Basic Git Commands Essential git commands every developer should know

dhruv profile image Dhruv ・3 min read

If you’re one of those developers who still don’t use any version control system, I don’t know how you’re still managing to get work done.
In this post, I’m focusing on important git commands that gets all (almost) your work done ( I know you’re a GUI person ).

1) git config

Utility : To set your user name and email in the main configuration file.
How to : To check your name and email type in git config --global user.name and git config --global user.email. And to set your new email or name git config --global user.name = “Dhruv Nenwani” and git config --global user.email = “nendhruv@gmail.com

2) git init

Utility : To initialise a git repository for a new or existing project.
How to : git init in the root of your project directory.

3) git clone

Utility : To copy a git repository from remote source, also sets the remote to original source so that you can pull again.
How to : git clone <:clone git url:>

4) git status

Utility : To check the status of files you’ve changed in your working directory, i.e, what all has changed since your last commit.
How to : git status in your working directory. lists out all the files that have been changed.

5) git add

Utility : adds changes to stage/index in your working directory.
How to : git add .

6) git commit

Utility : commits your changes and sets it to new commit object for your remote.
How to : git commit -m”sweet little commit message”

7) git push/git pull

Utility : Push or Pull your changes to remote. If you have added and committed your changes and you want to push them. Or if your remote has updated and you want those latest changes.
How to : git pull <:remote:> <:branch:> and git push <:remote:> <:branch:>

8) git branch

Utility : Lists out all the branches.
How to : git branch or git branch -a to list all the remote branches as well.

9) git checkout

Utility : Switch to different branches
How to : git checkout <:branch:> or **_git checkout -b <:branch:> if you want to create and switch to a new branch.

10) git stash

Utility : Save changes that you don’t want to commit immediately.
How to : git stash in your working directory. git stash apply if you want to bring your saved changes back.

11) git merge

Utility : Merge two branches you were working on.
How to : Switch to branch you want to merge everything in. git merge <:branch_you_want_to_merge:>

12) git reset

Utility : You know when you commit changes that are not complete, this sets your index to the latest commit that you want to work on with.
How to : git reset <:mode:> <:COMMIT:>

13) git remote

Utility : To check what remote/source you have or add a new remote.
How to : git remote to check and list. And git remote add <:remote_url:>

These are the commands that I feel are essential and get things done, at least for me. Comment here if you think I’ve missed something important or if something can be done differently.

This was originally published on Medium

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dhruv profile



I like to call myself a developer


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Definitely git add -p too, for an interactive view of what you've made changes on.


This! git add -p was probably was helped me the most when swapping Source Tree for CLI git.


Also git diff, I use this all the time to review changes before committing them.


I think rebase is one thing that should be present in this list.
Personally, I use it quite often and it's really helpful, especially if you work in a team.

And interactive rebase allow to squash commits and keep your history clean and clear.


Totally agree, I use it so often I can't even imagine working without it now.


Definitely! Extremely useful.


git log --graph if you want to see the classic git branch timeline view.

git log takes has a huge number of options, I normally use it with:

git log --color --oneline --decorate=no --graph

Optionally I also passing --all in case I want to see all branches.


Also , Search

Search the working directory for foo():

git grep "foo()"

To see history of changes at specific line:-

git blame -L337,+5 -- src/myproject/services.py

To see evolution at line 337:-

git log --pretty=short -u -L 337,337:src/myproject/services.py

Hi Dhruv,

You have shared a nice list of Git Commands, I have shared my own GIT Commands List Please check, if you find anything which is missing from your list, please add them into your websites: techgeekbuzz.com/git-commands/


At Point 10). You can also use "git stash pop" for getting back locally save code.

for your reference find the difference between "git stash apply" and "git stash pop" in below link



I would replace merge with rebase, but that's just me :-)


Definitely git bisect too, I though the idea of commits were cool but was really skeptical of the practicality of using them to debug. git bisect stream lines this very efficiently and is an incredibly useful debugging tool!


try tig utility, it shows logs in interactive way.


Consider better formatting to improve readability. Give examples with fake names or paths.