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Useful git commands with Sourcetree GUI

lucasbassetti profile image Lucas Bassetti ・4 min read

Introduction

Remembering many git commands and also doing it in the terminal can be hard if you don't have too much practice. Graphical User Interfaces (GUI's) can make your life easier and improve your productivity. One of that is the Sourcetree.

Sourcetree is a free Git client for Windows and Mac that simplifies how you interact with your Git repositories so you can focus on coding. It enables you visualize and manage your repositories through a simple Git GUI.

In this post we will show how to run some git daily basis commands with the Sourcetree GUI.

Commmands

Log

Shows the commit logs.

Command: git log (doc)

In Sourcetree we can check the log in the History tab.

Sourcetree history

Commit

Record changes to the repository

Command: git commit -m <message> [--amend] (doc)

In Sourcetree you can achieve the same result clicking in the rounded Commit button at the top left corner, write the message in the text box and commit it by clicking the right bottom button.

Sourcetree commit

Adding the amend option you will replace the tip of the current branch by creating a new commit. For doing this in Sourcetree you need select the Commit Options in the right top of the commit input box and select the option Amend last commit.

Sourcetree commit amend

Diff

Show changes between commits, commit and working tree, etc

git diff <commit1> <commit2> (doc)

For doing the same in Sourcetree you just need select 2 commits in the History.

Sourcetree diff

Stash

Use git stash when you want to record the current state of the working directory and the index, but want to go back to a clean working directory. The command saves your local modifications away and reverts the working directory to match the HEAD commit.

git stash push -m <message> (doc)

In Sourcetree for push a new stash you need select the Stash button in the top toolbar.

Sourcetree stash push

For apply or delete a stash you can use the Stashes menu in the sidebar.

Sourcetree stash apply/delete

Checkout

Switch branches or restore working tree files

git checkout -b <branch> (doc)

In Sourcetree first you need right click in the commit you want and select the Branch option.

Sourcetree checkout

Then you just need add the branch name and confirm.

Sourcetree checkout - new branch

Add Remote

Adds a remote named <name> for the repository at <url>.

git remote add <name> <url> (doc)

For adding a remote you need first create a remote repository in some host service like Github or Bitbucket. For example, after create a repository on Github you have some like that:

Github new repository

To add this remote in Sourcetree first you need right click on the Workspace menu in the sidebar.

Sourcetree new remote

Then add the remote <name> (usually defined as "origin") and <url> in the fields and click in OK. That's it. Your new branch is ready.

Sourcetree new remote form

Merge

Join two or more development histories together

git merge <branch> (doc)

For merge branch in Sourcetree you just need right click in the branch commit that you want and choose the option Merge.

Sourcetree merge

If you have some conflict you can also fix it by right clicking in the conflicted file, select the Resolve Conflicts and pick the desired option. Resolve Using 'Mine' means you want use the solution of your current branch and Resolve Using `Theirs' means you want replace the solution for the selected commit.

Sourcetree resolve conflicts

Squash

To Squash commits you should use rebase command in interactive mode. Rebasing interactively means that you have a chance to edit the commits which are rebased. You can reorder the commits, and you can remove them (weeding out bad or otherwise unwanted patches).

Start it with the last commit you want to retain as-is:

git rebase -i <after-this-commit> (doc)

An editor will be fired up with all the commits in your current branch (ignoring merge commits), which come after the given commit. You can reorder the commits in this list to your heart’s content, and you can remove them. The list looks more or less like this:

pick deadbee The oneline of this commit
pick fa1afe1 The oneline of the next commit
...

You can squash commits changing the word pick into squash (or just s) next to it. The result would be:

pick deadbee The oneline of this commit
squash fa1afe1 The oneline of the next commit
...

For squash commits in Sourcetree first you need right click in the commit before that you want and select the option Rebase children of <commit> interactively....

Sourcetree rebase interactively

Then select the commits you want squash and confirm. You can also edit the commit message if you want.

Sourcetree squash commits

Conclusion

In this post we learned some useful git daily commands (like commit, merge, stash, etc.) using the Sourcetree GUI. It enables you visualize and manage your repositories improving your productivity and making you focus on what matters: coding.

If you believe there is some command missing or have any other suggestion please let me know commenting below :).

Posted on by:

lucasbassetti profile

Lucas Bassetti

@lucasbassetti

I am a Mobile and Front-end Developer that loves working with open source and discovering new technologies. I have been working with web since 2011. At the moment, I am a Front-end Developer at YachtL

Discussion

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Nice intro to git. I used sourcetree when I was scared of the terminal in my early years, then I got fast on cli. Nowadays I really like Gitkraken just for their visual branches.