Git Overview and Git Commands Cheat Sheet

Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency. It is proven to be better than other SCM tools like Subversion, CVS, Perforce, and ClearCase. This post will cover the Basic overview of Git features and present comprehensive Git Commands Cheat Sheet for ready reference.

Git Features Overview – Ultimate Version Control System

  • Very Small Footprint and Very Fast with excellent Performance.
  • Easy Branching and Merging Support as compared to Other SCM tools.
  • Git is Distributed, which makes development and code control easy.
  • Multiple Workflows Supported, including Multiple Backups, Subversion-Style Workflow, Integration Manager Workflow, Dictator and Lieutenants Workflow etc.
  • Maintains Super Data Integrity, by using inbuilt Cryptography support.
  • Supports Staging Area, where commits can be formatted and reviewed before completing the commit.
  • Free and Open Source – Governed under GNU General Public License version 2.0

Git Commands Cheat Sheet with Examples:

SETUP: Configure user credentials across all local repositories

 Command Description  Command / Example
Configure a User Name that will be associated with each history marker
#git config --global “[firstname lastname]”
Configure an email address that will be associated with each history marker
#git config --global “[valid-email]”
Set automatic command line coloring for Git for easy reviewing
#git config --global color.ui auto

INIT: Initializing and cloning repositories

 Command Description  Command / Example
Initialize an existing directory as a Git repository
#git init
Retrieve an entire repository from a hosted location via URL
#git clone [url]

STAGE & SNAPSHOT:Working with snapshots and the Git staging area

 Command Description  Command / Example
Show modified files in working directory, staged for your next commit
#git status
Add a file as it looks now to your next commit (stage)
#git add [file]
Unstage a file while retaining the changes in working directory
#git reset [file]
Diff of what is changed but not staged
#git diff
Diff of what is staged but not yet committed
#git diff --staged
Commit your staged content as a new commit snapshot 
#git commit -m “[descriptive message]”

BRANCH & MERGE:Isolating work in branches, changing context, and integrating changes

 Command Description  Command / Example
List your branches. a * will appear next to the currently active branch
#git branch
Create a new branch at the current commit
#git branch [branch-name]
Switch to another branch and check it out into your working directory
#git checkout
Merge the specified branch’s history into the current one
#git merge [branch]
Show all commits in the current branch’s history
#git log

INSPECT & COMPARE:Examining logs, diffs and object information

 Command Description  Command / Example
Show the commit history for the currently active branch
#git log
Show the commits on branchA that are not on branchB
#git log branchB..branchA
Show the commits that changed file, even across renames
#git log --follow [file]
Show the diff of what is in branchA that is not in branchB
#git diff branchB...branchA
Show any object in Git in human-readable format
#git show [SHA]

SHARE & UPDATE: Retrieving updates from another repository and updating local repos

 Command Description  Command / Example
Add a git URL as an alias
#git remote add [alias] [url]
Fetch down all the branches from that Git remote
#git fetch [alias]
Merge a remote branch into your current branch to bring it up to date
#git merge [alias]/[branch]
Transmit local branch commits to the remote repository branch
#git push [alias] [branch]
Fetch and merge any commits from the tracking remote branch
#git pull

TRACKING PATH CHANGES:Versioning file removes and path changes

 Command Description  Command / Example
Delete the file from project and stage the removal for commit
#git rm [file]
Change an existing file path and stage the move
#git mv [existing-path] [new-path]
Show all commit logs with indication of any paths that moved
#git log --stat -M

REWRITE HISTORY: Rewriting branches, updating commits and clearing history

 Command Description  Command / Example
Apply any commits of current branch ahead of specified one
#git rebase [branch]
Clear staging area, rewrite working tree from specified commit
#git reset --hard [commit]

IGNORING PATTERNS: Preventing unintentional staging or commiting of files

 Command Description  Command / Example
Save a file with desired paterns as .gitignore with either direct string matches or wildcard globs
System wide ignore patern for all local repositories
#git config --global core.excludesfile [file]

TEMPORARY COMMITS: Temporarily store modified, tracked files in order to change branches

 Command Description  Command / Example
Save modified and staged changes
#git stash
List stack-order of stashed file changes
#git stash list
Write working from top of stash stack
#git stash pop
Discard the changes from top of stash stack
#git stash drop


For More Comprehensive List of Git Commands Please refer this GitHub Repo Documentation.

Hope you like this Git Commands Cheat Sheet. Pl leave your Comments if you find any mistakes or want to add value. Happy Building Software !!!


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