Git Cheat Sheet for Developers

This guide provides common Git commands, their use cases, along with a few workflow recommendations such as how to resolve merge conflicts.


Basic commands

git init Creates a new git repository in the directory

git add <file name> Adds a specific file to staging

git add . or git add -A Adds the full directory and its contents to staging

git commit -m 'Commit message here' Commits the file changes in staging and provides a description for the commit

git diff *Analyze the differences between old files and ones that have been added to staging *


git branch View all local branches

git branch -b <branch name> Create a new branch and check into it

git branch -av View all branches local and remote

git checkout <branch name> Switch into the specified branch

git branch -d <branch name> Delete a specific branch

git push origin <branch name> Push a branch to a remote repository

git merge <branch name> Merge branch into master branch (ensure that you're inside the master branch)


git stash Stashes changes in the .git file for temporaily hiding changed elements (make sure to run git add prior to stashing

git stash apply Returns the stashed items

View History

git log View previous commits, their messages, and ids

git log <file name> View who changed a specific file

git blame <file name> View who changed a specific file


git reset --hard HEAD Remove all changes and revert to the previous commit

git checkout <file name> Remove changes made to a specific file, reverting it back to the previous commit

Merge Conflicts

When you encounter a merge conflict, first... don't freak out. This just means you're being given the ability to choose which code you want to choose to go with.

Sample Conflict

  • You run git pull on a repo that has changes that conflict with your local copy.
  • You're presented with the following error message:
error: The following untracked working tree files would be overwritten by merge:
Please move or remove them before you merge.

Natural Response


How to Fix a Merge Conflict

It's actually not that hard to fix merge conflicts, simply run git status and it will show you where the conflict exists. An example conflict might look like this:

<<<<<<< HEAD
# Git Homepage
# git-guide

> A guide for working with git
>>>>>>> a1dfac148fb86311a453a9de338e4d7b9389ade5

The <<<<<<< HEAD, =======, and >>>>>>> symbols are simply showing you where the conflict is. You have the choice to pick what you want to keep, what you want to remove, etc. After picking out the implementation that you want you can run:

  • git add .
  • git commit -m 'some commit message'
  • git push

And you will be good to go.


git clone <link to repo> Clone a repository from a remote source, such as GitHub


git rebase master While working on a branch you can bring in committed changes from another branch. This is helpful for ensuring that your feature branch can be cleanly merged with the master branch

Jordan Hudgens

Jordan Hudgens

I've been a software engineer for the past decade and have traveled the world building applications and training individuals on a wide variety of topics.

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