My Personal Git Tricks Cheatsheet

Antonin Januska on July 08, 2019

Besides the "basic" commands of Git, everyone has their own little Git tricks they use. I wanted to quickly write a list of my own which I tend to ... [Read Full]
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Track upstream branch
alias git-up="git branch | sed -n -e 's/^\* \(.*\)/\1/p' | xargs git push -u origin "

Assuming that you have set your git-branch alias already, you could simplify this as:

alias git-up="git push -u origin \$(git-branch)"

EDIT: escaped $ to prevent running the alias on definition, thanks @darlanalves


Git assumes the current branch implicitely, so the following also works:

alias git-up="git push -u origin"

Even better is to use a git alias for this:

git config --global alias.up 'push -u origin'

so you can use it like $ git up.

If you think you need to explicitly specify the branch anyway you can define an alias like this:

git config --global alias.up '!git push -u $(git-branch)'

Nice! Thank you for the tips!

The git up alias is perfect.


Not specifying the branch still gives me a Fatal: The current branch has no upstream. Any ideas why?

Yep, I copied and pasted this exactly
git config --global alias.up 'push -u origin'

Ok, after some digging I got an alias to work. I have no idea why it works when nothing else I tried would but here it is anyway. I think it is best to paste the following into your .git-config file directly:

up = "!git push -u origin `git symbolic-ref --short HEAD`"

or if you have git 2.22

up = "!git push -u origin `git branch --show-current`"

I figured this out mostly by messing around with this Stack Overflow answer: stackoverflow.com/a/30529511/9770212


the problem is that the git-branch got evaluated when I started my terminal. This is in zsh. :/

I'd immediately get "not a git repository" message.


maybe a function would work?

function gitUp() {
  git push -u origin $(git-branch)

Oh, you're right... an alias would be immediately evaluated.
Using a function is the way to go.

it kind of tripped me up! I was expecting it to evaluate when invoked, just like a function.

Yeah, it may not be intuitive at first... but is really useful to be able to rely on both behaviors (evaluate on definition or when run).
If you wanted to use other aliases within an alias you have to start playing around with eval (which I don't really recommend). Like:

alias testingEval="eval 'git-branch'"

But things get messy pretty quickly... I pretty much use alias for super simple things or functions when I need something a bit longer that could use some extra variables, or to use parameters, or runtime expansion.

btw, I use zsh too :) ... I use prezto and got some configs online if you want to take a look

I get why it works like that and I'm ok with it :) It really just surprised me but then again, I don't do a lot of bash scripting.

The key to it is just escape the $ char in an alias.

alias git-up="git push -u origin \$(git-branch)"

Oh, cool. I didn't know about that, thanks.
I've edited my comment escaping the $.


I like this kind of articles, we can get some ideas.

From your examples, I had the feeling that you're not sure how to include arguments or bash commands into aliases. You might be interested in one my articles:


I do know. And the comments taught me a good deal but I don't like adding bash commands to git aliases since I use git on non Linux machines


Sorry then. How come you use sed and xargs in your aliases? Or you want to maintain only one .gitconfig and push all the rest to OS-specific setenvs?

That's it!

I write completely different aliases for Powershell but I get to still use identical git aliases

yep, quickly dismissed it. It's not worth it plus Powershell is just so damned good!


On the current branch alias, don't forget git branch --show-current with Git 2.22: stackoverflow.com/a/55088865/6309.

I used it in stackoverflow.com/a/56713414/6309


also if you've got git > 2 this works

git status --porcelain=v2 --untracked-file=no --branch \
| grep branch.head \
| cut -d ' ' -f 3


I HAD NO IDEA. This is awesome! Thank you! :)


looks like I'm still a little behind on versions. I'm on v2.17.x

Neat tip though, I'll have to remember to come back and change my rc files to use this :)


I am afraid to do git cherry-pick without the -n parameter because cherry-picking automatically commits after picking the changes. Most of the time I want to review the changes and commit them manually. So I do:

git cherry-pick -n HASH

ooh, i wasn't aware of the dry run. I tend to not care because I can always do an interactive rebase and delete those commits.


Quick amend
git commit --amend --reuse-message HEAD

My approach for this is git commit --amend --no-edit


Current branch
alias git-branch="git branch | sed -n -e 's/^\* \(.*\)/\1/p'"

My approach to get the current branch is this:

alias gcb='git symbolic-ref --short HEAD'

(gcb to remind me of Git Current Branch)

I like it more because it uses only git and I don't depend on piping through another app.


Nice post!

For the "get the name of the current branch" there's a git plumbing command that can help you get the current branch name reliably without the text manipulation:

alias git-branch="git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD"

I tend to keep this one as part of my git aliases:

git config alias.current "rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD"

Here's a quick write-up if you're interested!


Why use shell aliases for something that's git specific? You can just use git aliases.

Instead of:

alias git-branch="git branch | sed -n -e 's/^\* \(.*\)/\1/p'"


git config --global alias.this-branch '!'"git branch | sed -n 's/^\* \(.*\)/\1/p'"

Now, from within any repo, you can run git this-branch, and you didn't have to add anything to your shell, and if you switch shells, it will continue to work.


That's pretty cool! I basically just learned about that from people on this post


Git aliases

# ~/.gitconfig
    spull = "!git stash && git pull --rebase && git stash pop"
    spush = "!git stash && git pull --rebase && git push && git stash pop"
    pushf = push --force-with-lease
    ameno = commit --amend --no-edit
    anarchy = "!git add . && git ameno && git pushf"

System aliases

# ~/.bashrc, ~/.zshrc, ...
alias cdg='cd $(git rev-parse --show-toplevel)'

You can simply do git push -u origin HEAD and not have to mess around with evaluating the branch name.


Thank you for the nice writeup Antonin! I'll definitively take over a few :)

Might not be totally related, but in order to not be able to commit things that are not to be committed, we're using (husky)[github.com/typicode/husky] and a pretty strict linting :)


Great tips, Antonin!

I've been using similar tricks in my daily flow... And they definitely help productivity!
I've added them to a repo so I can share between my machines and with other devs :)



Your trick git reflog saved my today working. Thanks :)


Thanks for sharing!! I have a question about git log -1. Why don't you use git show instead? Does it have any benefits?


I just do this to get the current branch:
git branch | grep '*'


You should also have *.log in your .gitignore

And *.sw[a-p] if you have vim friends.


I had no idea about cherry-picking a list of commits! This is a game-changer!

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