git cheat sheet

How to show the remote tracking branch?

How to show the changes of a stash?

  • git stash show --full-index
    • --full-index is a git diff option
    • For other output formats see the git diff help

How to quickly push a local branch to remote repository?

  • git push -u origin HEAD
    • HEAD --> assumes local branch is checked out currently
    • -u origin --> let's the local branch track the newly created remote one

How to write a git commit message?

  • Read the excellent article How to Write a Git Commit Message
  • In a nutshell the commit message should be a continuation of This commit will... and the first line shall be less than 50 chars. I prefer a limit of 70 chars though.

How to find diffs in the history of a file where a certain string was included?

  • git log -G'<regex> -- <filepath>'

How to delete a remote branch?

  • git push origin --delete <remote-branch-name>

How to prune the list of remote branches from deleted ones?

  • git fetch -p
  • From the help: "Before fetching, remove any remote-tracking references that no longer exist on the remote"

How to merge a branch up until a specific commit?

  • Say you have a feature branch that is tracked remotely and that you use to create pull requests, e.g. on GitHub. You create commits locally and want to hold back commits when pushing.
  • Solution is to have another local branch, that does not track a remote pendant.
  • Let's call the local branch that is tracking a remote one (the one you're using for your PRs), the integration branch.
  • So how do you merge only certain commits from you local-only branch (i.e. you could call it the staging branch) to your integration branch in order to push it to remote and initiate another PR?
  • Do it like this
    • Observe the commit hash of the commit you want to be included in the PR
    • git checkout <integratin-branch-name>
    • git merge <commit-hash-of-commit-you-wanna-pr>
    • The merge will usually resolve in a fast forward
  • This way the integration branch (a branch is really just a pointer to a certain commit) is moved to the commit you want to pull

How to make a local-only branch track a remote one?

  • This is relevant if you already pushed a local branch to a remote repository, but have forgotten to setup tracking. In this case, when you type git status, git won't show you how much commits the remote branch is behind your local one.
  • To setup up a local branch to track an already existing remote branch do this:
    • git checkout <branch-name>, to ensure that you're in the right branch
    • git branch -u origin/<branch-name>, setting up an upstream branch
    • git status, to see how git is now able to tell if the two branches diverge in any way in terms of commits

How to obtain a list of changed files between two commits?

  • git diff --name-status <commit> <commit>
  • -- name-status creates the list of changed files and prefixed each file with the type of change (A, D, M)

How to set user name and email address for a git repository?

  • git config "Your Name"
  • git config "Your Email Address"
  • Hint: if you add the --global flag the above settings would be the default

How to create a git tag?

  • git tag -a -m "Tagging first version that is working, although various key objects still included." 0.1 HEAD
    • -a --> unsigned tag
    • -m --> a readable message
    • 0.1 --> the tag name
    • HEAD --> the commit the tag should be bound to

How to specify a particular commit in git (e.g. what does HEAD~1 mean)?

How to show the contents of a git commit in the command-line?

  • git show HEAD

How to show a tree-like representation of branches with git cli?

  • git log --graph --decorate --all
  • --graph draws nice lines on the left side
  • --decorate shows refs names next to commit hashes
  • --all all refs

How to remove a file from the a git repository while keeping it in the working tree?

  • git rm --cached <file>
  • the --cache flag takes care to not remove the file(s) from the working tree

How to amend a git commit with a commit message unchanged?

  • git commit --amend --no-edit
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