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Liz Lam
Liz Lam

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3 Git Aliases I Can't Live Without

Using git on the command line is by far my preferred way. Every time someone asks me something about GitHub Desktop, Sourcetree, SmartGit, TortoiseGit or any git reptile for that matter usually results in a blank face.

But as much as I find the native git command line client sufficient for most of my everyday tasks, there are several aliases I just can't live without.

Print where you are using pwb

Inspired by pwd which will print working directory, pwb prints the working branch. This is especially useful when I'm using branches with particularly long names.

alias pwb='git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD'

bash-3.2$ pwb
bash-3.2$ git pull origin `pwb`  
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Check out a branch using cb

Creating an alias to check out a branch may seem a little silly, but if you have many branches with names like JIRA-PRODUCT1-398539 and JIRA-PRODUCT2-234323. switching back and forth is quite cumbersome. There is the git checkout - method which will checkout the last branch you checked out. This is a handy trick but with the powers of fzf and a few chained commands, there is an even more handy way.

fzf is a fuzzy finder utility that is blazingly fast and flexible.

If you haven't already, install it now!!!

alias cb='git branch | fzf --header Checkout | xargs git checkout'

using  raw `cb` endraw  alias

Merge a branch using mb

As described above, branches with long names are just a pain. Merging long named branches is just as cumbersome as checking them out. Sure, you can copy and paste, but even that experience can be improved. In the same spirit as the cb alias, using fzf and a few piped commands will make this repetitive task a little better.

alias mb='git branch | fzf --header Merge | xargs git merge'

using 'mb' alias

Since git is just another CLI. There are endless possibilities on how to improve its usage and tailor it to your own personal preferences.

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