If you need tips & tricks, here they are...

GIT Cheat sheet

GIT Cheat sheet

This was basically ripped from this site. I have refomated a few things to make it easier to read and so on.


git clone

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 = yellow
changed = green
untracked = cyan

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
dc = diff --cached
lg = log -p
lol = log --graph --decorate --pretty=oneline --abbrev-commit
lola = log --graph --decorate --pretty=oneline --abbrev-commit --all
ls = ls-files

# Show files ignored by git:
ign = ls-files -o -i --exclude-standard


git config -e [--global]

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

git config --global 'John Doe'
git config --global johndoe<small> [AT] </small>example<small> [DOT] </small>com

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

git config --list

To view all options

git config apply.whitespace nowarn

To ignore whitespace

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* mess 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 ..

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

git show

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)

also to show the contents of a file at a specific revision, use
git show :

this is similar to cat-file but much simpler syntax.

git show --name-only

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

git blame

show who authored each line in

git blame

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

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 head path/to/fubar

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

git diff --cached []

shows diff for staged (git-add'ed) files (which includes uncommitted git cherry-pick'ed files)

git ls-files

list all files in the index and under version control.

git ls-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 ...

add , , etc... to the project

git add

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 ...

remove , , etc... from the project

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

remove all deleted files from the project

git rm --cached ...

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 ...
git stage ...

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 ...

remove the specified files from the next commit


git commit ... [-m ]

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 ...

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

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

git branch

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

git push :refs/heads/

create a new remote branch named , referencing on the remote. Repo is the name of the remote.
git push origin origin:refs/heads/branch-1

git push origin origin/branch-1:refs/heads/branch-2

git push origin branch-1 ## shortcut

git branch --track

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

git branch --set-upstream
(As of Git 1.7.0)
Make an existing branch track a remote branch
Example: git branch --set-upstream foo origin/foo

git branch -d

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

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

git branch -D

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

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

git checkout -b

create a new branch referencing , and check it out.

git push :

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

git co

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.
git co remote_at_origin__tick702_antifraud_blocking ..../...nt_elements_for_iframe_blocked_page.rb

git show --

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 :

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


git merge

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 --no-commit

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

git merge -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]

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

git hash-object

get the blob of some file whether it is in a repository or not

Find the commit in the repository that contains the file blob:

git log --pretty=format:'%T %h %s' \
| while read tree commit subject ; do
if git ls-tree -r $tree | grep -q "$obj_blob" ; then
echo $commit "$subject"


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

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

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 :refs/heads/

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

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

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 or git reset --hard origin/master

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 = $(git merge-base )

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

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 -p

show the contents of a stash - accepts all diff args

git stash drop []

delete the stash

git stash clear

delete all current stashes


git remote add <remote_url>

adds a remote repository to your git config. Can be then fetched locally.
git remote add coreteam git://
git fetch coreteam

git push :refs/heads/

delete a branch in a remote repository

git push :refs/heads/<remote_branch>

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

git push +:<new_remote>

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

git remote prune

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

show information about the remote server.

git checkout -b /

git checkout -b myfeature origin/myfeature
git checkout -b myfeature remotes//

Track a remote branch as a local branch. It seems that somtimes an extra 'remotes/' is required, to see the exact branch name, 'git branch -a'.

git pull
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 fetch

Retrieves all branches from the remote repository. After this 'git branch --track ...' can be used to track a branch from the new remote.


git submodule add <remote_repository>

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

Executes the given command within each checked out submodule.

Removing 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.

Updating submodules

To update a submodule to a new commit:
1. update submodule:

git pull

2. commit the new version of submodule:
git commit -m "update submodule version"

3. check that the submodule has the correct version
git submodule status

If the update in the submodule is not committed in the main repository, it is lost and doing git submodule update will revert to the previous version.


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 format-patch ^..

Generate a patch for a single commit. E.g.
git format-patch d8efce43099^..d8efce43099

Revision does not need to be fully specified.

git am

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 tag -l

Will list all tags defined in the repository.

git co <tag_name>

Will checkout the code for a particular tag. After this you'll probably want to do: 'git co -b ' to define a branch. Any changes you now make can be committed to that branch and later merged.


git archive master | tar -x -C /somewhere/else

Will export expanded tree as tar archive at given path

git archive master | bzip2 > source-tree.tar.bz2

Will export archive as bz2

git archive --format zip --output /full/path master

Will export as zip

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.

Changing history

Change author for all commits with given name

git filter-branch --commit-filter '
if [ "$GIT_COMMITTER_NAME" = "" ];
git commit-tree "$@";
git commit-tree "$@";
fi' HEAD

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