Decentralized version control system.

Searching for when a given string was introduced

When you want to find out which commit first referenced a given string:

git log -S <string to search for> --source --all

See this stackoverflow answer.

Reverting commits without creating a new one

This is useful when you want to revert a set of commits, but also when you want to change them before committing again.

git revert -n <commit hashes to revert>

See the git documentation

Deleting multiple local branches

git branch -d $BRANCH_NAME will delete a local branch IFF it’s been merged with the upstream branch (or remote). If you pass in --force, then it’ll delete it regardless. git branch -D $BRANCH_NAME is a shorthand for git branch -d --force $BRANCH_NAME.

git branch -D prefix* doesn’t work (git won’t do the name completion for you). Instead, something like this will work:

git branch | grep "$PREFIX_STRING" | xargs git branch -D

Rebasing a branch onto another one.

Say you branch off my_work from develop. But you later find out you need to merge it into master. How do you merge only the commits from my_work into master without including other commits from develop?

As with most things in software, stackoverflow has the answer.

git checkout my_work
git rebase --onto master develop my_work

That is, you rebase onto the target branch, from the original branch point, with the branch you want to move.


Submodule are a neat, basic way to manage dependencies.

Adding one is easy

git submodule add SUBMODULE_URL

When you’re not the one who added it, the command to pull down the submodules is less obvious.

git submodule update --init --recursive

Generating and Applying Patches

Patch files are files (duh) describing changes between one version to another. They can be easily created by piping git diff $SOURCE_COMMIT $TARGET_COMMIT to a file. Or, for changes from HEAD to whatever’s being worked on, a simple git diff.

Once you have the patch, you can then apply it with git apply $PATH_TO_FILE, so, for example:

git diff > change.patch
git co .
git apply change.patch

Which is a less elegant version of git stash.

Stop tracking changes to a file

Use git rm --cached on the file(s), and add them to the ignore patterns.

Last updated: 2020-06-21 10:18:22 -0700