Git command line CheatSheet

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Foreword

I assume you familiar with git. You might already use it few times or it's part of your daily job. To make our life easier while working with this version control system, we use GUI programs like SourceTree, Fork to visualize branches, make commits, push changes and perform other types of operations. All GUI clients execute git commands on our behalf to provide a convenient way of managing it. However, I think it's also useful to know command line instructions because of the following reasons:

  • GUI programs may perform unwanted side-actions since we don't actually know what is happening under the hood
  • GUI programs may get stuck what can result in change loss or other unexpected behavior
  • It's possible to speed up the development process in some cases using git command line interface (e.g. cloning a new repo within a seconds)
  • There're some problems which are possible to solve using command-line only
  • Debugging in linux-like environment (e.g. CI, there's no GUI, command-line only)
  • Become GUI - independent
  • Be a better developer

I don't want to say that GUI clients aren't useful (they are and I use them as well). The point is to know both and feel comfortable in any environment. Further down in the article I separated git commands based on their context. This should help find instruction quicker depending on the current action you're looking for.

Just as a side note: there is no need to learn all of them. You can bookmark this page and come here whenever you need a specific command. After coming multiple times you'll eventually learn it.

Git commands

Create

  • git init <repo-name> - initializes the new repository with the provided name in the current folder
  • git clone <remote-url> - downloads a repository. It's also possible to specify an option where to download, for example:

    git clone <remote-url> <project-folder> will download a project into a specified folder. The only requirement in this case that specified folder should be empty

Current status

  • git status - shows general status (which branch is currently active, list of modified, added or removed and staged files)
  • git branch - shows which branch is currently active (highlighted) and list of available local branches

History

  • git log - shows the history of the commits (including SHA, date and time, author of each commit)

Branching

  • git checkout -b <branch-name> - create a new branch
  • git checkout <branch-name> - switch to an existing branch
  • git branch -d <branch-name> - delete a branch only if it was merged into the main branch
  • git branch -D <branch-name> - delete a branch (even if it wasn't merged into the main branch)
  • git merge <branch-name> - merges specified branch into current branch

Modifying, Staging

  • git checkout -- . - revert latest unstaged changes made in the project

    git checkout <filename> revert the last change made on a specific file
  • git add . - stages all modified and newly added files

    git add <filename> - stage a specific file
  • git reset - unstage all staged files

    git reset <filename> - unstage a specific file
  • git diff - shows the difference between modified file and its last version

Moving

  • git mv <filename> - changes file name and preserves its history

Removing

  • git clean -n - shows a list of untracked files and folders which will be removed (aka dry-run)
  • git clean -df - remove local untracked files and folders (this will actually delete files and folders). -d means directories, -f means files

Stashing (Saving)

  • git stash list - shows a list of stashes for the project
  • git stash - stashes all (staged and unstaged) current changes
  • git stash save "<message>" - stashes all current changes with specified name
  • git stash pop - applies top stash from the list and removes it from the list
  • git stash apply - applies top stash from the list without removal from the list

Remote (checking status, adding or changing)

  • git remote -v - shows current remote URL
  • git remote add origin <repo-url> - this command is used to add a remote for the first time
  • git remote set-url origin <repo-url> - this command is used to change existing remote URL

Committing

  • git commit -m "<message>" - commit changes (all necessary changes should be staged before)

Pushing

  • git push - pushes local commits to the remote repo

Pulling

  • git fetch - downloads latest repository history
  • git pull - downloads latest repository history and applies changes to the current files

One line rock

  • git add . && git commit -m "<message>" && git push - inline command to stage, commit and push all at once

Other

  • git checkout <rev>~1 <filename> - Restore deleted file from the commit
  • git show <rev> | git apply -R - Revert commit without committing it (the default behavior of revert is actually revert and commit)

Conclusion

I personally mix usage of the command line and GUI programs in my day-to-day code. Most of the time for staging, unstaging, committing and pushing I use VSCode shortcuts since they help me to do the job faster. In other cases like cloning a new repo, changing a remote, branching and merging I exclusively use command line interface. As I mentioned, it's useful to know both and find a happy medium where to use one or another, happy coding :-)