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GIT Cheat Sheet

How to see the status of files

This will show you files that need to be staged for a commit.

git status

Example output:

On branch master
Your branch is ahead of 'origin/master' by 1 commit.
(use "git push" to publish your local commits)
Changes not staged for commit:
(use "git add/rm <file>..." to update what will be committed)
(use "git restore <file>..." to discard changes in working directory)
deleted: public/old.css
Untracked files:
(use "git add <file>..." to include in what will be committed)

Make a directory a git repository

This will take a directory that is not managed by git and tell git to start tracking files.

git init

Add files to be committed

This command tells git to add all the files in the directory to a commit. NOTE, you will have to do a git commit later to actually make the commit

git add .

Alternatively you can add specific files

git add public/new.css

Save changes temporarily

This command will allow you to save changes you aren't ready to commit so that you can do other work in the repository such as switching branches or working on other code.

git stash

The command alone won't stash untracked (new) files, to stash those at the same time use --include-untracked

git stash --include-untracked

Show a list of stashes

Shows you the list of stashes you've stored

git stash list

Apply a stash

Brings back code from a specific stash

git stash apply "Name of stash"

Restore a stash

git stash pop

Create a commit / save point

git commit -m "Your descriptive commit message"

Amend a previous commit

As long as the commit has not been git push yet you may change the message (and the contents)

git commit -amend -m "Your corrected descriptive commit message"

Push the commit upstream

This will push to whatever the origin is, in most case this is github.

git push

Pull down code from upstream

This will pull down new code from whatever the origin is, in most case this is github.

git pull

Pull down a specific branch from a specific remote

Pull from original repo to update local (you can also use upstream master if you have multiple branches)

git pull origin master

Clone an existing repository

Clone an existing repository from a URL to a local directory. This will make a copy of the code from the URL and put it in a directory based on the last part of the URL

git clone <url to repository>

Stop a merge and revert the merge

If you get conflicts when merging code you can undo the merge and revert to the code before the merge started.

git merge --abort

Change branches

git checkout branchName

Checkout the master branch

git checkout master

Switch to the previous branch

This will checkout the previously active branch

git checkout -

Create a new branch

This creates a new branch using the current branch/commit as the starting point

git checkout -b newBranchName

Go back ONE commit

Takes your branch back one commit, but your changes are still in the working tree

git reset HEAD~1

Go back to any commit and lose changes

Takes you back to that specific commit, losing all the commits since then. You can use HEAD~1 to mean "Back one commit from the current commit"

git reset --hard specificCommitName

How to merge to an existing Branch

This will let you merge changes from otherBranch into branchName

git checkout branchName
git merge --no-ff otherBranch
git push origin branchName


If you want to hack on open source projects (including this handbook) you will the following steps:

Fork an existing repo

  • Click Fork in upper right of repo on Github
  • Clone your fork onto your computer (see above)
  • Checkout a branch to contain your changes
    • git checkout -b <branch-name>

Syncing a Fork to keep it up-to-date with the original ('upstream') repository

git fetch upstream
git checkout master
git merge upstream/master

Creating a PR via your Fork

git push

If this repository is a fork, the message from github may include a link to create a pull request.

If not:

  • Open your forked repo on github
  • Create PR from your forked repo on github
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