Useful Git Commands

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I've used git quite a bit but I don't consider myself a git expert, per se. I often find myself looking up the same basic commands so I thought I'd share them there so I'd have a fast reference, and maybe this will help you out too!

Create and Checkout a New Branch

#branches from currently checked out directory
git checkout -b <branchName>

Checkout a Remote Branch

git checkout -b <localBranchName> origin/<remoteBranchName>

Abort Changes of a File

git checkout -- <fileName>

Modify the Previous Commit's Message

git commit --amend

Partial Change Checkin

git add --edit

Undo the Previous Commit

git revert HEAD^

Temporarily Stash Changes, Restore Later

# After changes have been made...
git stash

# Do some other stuff here, like switch branches, merge other changes, etc.

#Re-apply the changes
git stash pop

Delete a Remote Branch

git push origin :<branchName>

Pull in the Latest from a Shared Repository

# Add a remote branch
git remote add <remoteName> <gitAddress>
	# For example:  git remote add lightfaceOfficial git://

# Get changes from that branch
git fetch <remoteName>

Tagging, Deleting, and Pushing Tags

# Create a Tag
git tag <tagName>

# Delete the tag
git tag -d <tagName>

# Push Tags
git push --tags

Who F'd it All Up?

git blame <fileName>

These basic git commands should help you on your way. Have a tip you'd like to share with others? Please share!

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  1. Fetch from all remote repositories:
    git remote update

    See a nice ascii graph of your branches:
    git log --oneline --graph --all

    • +1 on the ascii graph. I even make an alias for it.

      git config --global alias.timeline "log --oneline --graph --decorate"

      So all when i need my ascii graph I just:
      git timeline

    • in

      git remote update-git log --oneline --graph --all="git config --global alias.timeline "log --oneline --graph --decorate"{git timeline}
  2. +1 on the ascii graph. I even make an alias for it.

    git config --global alias.timeline "log --oneline --graph --decorate"

    So all when i need my ascii graph I just:

    git timeline

  3. Denis S.

    check this out “git – the simple guide” by @rogerdudler

  4. Hey, just to expand on “undo previous commit”:

    git reset --hard HEAD~3

    This will revert three commits back.

  5. tried adapting to command git not to used to it so i settled for SmartGit pending i grasped the whole Git command line thingy

  6. Not sure why this works for you, but I really have to do this to stash:

    $ git stash save “The name of the stash”

    And then to put it back

    $ git stash apply


    $ git stash apply “The name of the stash”

  7. The below cmd is used for search:

    grep log –grep=”your search word”

  8. John W

    The ASCII timeline (above) can be customised further, to good effect, by using the –format option, e.g. to add time information about the commits (helpful in a timeline!):

    git log –graph –all –format=’%h %an %ad – %s’

    (or use %ar instead of %ad if you like relative dates)

    Mix with other options to suit. Full details of the format option are in the git-log man page (quite far down the page).

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