Git overview

  • Distributed Version Control
  • Data Consistency and Integrity
  • Performance - Diffs are local therefore quicker, do not have to go over the network to perform diffs.
  • Merging - Automatic merge if there are no conflicts (more than one change at the same position of the modified file).
  • Conflicts have to be merged manually.

Git commands

Clone a repository locally from the remote server

$ git clone

Create new repository

Add a new repository on github online - ‘demo’. Then create a local directory - ‘demo’ and navigate to it through the command line.

$ touch # Creates a README file  
$ git init  # Initializes a git repository  
$ git add  # Adds the file to staging area  
$ git commit -m "first commit"  # Creates a commit  
$ git remote add origin # Specifies the remote URL  
$ git push -u origin master # Transfers the repository to remote server and tracks the remote branch

Git settings
Git settings are defined in a .gitconfig file which is located in %USERPROFILE% on Windows and $HOME on Unix based machines.

List the config settings

$ git config --list

Set the default username and email globally for the entire system

$ git config --global "Your Name Here"  
$ git config --global ""

In order to override this with a different name or e-mail address for specific projects, you can run the command without the –global option when you’re in that project.

If git prompts you for a username and password you could be using the HTTPS clone for your repository instead of your SSH key passphrase. The SSH based URL looks like - Follow the steps below to switch it to SSH.

Verify the remote that a local repo is mapped to

$ git remote show  
# or  
$ git remote

Verify the remote URL that a local repo is mapped to

$ git remote -v

Change the remote URL that local repo is mapped to

$ git remote set-url origin git://

Push all local branches that have the same name on the remote. This means potentially many different branches will be pushed, including those that you might not even want to

$ git config --global push.default matching

Push only the current working branch if it has the same name on remote

$ git config --global push.default simple


Get a list of all the branches

$ git branch -a

Create a branch and switch to it at the same time

$ git checkout -b <branchName>

Create a branch, switch to it and set the tracking/upstream branch
$ git checkout -b --track origin/

Merge with a specified branch

$ git merge <path to remote branch>

Delete a remote branch

$ git push origin --delete <branchName>

Delete a local branch

$ git branch -d <branchName>

Track a remote branch e.g. track remote master with local master

$ git branch --set-upstream-to=<remote>/<branchName> <branchName>  
$ git branch --set-upstream-to=origin/master master

Compare a file in 2 branches

$ git difftool <branch1> <branch2> -- myfile.cs

Compare the commits in 2 branches

git cherry -v <branch1> <branch2>

Undoing changes

$ git reset head –hard (Moves the head to the most recent commit and erase all the changes in your working tree)

$ git reset --hard <sha1-commit-id> #Moves the head to the specified commit

Find a commit that you undid, it is typically present in git reflog unless you have garbage collected your repository

$ git reflog

Remove untracked (git ignored) files and directories

$ git clean -xdf

-f option required for overriding permissions
-d also remove the directories
-X just remove ignored files (for example - files in build dir: bin/, user setting files etc.)
-x remove ignored as well as non-ignored files

Amend a commit

Ensure all changes are staged

$ git commit -A  
$ git commit --amend -m "New commit message"

Amend a commit with no changes to the message

$ git commit -A --amend --no-edit

Remove local commits

Revert the commit without creating another commit

$ git revert -n <sha1-commit-id>

Remove local commit and reset the head to the same as remote branch

$ git reset HEAD^  
$ git reset origin/branchName --hard

Remove local commit but keep changes

$ git reset <sha1-commit-id>  #Undoes the commit after sha1-commit-id
#and keeps the changes in working directory

Rearrange commits

$ git rebase -i
Rebase your last 2 local commits  
$ git rebase -i HEAD~2

Abort a rebase

$ git rebase --abort

Move to an old commit

$ git reflog

Suppose the old commit that you want to go back to was HEAD@{5} in the ref log

$ git reset --hard HEAD@{5}

Go back to the previous commit

$ git reset --hard HEAD~1

Finding commits

Find a commit with text “text to find”

$ git log --grep="text to find" --pretty=oneline

Create patch

Creating a patch

$ git diff > <name>.patch

Stash your work

$ git stash

Stash work with comment

$ git stash save <comment>

List the stashes

$ git stash list

Apply a stash

$ git stash apply #Applies the stash at the top
$ git stash apply stash@{n} #Applies the stash at 'n' and keeps it in the stash stack  
$ git stash pop stash@{n} #Applies the stash at 'n' and removes it in the stash stack

Drop a stash

$ git stash drop #Drops the stash at the top
$ git stash drop stash@{n}  #Drops the stash at 'n'

Create a branch from a stash

$ git stash (Stash your work)  
$ git stash branch <branchName> #Switch to a new branch that contains the stashed work

This creates a new branch for you, checks out the commit you were on when you stashed your work, reapplies your work there, and then drops the stash if applied successfully.


List all the tags

$ git tag

Create a tag

$ git tag <tagname>

By default, the git push command doesn’t transfer tags to remote servers. Push tags to a shared server after you have created them

$ git push origin <tagname>

Push all of your tags to the remote server that are not already there

$ git push origin --tags

Generating SSH Keys

Adding SSH key to the ssh-agent
$ ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa

On trying to add the SSH key to the ssh-agent you can get the following error: ‘Could not open connection to your authentication agent’. You need to start ssh-agent before you can run the ssh-add command by running:
$ eval `ssh-agent -s`

Once the key has been added git should not ask for the key pass phrase on every push/pull.