Git – Useful Commands

I am posting the git commands, which are very useful for git users.

##Initial configuration Configure user details only for the first time

git config --global "Swami Reddy MR"
git config --global ""

To check your git configuration

git config --list

##Branches List all branches in the local repo

git branch

List all branches including remote-tracking branches

git branch -r

List all branches (including the ones at remote)

git branch -a

Creating your own branch my_branch, with content same as your current branch

git branch my_branch

Switch to the newly created branch

git checkout my_branch

Execute the above two commands in one line:

git checkout -b my_branch

to pull a branch only_remote which exists at github (at remote swamireddy but not in the local repo. (More about git remote update later)

git remote update
git checkout -b only_remote swamireddy/only_remote


Create a new remote swamireddy which will track cinder repository by user swamireddy

git remote add swamireddy

If this is your personal repo, you can append the username in the remote as shown. After that, every time you push to the origin, github will not ask for your username but only password.

git remote add swamireddy

Delete the remote swamireddy

git remote rm swamireddy

List all the remotes

git remote

The above command only shows the names of remotes. To also check the links to the remotes:

git remote -v

Now this is very important command.

git remote update

This will contact the git server and will update the local repository with ALL the content at ALL those remotes. The interesting part is, nothing will actually change. That is, no more new branches (which got created at the server after you last pulled from the server) were created, and the existing branches are also not updated. BUT, all the content goes into the magic .git directory. After you’ve run this command, when you create a branch only existing at remote, the local git repo will not contact the server but will fetch all the contents from within the repository.

To take a new branch from remote, and create a new branch having contents of that remote branch. (You might need to run ‘git remote update’)

git checkout -b stable/cinder origin/stable/cinder


Pushing this newly created branch to remote swamireddy

git push swamireddy my_branch

If you want to push the local branch my_branch with a different name to remote, say my_remote_branch:

git push swamireddy my_branch:my_remote_branch

To create an association with the remote (only first time):

git push -u origin my_branch


git push --set-upstream origin my_branch


Git pull is nothing more than a macro that does git fetch and git merge, in that order. The common syntax to pull from the branch remote_branch located at remote remote_name to the current active branch in the local repo:

git pull remote_name remote_branch

Oops! I didn’t intend to do that!

####To undo last commit. This will just undo the commit but will keep changes, so that you can modify the files and commit again

git reset --soft HEAD^

####To not keep the uncommitted changes. This command will wipe off all the changes which are not committed. Very useful when you made some changes but don’t want to commit it. All the more useful when you pulled something but everything became a mess (possibly due to a merge conflict, or pulling to/from a different branch!)

git reset --hard

####To delete a branch testing from github server

git push swamireddy --delete testing

(NOT git push swamireddy --delete swamireddy/testing)

####Change author of the last commit

git commit --amend --author="Swami Reddy MR <>"

You committed some changes, but then you realized you wanted to add this one line to the commit. In such a case just add that one line, and run this command to have this last change incorporated into that previous commit. This command also gives you an option to change the commit message.

git commit -a --amend

Show me the money

To see the patch of the last commit without undoing the last commit

git show

To see the changes introduced by any earlier commit with commit id c5bb6d821e10ca8f114fa0b3b0149bc8b7257a92

git show c5bb6d821e10ca8f114fa0b3b0149bc8b7257a92

To see the latest changes you made – the changes which have not been staged to be committed

git diff

You can redirect the output from the above three commands to a file, to create a corresponding patch file.

Patching in git

Check the status of patch. How many lines changed, etc

git apply --stat patchfile

Check if the patch can be applied. If no output or no error, patch can be applied safely

git apply --check patchfile

Apply patch with signing-off (better way)

git am --signoff < patchfile

Normal way of applying patch

git apply patchfile


To pull only specific files from another branch: (here, assuming that we have two branches, ‘test’, and ‘master’, and currently we are on ‘master’ branch. If you want to pull ##only ‘’ file from ‘test’ branch to ‘master’ branch, do this:)

git checkout test testfile.py1

If your master changed while you were working on your topic_branch, and if you want to merge the master’s changes, and also get an option to squash the changes you made on topic_branch:

git checkout master
git pull origin master
git checkout topic_branch
git rebase -i master

Undo last commit at the remote repo

(you can use git revert, but don’t know how exactly it works)

Clone a specific branch git repository from github

git clone -b stable/essex

Squash several commits into one single commit

Check out a previous commit with SHA commit id cff2580ad7bc16934b72dd9be7463eb090b31d55 from the current branch to a new branch ‘new_branch’

git checkout -b new_branch cff2580ad7bc16934b72dd9be7463eb090b31d55

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