Git CheatSheet

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This is a practical git tutorial for beginner, focus on the commands that are used daily by every programmer.



Git Glossary

Want to learn Git? Check out this quick summary of the most important terms and commands.

  • git: an open source, distributed version-control system
  • commit: a Git object, a snapshot of your entire repository compressed into a SHA
  • branch: a lightweight movable pointer to a commit
  • master: default name for the first branch
  • clone: a local version of a repository, including all commits and branches
  • remote: a common repository on GitHub that all team members use to exchange their changes
  • fork: a copy of a repository on GitHub owned by a different user
  • pull request: a place to compare and discuss the differences introduced on a branch with reviews, comments, integrated tests, and more
  • HEAD: representing your current working directory
  • merge: joining two or more commit histories

Install Git

For Windows you can download git from here, on Mac you can use Homebrew, and here is how to install git on Linux:


Download and install the latest Git for Windows Installer here.


Download and install the latest Git for Mac installer here.


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:git-core/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install git 

Auto update to latest git

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:git-core/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade 

Install on Centos/Redhat

sudo yum install git 

Install on Fedora

sudo dnf install git 

Install on Arch Linux

sudo pacman -Sy git 

Install on Gentoo

sudo emerge --ask --verbose dev-vcs/git 

Configure Git

Configure user information for all local repositories, replace highlighted details with your actual details.
These details will be associated with any commits that you create.

git config --global "Stefan Pejcic" 

Setup default name

git config --global "" 

Setup default email

You can also associate a name to the remote server address, to avoid typing it every time when you push changes to the server.

git remote add gh 

New Project

To create a new project in git we either create a brand new project or clone an existing one. When a repository was initialized locally, you have to push it to GitHub afterwards.

git init 

Create a git repository in current directory.

git clone url_or_path 

Clone the repository from url_or_path to current directory.

git clone url_or_path 

Clone the repository from url_or_path to current directory.

git remote -v 

Check remote Git URL.

Commit Files

After you made changes to the file, then you can commit your changes to local repository.

git status 

Show current status – list all modified files

git add . 

Add changes from current directory to local staging area

Commit changes to local repository with a message

git commit -m"message" 

Fix last commit message

git commit --amend -m "new commit message" 

Reset to last commit, but keep your changes

git reset --soft HEAD^ 

Reset to last commit, and throw away all your changes

git reset --hard HEAD^ 


git add index.cfm get.cfc
git commit -m"Fixed bug 123." 

Commit several files from the directory

git add .
git commit -m"Fixed bug 123." 

Commit all files in current directory

git add -A .
git commit -m"Fixed bug 123." 

Commit all NEW files in current directory

git log 

We can also view the commit logs before pushing them to a remote repository using git log command.

Sync with Remote Repository

With Push and Pull you can sync files between your local repository and the remote one. 

git pull 

Pull files from remote repository to your local one

git push 

Push files from local repository to the remote one


Update your local repository (and working directory) from remote server

git pull 

You can also force a pull from the server by removing all local changes

git reset --hard
git clean -xdf
git pull remote_server_or_name 

You can also request a clean sync  (a fresh copy) of a remote repository

git remote add upstream
git fetch upstream
git checkout master
git reset --hard upstream/master
git push origin master --force 

Remove / Delete Files

With reset / rm commands you can unadd a file from the staging area or delete it entirely from the remote repository.

Unadd a specific file from the staging area

git reset myFileName 

Unadd ALL files from the staging area

git reset . 

Discard ALL local changes

git reset --hard 

Delete a specific file (or files) from the local repository

git rm file_name 

Delete an entire directory from the local repository

git rm -r dir_name 

delete all untracked local files and directories (DANGEROUS)

git clean -xdf 

Find Difference

Here’s how to find differences between various areas of git on your local repository: working directory, staging area and HEAD.

Find out when is a line added to a file

git blame file_name 

Show state of last commit, staging area and working directory

git status 

Get commit IDs

git log file_name 

Show difference between last changes

git log -p -2 --color 

Get last 3 commit IDs

git log -3 

Show ALL difference between working directory & index

git diff --color 

If you see no difference, then check staging

git diff --staged 

Show difference for 1 file between working directory & index

git diff --color filename 

Show difference between index & latest commit (HEAD)

git diff --color --staged ‹commitID› 

Show difference between last commit & working directory

git diff --color ‹commitID› 

Revert Change

You can revert changes in the working directory all the way up to the last commit

Update the file_name in working directory

git checkout -- file_name 

update the dir_full_path to the commit version in HEAD

git checkout HEAD -- dir_full_path 

Revert file to last commit

git checkout HEAD -- file_name 

Revert file to the commit before last commit

git checkout HEAD^ -- file_name 

Remove ALL untracked files

git clean -d -x -f 
  • -d → Delete untracked directories
  • -x → ignore the .gitignore file. Delete them.
  • -f → force it

Git Branching

Use git branch to list all local branches, the current branch is indicated by a asterisk *

Show all local branches

git branch 
  • -r → Show all remote branches
  • -a  → Show all local and remote branches

Show branches and their commits

git show-branch 

Create a new branch name from “master”

git branch name master 

Switch to a branch by updating files in the current directory

git checkout branch_name 

Clone a specific branch (without fetching other branches)

git clone --b branchname --single-branch remote-repo-url 

Clone a specific branch (still fetched all files from each branch)

git clone --branch branchname remote-repo-ur 

Rename a branch

git branch -m old_name newName 

Rename a branch even if a branch with the same name exists

git branch -M old_name newName 

Fetch all remote branches

git fetch -- all 

Merge a branch named name into the current branch

git merge name 

Delete a branch (must be merged first)

git branch -d branch_name 

Force delete a branch (even if not merged)

git branch -D branch_name 

As you can see above, we have 2 different arguments, one with small case d and one with capital case D.

  • -d option stands for –delete
  • -D option stands for –delete –force

Delete a remote branch

git push {remote_name} –delete {branch_name} 

Git Archive

git archive lets you create a copy of your git directory, without the .git data, in zip or tar.gz format.

Archive all files from the current directory to myArchive file

git archive -o ../ HEAD 
  • .tar HEAD → use tar
  • .tar.gz HEAD → use tar.gz
  • .tar.xz HEAD → use tar.xz
zip -d xyz 

Unzip content to a new parent directory xyz

Git Stash

Save working directory (all uncommitted changes) in a temp storage

Save working directory into temp storage

git stash save 

Restore working directory from temp storage

git stash pop 

List your stash

git stash list 

Git Logs

The Git Log tool allows you to view information about previous commits that have occurred in a project.

Commits are shown in reverse chronological order (the most recent commits first).
Force the log tool to display all commits

git log 

-all will display all commits

-p option will display diff of changes for each commit

-n display a specified number of recent commitsFilter commits by author or committer

git log --author <name>
git log --committer <name> 

Filter commits by X days ago

git log --before <date>
git log --after <date> 

Filter commits by date range

git log --after <date> --before <date> 

You can also format the Git log output

git log --pretty=format:"Commit Hash: %H, Author: %aN, Date: %aD" 

Git Ignore File

Sometimes it may be a good idea to exclude files from being tracked with Git. This is typically done in a special file named .gitignore. You can find helpful templates for .gitignore files at

Example of .gitignore file


.gitignore file is located in the top level directory and contains file name patterns that git should ignore.

We need your help!

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