git tricks


checkout old commit and make it a new commit

From StackOverflow.

# the 'rm' is necessary, otherwise any file that is present
# in the newer version but not in the older version is kept
git rm -r .

# - don't forget the '.' dot after the commit hash
git checkout ${commitHash} .

git commit

squash commits non-interactively

# squash last 3 commits
git reset --soft HEAD~3
git commit -m 'new commit message'

how to find large commits in git history


git rev-list --objects --all |
  git cat-file --batch-check='%(objecttype) %(objectname) %(objectsize) %(rest)' |
  sed -n 's/^blob //p' |
  sort --numeric-sort --key=2 |
  cut -c 1-12,41- |
  $(command -v gnumfmt || echo numfmt) --field=2 --to=iec-i --suffix=B --padding=7 --round=nearest

verbose git

GIT_TRACE=true \
  GIT_SSH_COMMAND="ssh -vvv" \
  git command...

revert a commit

Undoing and removing commits that were not yet pushed to the remote repository:

# reverting a commit
# the '--hard' option discards the changes made in the commits being reverted.
git reset --hard HEAD~1

# the number after the tilde '~' sets the amount of commits to be reverted
# example reverting last 3 commits:
git reset --hard HEAD~3

# reverting the commit but keeping the changes
# (this is equivalent to use --soft)
git reset HEAD~1

# once you're happy with the changes you've made, let's ammend that commit
git commit --amend -m 'commit message'

Undoing and removing commits that were already pushed to the remote repository

WARNING: Don't do this in master or develop branch! Only do this when working alone in a branch!

# reverting a commit
git reset --hard HEAD~1

# force push a new commit history to the remote repository
git push --force

Reverting changes through a new commit actually changing the files to the previous state.

# create a new commit changing the commit but in the reverse way
git revert <commit-hash>

getting the latest commit hash

git log origin/master --max-count=1 --no-merges --format='format:%h'

# git log <repo>/<branch> --max-count=1 --no-merges --format='format:%h'

For more info about formatting see man git log.

copy of the remote repository

You cloned a repo, changed some stuff and then regretted. The only thing you want is an exact copy of the remote repo.

Don't 'rm -rf' and clone the repo again!

here's the command you want:

git reset --hard origin/master
# git reset --hard <repo>/<branch>

edit Pull Requests

Tip obtained from:


# 1. Setup a remote to the requester's repository.
# In this example we're using `tempremote`
$ git remote add tempremote
# using the SSH address also works:

# 2. Pull down the code from the branch used in the PR.
# example: `xyz`
$ git fetch tempremote xyz

# 3. Create a local branch with a copy of the PR
# example: username-xyz
$ git checkout -b username-xyz tempremote/xyz

# 4. Make you changes and commit them.

# 5. Push your changes to the branch used in the PR.
$ git push tempremote HEAD:xyz

# 6. Once it's all done, you can delete your `username-xyz` local branch
#    and remove `tempremote` from the list of remote repositories.
$ git branch -d username-xyz
$ git remote remove tempremote

testing a pull request


testing a pull request again #flashcard

git fetch origin pull/1234/head:pr-1234
git checkout pr-1234
# git fetch <repo> pull/<pr-id>/head:<local-branchname>
# git checkout <local-branchname>

gitconfigs to be applied to specific directories

If you work for multiple clients - or if you work for a company and contribute to open source projects - you probably already faced the situation where you made a git commit with the wrong account. Now the github commit history has your real name and your work email... :/

A good solution for this is to:

  1. have a specific dir for a specific customer's source code and
  2. have a specific gitconfig to be applied to all git repositories inside that directory.

Let's just do that:

# creating specific dirs
mkdir -p ~/src/client1
mkdir -p ~/src/client2

# gitconfig for client1
echo "
  email =
  name = meleu" > ~/src/client1/gitconfig

# gitconfig for client2
echo "
  email =
  name = meleu" > ~/src/client2/gitconfig

Once each directory has its own gitconfig, now we must setup the global .gitconfig to apply them at specific situations using includeIf:

# add this to your ~/.gitconfig

[includeIf "gitdir:~/src/client1/**"]
  path = ~/src/client1/gitconfig

[includeIf "gitdir:~/src/client2/**"]
  path = ~/src/client2/gitconfig

Once it's done, your configuration in ~/src/client1/gitconfig will be applied to all cloned repositories inside that directory (same for client2).