -r" listing

git remote add -t master -m master origin git://  

add a remote and track its master

git remote show <remote>  

show information about the remote server.

git checkout -b <local branch> <remote>/<remote branch>  

Eg git checkout -b myfeature origin/myfeature
Track a remote branch as a local branch.

git pull <remote> <branch>  
git push  

For branches that are remotely tracked (via git push) but that complain about non-fast forward commits when doing a git push. The pull synchronizes local and remote, and if all goes well, the result is pushable.


git submodule add <remote_repository> <path/to/submodule>  

add the given repository at the given path. The addition will be part of the next commit.

git submodule update [--init]  

Update the registered submodules (clone missing submodules, and checkout the commit specified by the super-repo). --init is needed the first time.

git submodule foreach <command>  

Executes the given command within each checked out submodule.

Remove submodules

  1. Delete the relevant line from the .gitmodules file.
  2. Delete the relevant section from .git/config.
  3. Run git rm --cached path_to_submodule (no trailing slash).
  4. Commit and delete the now untracked submodule files.


git format-patch HEAD^  

Generate the last commit as a patch that can be applied on another clone (or branch) using 'git am'. Format patch can also generate a patch for all commits using 'git format-patch HEAD^ HEAD'
All page files will be enumerated with a prefix, e.g. 0001 is the first patch.

git am <patch file>  

Applies the patch file generated by format-patch.

git diff --no-prefix > patchfile  

Generates a patch file that can be applied using patch:

patch -p0 < patchfile  

Useful for sharing changes without generating a git commit.

Git Instaweb

git instaweb --httpd=webrick [--start | --stop | --restart]  

Environment Variables


Your full name to be recorded in any newly created commits. Overrides in .git/config


Your email address to be recorded in any newly created commits. Overrides in .git/config


Location of the repository to use (for out of working directory repositories)


Location of the Working Directory - use with GIT_DIR to specifiy the working directory root or to work without being in the working directory at all.