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11 Git Commands I Use Every Day

Domagoj Vidovic
London-based Frontend Engineer. Let's make our Frontend lives more magical ✨ JS/CSS/HTML enthusiast
・3 min read

When I started my career, I was always afraid of losing my code changes. Sometimes, I would copy the code to text files just to be sure that I won't miss something.

That's not a great practice. If you know how to use git properly, you won't have these doubts.

Git has everything you need to make you safe. And much more.

Let's dive in.

1. Checking out a new branch

Obviously, I must use a new branch for every task I start:

git checkout -b <new_branch_name>
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This command creates a new branch and automatically sets it as active.

2. Selecting files for commit

This is one of the rare cases where I prefer GUI. In VS Code (or any other better IDE/text editor), you can easily see the updated files and select the ones you want to include in the commit.

But in case you want to do it with the CLI:

git add .
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This command will stage all changed files.

If you want to select a single file:

git add <path/to/file>
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3. Making a commit

After you stage some files, you need to commit them:

git commit -m "Some changes"
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In case you have some pre-commit rules turned on which doesn't allow you to make a commit (like linting), you can override them by passing the --no-verify flag:

git commit -m "Some changes" --no-verify
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4. Revert all changes

Sometimes, I experiment with the code. A bit later, I realize that it's not the right path and I need to undo all of my changes.

One simple command for that is:

git reset --hard
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5. See the latest commits

I can easily see what's going on on my branch by typing:

git log
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I can see the commit hashes, messages, authors, and dates.

6. Pulling the changes from the remote branch

When I checkout an already existing branch (usually main or development), I need to fetch and merge the latest changes.

There is a shorthand for that:

git pull
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Sometimes, if you're in one of your newly created branches, you'll also need to specify the origin branch:

git pull origin/<branch_name>
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7. Undoing a local, unpushed commit

I made a commit. Damn! Something's wrong here. I need to make one more change.

No worries:

git reset --soft HEAD~1
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This command will revert your last commit and keep the changes you made.

HEAD~1 means that your head is pointing on one commit earlier than your current - exactly what you want.

8. Undoing a pushed commit

I made some changes and pushed them to remote. Then, I realized it's not what I want.

For this, I use:

git revert <commit_hash>
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Be aware that this will be visible in your commit history.

9. Stashing my changes

I'm in the middle of the feature, and my teammate pings me for an urgent code review.

I obviously don't want to trash my changes, neither I want to commit them. I don't want to create a bunch of meaningless commits.

I only want to check his branch and return to my work.

To do so:

// stash your changes
git stash
// check out and review your teammate's branch
git checkout <your_teammates_branch>
... code reviewing
// check out your branch in progress
git checkout <your_branch>
// return the stashed changes
git stash pop
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pop seems familiar here? Yep, this works like a stack.

Meaning, if you do git stash twice in a row without git stash pop in between, they will stack onto each other.

10. Reseting your branch to remote version

I messed something up. Some broken commits, some broken npm installs.

Whatever I do, my branch is not working well anymore.

The remote version is working fine. Let's make it the same!

git fetch origin
git reset --hard origin/<branch_name>
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11. Picking commits from other branches

Sometimes, I want to apply the commits from the other branches. For this, I use:

git cherry-pick <commit_hash> 
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If I want to pick a range:

git cherry-pick <oldest_commit_hash>^..<newest_commit_hash>
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Conclusion

Let's be honest, I don't use all of these commands literally every day - but I use them really often.

I prefer the CLI because we'll never be able to cover all the options with a GUI.

Plus, you'll find most of the tutorials only using the CLI. If you're not familiar with it, you'll have a hard time understanding them.

I covered the basics here, but whatever you need to do, just Google it.

I'm certain that you'll find an answer easily.

Discussion (12)

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pyguy9x profile image
pyguy9x

Hi, I'm newbie and here is my git command

git status : to view exactly what I added
git add .
git commit -m 'Add comment here' .
git status : to view the changed at the end
if everything OK, then
git push : to push all my setting to the server

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mustafa7amdi profile image
mustafa7amdi

Don't forget "git pull" before "git push" 😉

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leealfred profile image
Lee

These are really helpful and well explained. Thank-you!

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domagojvidovic profile image
Domagoj Vidovic Author

Thanks, glad you like it!

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tanth1993 profile image
tanth1993

nice bro. on Version 2.2 and later, I use
git switch to switch branch and
git switch -c to create branch instead of using checkout.
I think git checkout is very useful and it can use for multiple purposes, but we can separate the purposes

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maqamylee0 profile image
emmilly immaculate

Very useful Thank you

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paulcanning profile image
Paul Canning

So basic commands that everyone uses 🙄

Here's a great one for newbies.

git add -p

This will let you pick what hunks of code to stage.

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adrianomoreira profile image
Adriano Moreira

Recently I changed “git checkout” to “git switch” on at branch management

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klukiyan profile image
Kiril Lukiyan

So glad vscode has all these built into the interface

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frankgracy profile image
Grace Frank

I never knew i could use revert this is a much cleaner way to do things. I usually do a git rest in my local and tben run push - - force
Thanks for sharing