Git main commands

git config

Usage: git config –global “[name]”  

Usage: git config –global “[email address]”  

This command sets the author name and email address respectively to be used with your commits.

git init

Usage: git init [repository name]

This command is used to start a new repository.

git clone

Usage: git clone [url]  

This command is used to obtain a repository from an existing URL.

git add

Usage: git add [file]  

This command adds a file to the staging area.

Usage: git add .  

This command adds one or more to the staging area.

git commit

Usage: git commit -m “[ Type in the commit message]”  

This command records or snapshots the file permanently in the version history.

Usage: git commit -a  

This command commits any files you’ve added with the git add command and also commits any files you’ve changed since then.

git diff

Usage: git diff  

This command shows the file differences which are not yet staged.

Usage: git diff –staged 

This command shows the differences between the files in the staging area and the latest version present.

Usage: git diff [first branch] [second branch]  

This command shows the differences between the two branches mentioned.

git reset

Usage: git reset [file]  

This command unstages the file, but it preserves the file contents.

Usage: git reset [commit]  

This command undoes all the commits after the specified commit and preserves the changes locally.

Usage: git reset –hard [commit]  This command discards all history and goes back to the specified commit.

git status

Usage: git status  

This command lists all the files that have to be committed.

git rm

Usage: git rm [file]  

This command deletes the file from your working directory and stages the deletion.

git log

Usage: git log  

This command is used to list the version history for the current branch.

Usage: git log –follow[file]  

This command lists version history for a file, including the renaming of files also.

git show

Usage: git show [commit]  

This command shows the metadata and content changes of the specified commit.

git tag

Usage: git tag [commitID]  

This command is used to give tags to the specified commit.

git branch

Usage: git branch  

This command lists all the local branches in the current repository.

Usage: git branch [branch name]  

This command creates a new branch.

Usage: git branch -d [branch name]  

This command deletes the feature branch.

git checkout

Usage: git checkout [branch name]  

This command is used to switch from one branch to another.

Usage: git checkout -b [branch name]  

This command creates a new branch and also switches to it.

git merge

Usage: git merge [branch name]  

This command merges the specified branch’s history into the current branch.

git remote

Usage: git remote add [variable name] [Remote Server Link]  

This command is used to connect your local repository to the remote server.

git remote -v

This command is used to show all remotes.

git push

Usage: git push [variable name] master  

This command sends the committed changes of master branch to your remote repository.

Usage: git push [variable name] [branch]  

This command sends the branch commits to your remote repository.

Usage: git push –all [variable name]  

This command pushes all branches to your remote repository.

Usage: git push [variable name] :[branch name]  

This command deletes a branch on your remote repository.

git pull

Usage: git pull [Repository Link]  

This command fetches and merges changes on the remote server to your working directory.

git stash

Usage: git stash save  

This command temporarily stores all the modified tracked files.

Usage: git stash pop  

This command restores the most recently stashed files.

Usage: git stash list  

This command lists all stashed changesets.

Usage: git stash drop  

This command discards the most recently stashed changeset.

Treeish and Hashes

Rather than a sequential revision ID, Git marks each commit with a SHA-1 hash that is unique to the person committing the changes, the folders, and the files comprising the changeset. This allows commits to be made independent of any central coordinating server.

A full SHA-1 hash is 40 hex characters:

To efficiently navigate the history of hashes, several symbolic shorthand notations can be used as listed in the table below. Additionally, any unique sub-portion of the hash can be used. Git will let you know when the characters supplied are not enough to be unique. In most cases, 4-5 characters are sufficient.

HEADThe current committed version
HEAD^, HEAD~1One commit ago
HEAD^^, HEAD~2Two commits ago
HEAD~NN commits ago
RELEASE-1.0User defined tag applied to the code when it was certified for release

The complete set of revision specifications can be viewed by typing:

git help rev-parse

Treeish can be used in combination with all Git commands that accept a specific commit or range of commits.

Examples include:

git log HEAD~3..HEAD

git checkout HEAD^^

git merge RELEASE-1.0 

git diff HEAD^..


Daily work calls for strong support of viewing current and historical facts about your repository, often from different, perhaps even orthogonal points of view. Git satisfies those demands in spades.


To check the current status of a project’s local directories and files (modified, new, deleted, or untracked) invoke the status command:

git status


A patch-style view of the difference between the currently edited and committed files, or any two points in the past can easily be summoned. The .. operator signifies a range is being provided. An omitted second element in the range implies a destination of the current committed state, also known as HEAD:

git diff

git diff 32d4

git diff --summary 32d4..

Depending on the Git distribution, a utility called diff-highlight will be included to make diffs easier to visualize by highlighting word-level diffs instead of the default line level changes. Make sure diff-highlight is available in your $PATH and enable it with:

git config --global core.pager "diff-highlight | less -r"

Git allows for diffing between the local files, the stage files, and the committed files with a great deal of precision.

git diffEverything unstaged (not git add’ed) diffed to the last commit
git diff –cachedEverything staged (git add’ed) diffed to the last commit
git diff HEADEverything unstaged and staged diffed to the last commit


The full list of changes since the beginning of time, or optionally, since a certain date is right at your fingertips, even when disconnected from all networks:

git log
git log --since=yesterday $ git log --since=2weeks


If trying to discover why and when a certain line was added, cut to the chase and have Git annotate each line of a source file with the name and date it was last modified:

git blame <filename.ext>