Saturday, November 27, 2010

Git cheat sheet

I'm trying to wrap my head around Git, Linus Torvalds's complicated but powerful distributed version control system. Here's some quick notes and a wad of links:


git config --global "John Q. Hacker"
git config --global ""

Start a new empty repository

git init
mkdir fooalicious
cd fooalicious
git init
touch README
git add README
git commit -m 'first commit'
git remote add origin
git push -u origin master

Create a local copy of a remote repository

git clone [remote-repository]

Commit to local repository

git commit -a -m "my message"

Review previous commits

git log --name-only

See what branches exist

git branch -v

Switch to a different branch

git checkout [branch you want to switch to]

Create a new branch and switch to it

git checkout -b [name of new branch]


git merge mybranch

merge the development in the branch "mybranch" into the current branch.

Show remote repositories tracked

git remote -v

Track a remote repository

git remote add --track master origin

Retrieve from a remote repository

git fetch

Git fetch grabs changes from remote repository and puts it in your repository's object database. It also fetches branches from remote repository and stores them as remote-tracking branches. (see this.)

Fetch and merge from a remote repository

git pull

Push to a remote repository

git push

Pull changes from another fork

git checkout -b otherguy-master master
git fetch master
git merge otherguy-master/master

git checkout master
git merge otherguy-master
git push origin master

Resolve merge conflict in favor of us/them

git checkout --theirs another.txt
git checkout --ours some.file.txt

Diff between local working directory and remote tracking branch

Say you're working with Karen on a project. She adds some nifty features to the source file nifty_files/ You'd like to diff your local working copy against hers to see the changes, and prepare to merge them in. First, make sure you have a remote tracking branch for Karen's repo.

git remote add karen git://
git remote -v

The results ought to look something like this:

karen git:// (fetch)
karen git:// (push)
origin (fetch)
origin (push)

Next, fetch Karen's changes into your local repo. Git can't do a diff across the network, so we have to get a local copy of Karen's commits stored in a remote tracking branch.

git fetch karen

Now, we can do our diff.

git diff karen/master:nifty_files/ nifty_files/

Fixing a messed up working tree

git reset --hard HEAD

return the entire working tree to the last committed state

Shorthand naming

Branches, remote-tracking branches, and tags are all references to commits. Git allows shorthand, so you mostly ever shorthand rather than full names:

  • The branch "test" is short for "refs/heads/test".
  • The tag "v2.6.18" is short for "refs/tags/v2.6.18".
  • "origin/master" is short for "refs/remotes/origin/master".


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