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Appendix A Git Command Cheat Sheet

This appendix provides an alphabetical list of the Git commands cited in this Web page, along with brief descriptions of what the commands do.

Note that you may always use either ‘git help command’ or ‘git command --help’ to get short, man-page style help on how to use any given Git command.

git add

Add a file to the list of files to be committed.

git branch

View existing branches, or delete a branch. Most useful options: -a and -d.

git checkout

Checkout an existing branch, create a new branch, or checkout a file to reset it. Use the -b option to create and checkout a new branch in one operation.

git clone

Clone (make a new copy of) an existing repository. You generally only need to do this once.

git commit

Commit changes to files which have been staged for committing with ‘git add’. This makes your changes permanent, in your local repository only. To publish your changes to an upstream repo, you must use ‘git push’.

git config

Display and/or change global and/or local configuration settings.

git diff

Show a unified-format diff of what’s changed in the current directory as of the last commit. It helps to have Git configured to use its builtin pager for reviewing diffs (see Configuring git).

git difftool

Use a “tool” (usually a GUI-based program) to view differences, instead of the standard textual diff as you’d get from ‘git diff’.

git fetch

Update your local copy of the upstream’s branches. That is, update the various ‘origin/’ branches. This leaves your local tracking branches unchanged. With the --prune option, this removes any copies of stale ‘origin/’ branches.

git format-patch

Create a series of patch files, one per commit not on the original branch from which you started.

git gc

Run a “garbage collection” pass in the current repository. This can often reduce the space used in a large repo. For gawk it does not make that much difference.

git help

Print a man-page–style usage summary for a command.

git log

Show the current branch’s commit log. This includes who made the commit, the date, and the commit message. Commits are shown from newest to oldest.

git merge

Merge changes from the named branch into the current one.

git pull

When in your local tracking branch xxx, run ‘git fetch’, and then merge from origin/xxx into xxx.

git push

Push commits from your local tracking branch xxx through origin/xxx and on to branch xxx in the upstream repo. Use ‘git push -u origin --delete xxx’ to delete an upstream branch. (Do so carefully!)

git rebase

Rebase the changes in the current purely local branch to look as if they had been made relative to the latest commit in the current upstream branch (typically master). This is how you keep your local, in-progress changes up-to-date with respect to the original branch from which they were started.

git reset

Restore the original state of the repo, especially with the --hard option. Read up on this command, and use it carefully.

git status

Show the status of files that are scheduled to be committed, and those that have been modified but not yet scheduled for committing. Use ‘git add’ to schedule a file for committing. This command also lists untracked files.

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