Git Notes

Multiline Commit Messages

The commit command accepts multiple -m flags:

$ git commit -m "Commit title" -m "A new paragraph."

Each use adds a new paragraph to the commit message. A similar effect can be achieved using quotes:

$ git commit -m "Commit title
> A new paragraph."

If you belatedly decide that you should have used an editor after all you can pass the -e flag to open your editor with the partially-complete message intact:

$ git commit -m "Commit title" -m "Now I want an editor..." -e

List Aliases

Adding this snippet to your .gitconfig file creates a git alias command which lists all registered aliases:

    alias = !git config --list | grep alias | sed s/^alias.//

The Missing 'Amend' Command

Write a commit message, hit return, instantly notice the typo...

The fix is to run:

$ git commit --amend

This opens the last commit message in your editor, allowing you to rewrite it. I do this often enough that I've added the following alias to my .gitconfig file:

    amend = commit --amend

This way I can run git amend instead.

Discard All Changes

Discard all changes in the working directory — i.e. restore its state to that at the last commit — by running:

$ git checkout -f

Squashing Commits

To squash the last N commits together:

git reset --soft HEAD~N
git commit

To squash all the commits after <commit>:

git reset --soft <commit>
git commit

Here <commit> can be a branch or tag name or a commit hash.

Merging Commits

To merge commits from branch main into branch feature:

git checkout feature
git merge main

This will create a merge commit.

To merge commits from branch feature into branch main, squashing all the commits into a single commit:

git checkout main
git merge --squash feature
git commit

The commit message will be pre-populated with a default message describing the squashed commits.

Rebasing Commits

To rebase branch feature on top of branch main:

git checkout feature
git rebase main

Refresh Remote Branches

To list all local and (known) remote branches:

git branch --all

To update the local list of remote branches, pruning branches that no longer exist:

git remote update origin --prune

To automatically prune the local list of remote branches every time git fetch or git pull runs:

git config remote.origin.prune true

Push New Local Branch

To push a new local branch to a remote repository:

# Create a new local branch, 'feature'.
git checkout -b feature

# Push the new local branch to 'origin'.
git push -u origin feature

The -u/--set-upstream flag tells the local branch to track the new remote branch.

Undo Last Commit

Undo the last commit, leaving the files in the working directory unchanged:

git reset --soft HEAD~1

Undo the last commit, resetting the state of the working directory:

git reset --hard HEAD~1

Show Changes

Show the changes made in the most recent commit:

git show

Show the changes made in a particular commit:

git show <commit>

Reset Files To State At Commit

Reset the files in the working directory to their state at an earlier commit foo without changing HEAD from pointing at the current commit bar:

git reset --hard foo
git reset --soft bar