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Most Common Git Mistakes

Animesh Dhanuk
PHP Developer with 8+ years of experience.
・2 min read

Many newbies tend to make mistakes, especially at the beginning. This is completely normal, as Git can get very complex, depending on the project's size. I want to accelerate your learning success with Git in this article by showing you the 7 most common Git errors, more specifically Git problems, and how you can easily solve them.

1. Discard changes to local files

As a programmer, it happens every day that unexpected errors occur. To solve the errors quickly, we fumble wildly with the code. Unfortunately, these code changes are not always optimal. It is, therefore, helpful to quickly undo the changes you have made.
With the command “git checkout” you can reset the files to their original state:

# Reset directory "myCode"
git checkout - myCode

2. Undo local commits

You have already created four new commits and only now realize that one of these commits contains a major error. Oops!

No panic. If you want to undo one or more commits, you can use the “git reset” command. The command knows three different modes (soft, hard, mixed):

# Undo the last four commits, keep changes

git reset HEAD ~ 4

# Undo the last four commits, discard changes

git reset --hard HEAD ~ 4

3. Remove the file from Git without deleting it completely

You often add a file to the staging area ( git add ) that doesn’t belong there. You can use the command “ git rm “ here. However, this also removes the file from your file system.

However, if you want to keep the file in the filesystem, you can better remove it from the staging area with “git reset ”. Then add the file to the .gitignore so that you do not mistakenly pack it back into the staging index in the future. That’s how it’s done:

git reset Dateiname

echo Dateiname >> .gitignore

4. Subsequently edit the commit message

Every programmer makes a typo on a commit. Fortunately, commit messages are very easy to correct using the “git commit — amend” command. That’s how it’s done:

# Start the standard text editor to edit the commit message

git commit --amend

# Sets the new message directly

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

5. Change local commits before a push

In the last point, you got to know the option “ — amend”. This is useful if you want to change the last commit. But what if the commit to be corrected wasn’t the last? You can use “git rebase-interactive” for this.

You must enter your remote (usually “origin”) and the branch name here.

git rebase --interactive origin branchName

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