Git commands are an essential lesson that every developer needs to master at some point. To use the full potential of Git, the popular version control system, you need to know how to use Git commands.
In this tutorial, you will find all the commonly used Git commands as well as a downloadable cheat sheet.
A List of Git Commands
Create a new Git repository from an existing directory:
git init [directory]
Clone a repository (local or remote via HTTP/SSH):
git clone [repo / URL]
Clone a repository into a specified folder on your local machine:
git clone [repo / URL] [folder]
Note: Many Git servers use SSH and HTTPS to secure communication between the client and server. Read our comparison article on SSH and HTTPS for Git and which one you should use.
Attach an author name to all commits that will appear in the version history:
git config --global user.name "[your_name]"
Attach an email address to all commits by the current user:
git config --global user.email "[email_address]"
Apply Git’s automatic command line coloring which helps you keep track and revise repository changes:
git config --global color.ui auto
Create a shortcut (alias) for a Git command:
git config --global alias.[alias_name] [git_command]
Note: Git requires you to type out the entire command to perform actions. Setting shortcuts for commonly used commands can speed up and simplify development. For example, you can use the alias
st for the status command by typing the command:
git config --global alias.st status
Set a default text editor:
git config --system core.editor [text_editor]
Open Git’s global configuration file:
git config --global --edit
Show the state of the current directory (list staged, unstaged, and untracked files):
List the commit history of the current branch:
List all commits from all branches:
git log --all
Compare two branches by showing which commits from the first branch are missing from the second branch:
git log [branch1]..[branch2]
Examine the difference between the working directory and the index:
Explore the difference between the last commit and the index:
get diff --cached
See the difference between the last commit and the working directory:
get diff HEAD
Display the content and metadata of an object (blob, tree, tag or commit):
git show [object]
List all branches in the repository:
List all remote branches:
git branch -aa
Create a new branch under a specified name:
git branch [branch]
Switch to a branch under a specified name (if it doesn’t exist, a new one will be created):
git checkout [branch]
git branch -d [branch]
Rename a branch you are currently working in:
git branch -m [new_branch_name]
Merge the specified branch with the current branch:
git merge [branch]
Stage changes for the next commit:
git add [file/directory]
Stage everything in the directory for an initial commit:
git add .
Commit staged snapshots in the version history with a descriptive message included in the command:
git commit -m "[descriptive_message]"
Undo changes in a file or directory and create a new commit with the git revert command:
git revert [file/directory]
Unstage a file without overwriting changes:
git reset [file]
Undo any changes introduced after the specified commit:
git reset [commit]
Show untracked files which will be removed when you run
git clean (do a dry run):
git clean -n
Remove untracked files:
git clean -f
Replace the last commit with a combination of the staged changes and the last commit combined:
git commit --amend
Rebase the current branch with the specified base (it can be a branch name, tag, reference to a HEAD, or a commit ID):
git rebase [base]
Note: Learn how to use
rebase to change Git commit messages.
List changes made to the HEAD of the local repository:
Note: Learn more about Git checkout tags and how to use them.
Create a new connection to a remote repository (give it a name to serve as a shortcut to the URL):
git remote add [name] [URL]
Fetch a branch from a remote repository:
git fetch [remote_repo] [branch]
Fetch a repository and merge it with the local copy:
git pull [remote_repo]
git push [remote_repo] [branch]
Note: When a particular remote is no longer needed, you can remove a git remote from a repository.
Git Cheat Sheet PDF
For future use, you can consult our one-page Git commands reference sheet. Click the Download Git Commands Cheat Sheet PDF button below to save the Git Commands PDF.
Note: If you are just startig with Git, check out our post on how Git works to learn more.
Using Git is a good way of keeping track of your projects’ history. To make sure you have all the necessary commands for doing so, keep a Git commands cheat sheet at hand.