Git Basics

655 2018-10-20 15:28


Git is a version control system we used to manage source code. It features a graph history of commits, so that people can easily rollback to previous versions and figure out who authored what.

When host the project with git on a remote server, you get a remote repository that a group of people can collaborate with.

Apart from the remote repository, people usually want to manage work items online with an issue tracking system.

GitHub = remote git repository + issue tracking system. In the following steps, let’s assume we are using Github to collaborate.

Setup Git

Global configurations.

git config --global "Your Name Here"
git config --global "[email protected]"

Download src.

git clone git://

View commit history.

git log --graph

However, I highly recommend gitk for visualization, instead of sourcetree or gitkraken.

# view current branch

# view all branches
gitk --all

# view a specific commit
gitk <hash>

Check the status often because many hints come from there.

git status

Many settings are stored under .git/. It helps a lot to view those files.

Work on a collaborative project

# Only work on your own branch
# Create the branch (often with the name of the issue's id number)
git checkout -b workingBranch

# now on your workingBranch, do your work, and then commit
git add .
git commit -m "commit messages"   # or without `-m` to edit message in vim

# submit to code review
git push origin workingBranch:workingBranch
# then go to github to submit a pull request

# do changes according to code review, and then commit
git add .
git commit --amend  # re-commit

# rebase your changes on the latest master
# switch to master branch
git checkout master
# pull the latest code from origin/master
git pull origin master
# Go back to the working branch
git checkout workingBranch
# now on your workingBranch, rebase on master
git rebase master
# if there are conflicts, resolve them, (rebuild your proj) and then you
# need to continue.
git rebase --continue
# now your changes are on the latest master, and then the master should
# merge the workingBranch
git checkout master
git merge workingBranch
# If there are `fast-forward` keyword, good
# re-build your proj to ensure no breaks
git push origin master

# Till now, you are on the local master = origin master + your own commit
# awaiting to be pushed.
# If at this time, unfortunately, someone else pushed after your last
# pull. You have to re-do the rebase stey by:
git checkout workingBranch
# delete the master
git branch -D master
# get the up-to-date master from origin/master
git checkout -b master origin/master
git pull
git checkout workingBranch
git rebase master
git checkout master
git merge workingBranch
git push origin master

# If succeed, delete the workingBranch
git branch -d workingBranch


Undo the latest commit message but the modifications to the code remain.

git reset --soft HEAD^ # ^ means the one before HEAD

Undo the latest commit completely, including the modifications.

git reset --hard HEAD^

What remote repository the ‘origin’ corresponds to?

git remote -v

How to create a new local branch foo?

git checkout -b foo

Verify publickey settings on Github?

ssh -T [email protected]

How to create upstream branch?

git remote add upstream git://

Create a repo

mkdir projectFolderName
cd projectFolderName
git init Sets up the necessary Git files

Push local branch to remote master branch

git push 301:301

Clean local directory

git clean -d -x -f
# will remove untracked files, including directories (-d) and files ignored by git (-x). Replace the -f argument with -n to perform a dry-run or -i for interactive mode and it will tell you what will be removed.

There are many other commands very helpful like git cherry-pick not covered in this doc.

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