Introduction to the Git command line
PREREQUISITE: Basic understanding of the command line.
Git is a tool that makes sharing code and collaborating with other developers really easy. It also keeps our code tracked and safe. The following examples will help you understand how to use this tool on a daily basis.
Before you begin
Create a directory where you will be storing all your projects. You can call it
Setup your Git details
$ git config --global user.name "Your Name" $ git config --global user.email "[email protected]"
Setup an SSH key
An SSH key is used to identify trusted computers, without entering a password. Instructions on how to generate an SSH key
Example 1: Everyday commands
Create and add your project in Git
$ mkdir practising-git $ cd practising-git $ git init
Create a file
$ echo "<h1>Learning git</h1>" > index.html
The above command will output
<h1>Learning Git</h1>and store it in
index.html. Open up the file and have a look.
Check the Git repository status.
$ git status
The above command will tell you which files in the current directory have been changed, which files have not yet been added to the Git repository and so on.
Add your file on the repository and commit your changes.
$ git add . $ git status $ git commit -m 'this is my first command-line commit!'
.will add all the files in the current directory and subdirectories. You should only use it when initialising your repository. Rest of the time you can specify the file names to be added.
Check the Git commit history.
$ git log
Transferring project repository to an online service
Copy the information about adding an existing project to the repository which should be something like the details below.
$ git remote add origin <repository-url> $ git push -u origin master
remote is simply the URL of your repository in any online repository hosting services. The
git remote lists all the remote repositories you have configured. You could have the same repository stored in many places like GitHub and GitLab or Heroku and in such cases you will have a remote configured for each of the remote repository you have.
The structure of the command to add a new
git remote <add|remove> <name of remote> <url of remote>.
List all your remote repositories
Or to see more information you can use the verbose (-v) flag
git remote -v
Syncing your local copy with the remote copy
$ git pull origin master Username for 'https://github.com': <your username> Password for 'https://<username>@github.com': <your password>
When you are working with a remote repo it is important to sync your local repo before doing any commit, merge or push.
Syncing the remote copy with your local copy
$ git push origin master $ git log
Example 2: Working with a remote service
index.html file and then commit and push the changes
<html> <head> <title>Learning Git!</title> </head> <body> <h1> Learning Git </h1> <dl> <dt>Initialise a Git repository</dt> <dd>git init</dd> <dt>Add files to Git</dt> <dd>git add filename</dd> </dl> </body> </html>
Check the status of your repository
$ git status
Commit and push the changes
$ git add index.html $ git commit -m 'updated to include the commands I learned today' $ git push origin master
Check the repository Git history
$ git log
Check your code online (from the GitHub or GitLab website).
Example 3: Verifying changes before any commit
<html> <head> <title>Learning Git!</title> </head> <body> <h1> Learning Git </h1> <dl> <dt>Initialise a Git repository</dt> <dd>git init</dd> <dt>Add files to Git</dt> <dd>git add <filename></dd> <dt>Checking file changes</dt> <dd>git status</dd> </dl> </body> </html>
Check the changes
$ git status $ git diff
The -/+ indications you can see mean
- indicates lines removed from the code.
+ indicates lines added to the code.
$ git diff diff --git a/index.html b/index.html index 21f15d1..c2031f1 100644 --- a/index.html +++ b/index.html @@ -10,6 +10,8 @@ <dd>git init</dd> <dt>Add files to git</dt> <dd>git add <filename></dd> + <dt>Checking file changes</dt> + <dd>git status</dd> </dl> </body> </html>
After you verify your change, commit and push them
$ git add . $ git commit -m 'Added git status description' $ git push origin master
Example 4: Discarding uncommitted changes
Edit the index.html file and then check the changes.
$ echo 'oh no!' > index.html
Have a look at changes to the file using
Check the status of the repository
$ git status On branch master Changes not staged for commit: (use "git add <file>..." to update what will be committed) (use "git checkout -- <file>..." to discard changes in working directory) modified: index.html no changes added to commit (use "git add" and/or "git commit -a")
To discard the changes checkout the file
$ git checkout index.html
Don’t forget to verify the changes
$ git diff $ view index.html
Example 5: Revert committed changes
Repeat the steps below to change and commit a file
$ echo "oh not again" > index.html $ git diff $ git add index.html $ git commit -m 'Oops, I just deleted my list'
Can you explain the commands you just used?
Check the log history.
$ git log commit aafbe36777e19244ba5030cbc9467244a7163b61 Author: Jane Doe <[email protected]> Date: Tue Jun 3 21:12:57 2014 +0100 Oops, I just deleted my list commit dbb313d28de82c11535968584ce2e149b1fc74ad Author: Jane Doe <[email protected]> Date: Tue Jun 3 21:06:09 2014 +0100 Added git status description commit c0bb15bf9f75613930c66760b90b2ccc1af0d2d6 ... ...
Resetting the last commit.
$ git reset HEAD^ Unstaged changes after reset: M index.html
The caret (^) after HEAD moves head back through commits. HEAD^ is short for HEAD^1 and in the same way you can apply HEAD^2 to go back two commits ago.
Check the log again
$ git log
Did you notice that the last commit is no longer there?
Now check the status and discard the changes in the file
$ git status
Do you remember how to discard the changes? Have a look earlier in the tutorial.
Example 6: Revert committed and pushed changes.
You can correct something you pushed accidentally by changing history. In the following example you will see how can you revert the last pushed commit.
Run the following steps
$ echo "this change will be soon reverted" > index.html $ git diff $ git commit -am 'add another broken change' $ git push origin master $ git status $ git log
git commit -am 'commit messageis short form for
git add .followed by
git commit -m 'message'.
Reverting a commit
$ git log commit f4d8d2c2ca851c73176641109172780487da9c1d Author: Jane Doe <[email protected]> Date: Tue Jun 3 21:17:57 2014 +0100 add another broken change commit dbb313d28de82c11535968584ce2e149b1fc74ad Author: Jane Doe <[email protected]> Date: Tue Jun 3 21:06:09 2014 +0100 Added git status description commit c0bb15bf9f75613930c66760b90b2ccc1af0d2d6 ... ... ...
You need to grab the commit identifier and then revert to it
$ git revert f4d8d2c2ca851c73176641109172780487da9c1d
After reverting the changes you have to push the code to the remote repo to apply them
git push origin master
Following are some good resources to to help you set up Git. https://help.github.com/articles/set-up-git/
Configuring your Git environment
Create the file
.gitconfig in your root directory and add the following configuration
[user] name = <Your name> email = <Your email>
Creating shortcuts (aliases)
[alias] ci = commit dc = diff --cached
Can you think of another command that you would find handy to shorten down?
Telling Git to try and fix whitespace issues before committing
[apply] whitespace = fix
Ignoring files across directories
[core] excludesfile = ~/.gitignore
To apply this you need to create a .gitignore file in your root path. There you can add either specific files or extensions that you always want excluded. This is a handy list to help you start
*.DS_Store *~ *.log *.zip *.pkg *.rar
Do you know what these files are? You normally wouldn’t want to commit logs or packages.
Pimping your log history
In your aliases add this as an alias for viewing Git logs
lg = log --graph --pretty=format:'%Cred%h%Creset -%C(yellow)%d%Creset %s %Cgreen(%cr) %C(bold blue)<%an>%Creset' --abbrev-commit --date=relative
Try it out by running
Store commands in your history
Add HISTSIZE and HISTFILESIZE to your .bashrc file. HISTSIZE is the number of commands stored in memory when you are using the terminal. HISTFILESIZE is the number of commands stored in memory when you are using the terminal
After typing a couple of command in the terminal, try executing
Ctrl+R followed by the command you want to run e.g.
You can see the entire history by running
This ends Git: Introduction to command line tutorial. Is there something you don’t understand? Try and go through the provided resources with your coach. If you have any feedback, or can think of ways to improve this tutorial send us an email and let us know.