Git Basics


configure username

git config --global "Your Name"

configure email

git config --global ""

check confgiuration

git config --list


Start a git repo

git init my_new-repo

Start a git repo in existing folder, cd to that folder and..

git init

Removing the repo = just remove the .git folder, it’s the brains

rm -r my_project/.git

where my_project is the project folder you are removing git from.

Adding Code

Add files to track

git add filename.txt

Add all files to track -A

git add -A

Committing Code

Adding a file

git add

where is the name of your file.

Commit code

git commit

Commit all code -a

git commit -a

Commit all code with a message -m

git commit -a -m 'your commit message'

Check Status

show git status

git status

show git log for a history of commits

git log

show details of a specific commit Method 1: checkout

git checkout commitIDENTIFIER

you dont need the whole identifer, the first 5 letters would usually do.

go back to where you were after checking out a commit

git checkout master

master is the branch you were previously on before checking out the commit.

Method 2: diff check difference between two commits

git diff commit1 commit2

Removing code

To remove files/folders from a git repo

git rm filename.txt


git rm -r directory/cache

Use -f flag if you have to force it. It is recommended to add files you don’t want in the repo to .gitignore so they don’t get added in the first place.

Delete branches

delete a branch locally

git branch -d FOO
git branch --delete FOO

git branch -D FOO
git branch --delete --force FOO

-d is the same as --delete and -D is the same as --delete --force

-D or --delete will delete the branch locally. you can’t delete the branch you are in, it’ll ask you to switch before deleting.

delete a remote branch

git push <remote_name> --delete <branch_name>

git push <remote_name> :<branch_name>


Bracnhes are like alternate realities for your repositry. They let you pursue different courses of action on your project in parallel.

Check what branch you are in

git status

Create a new branch

git branch branchName

Switch to a branch

git checkout branchName

Switch back to master branch

git checkout master

Switch and create branch in the same command

git checkout -b newFeature

-b flag will create the branch if it doesnt already exists.

show bracnhes

git branch

* asterisk indicates what branch you’re currently on.


Merge a branch

git merge branchName

after manually taking care of merge conflicts,

git add conflictedFile

and then

git commit


git clone remoteRepo  yourNewRepoName

Working with Remotes

show list of remote repos

git remote

add remote repo

git remote add NameForRemote Location/url_of_remote

add github repo

git remote add origin github_url

the name doesn’t have to be origin, it’s just convention to name it that

push changes to remote

git push -u origin  master

origin is the name of remote repo and master is the branch.

Git Flow

installing git-flow on Linux

sudo apt-get install git-flow

start git flow

git flow init

start git flow on a new branch

git flow Flow_banch start BranchName

close git flow on a new branch

git flow Flow_banch finish BranchName

Starting from Scratch or Uploading an Existing Project

BitBucket Project help

Screenshot taken from BitBucket. Use git add -A to add all existing files if you are pushing up an existing project.

Further Reading


  • The most important part in the repo is the .git folder. The .git folder is what tracks everything. The name of the folder you initiate a git repo with/in doesn’t matter. The files inside doesn’t matter. Whether you delete all those files doesn’t matter either. If you have the .git folder intact, you’ll be able to restore all those files
  • –global flag means that we’d like to apply these changes for all our repositories
  • the answer to ‘should i commit?’ is ‘do you have a good commit message?’
  • when you add a file, git adds it to what’s called the staging area.
  • check this link for a better commit log.
  • the most recent commit = HEAD
  • the commit before the last commit = HEAD~1
  • master is like the trunk of your project. It’s usually the main code of your project that’s deployed.
  • when we create a branch, it starts with a copy of the branch we are in. If you are in a branch other than master, your new branch will copy the branch you are currently in. Consider actual tree branches, they branch out from where they are already.

For a more detailed, easy to understand and video demonstrated intro to Git, take the Git Basics course on Treehouse. This article was written while taking that course.