12 Best Git Commands You Probably Don't Know for 2024

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Kosal Ang

Wed Mar 20 2024

12 Best Git Commands You Probably Don't Know for 2024

In the world of version control systems, Git stands out as a powerful tool cherished by developers worldwide for its efficiency and flexibility. However, harnessing its full potential often requires familiarity with a range of commands beyond the basic commit and push. In this article, we'll explore a curated selection of Git commands that can significantly enhance your workflow, streamline operations, and maintain a well-organized repository.

  1. Reorganize Commits with git rebase -i

    The git rebase -i command allows for the reorganization, editing, and combining of commits during a rebase operation. This functionality proves invaluable for cleaning up commit history before submitting pull requests or merging changes into a main branch.

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  2. Copy Specific Commits with git cherry-pick

    With git cherry-pick, developers can copy individual commits from one branch to another. This feature comes in handy when incorporating specific changes from a commit without merging the entire branch.

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  3. Navigate Change History with git reflog

    git reflog maintains a record of all previous HEADs, facilitating navigation through change history even after actions like rebase or reset. This command is indispensable for recovering lost commits or reversing accidental actions.

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  4. Identify Bug Introductions with git bisect

    The git bisect command assists in locating the commit that introduced a bug by performing a binary search within the commit history. It's a valuable tool for quickly identifying the source of issues in extensive repositories.

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  5. Manage Multiple Working Directories with git worktree

    git worktree enables the creation and management of multiple working directories from a single Git repository. This functionality simplifies simultaneous work on multiple branches without constant directory switching.

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  6. Handle Submodules with git submodule

    Submodules are Git repositories embedded within a main repository. git submodule facilitates the management of dependencies from other repositories while keeping them separate entities.

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  7. Clean Working Directory with git clean

    The git clean command removes untracked files from the working directory, aiding in the cleanup of generated or temporary files that shouldn't be included in the repository.

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  8. Optimize Git's Database with git gc

    git gc triggers Git's garbage collection process, optimizing and cleaning up the internal database. This command improves Git's performance and frees up disk space.

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  9. Work with Specific Files using git sparse-checkout

    git sparse-checkout allows developers to work with a subset of files in a large repository, saving time and disk space during cloning or pulling operations.

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  10. Reuse Conflict Resolutions with git rerere

    git rerere automatically records successful conflict resolutions and reuses them in similar conflicts in the future, saving time during recurring merge conflicts.

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  11. Attach Additional Information with git notes

    git notes enables the attachment of notes to commits without altering the main timeline, facilitating the addition of supplementary information such as code reviews or review notes.

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  12. Launch a Web-Based Interface with git instaweb

    git instaweb initiates a local web server that showcases a repository's commit history and file contents in a web browser. While not as commonly used, it can be beneficial for quickly browsing repository contents without relying solely on the command line interface.

    Learn more here!

By mastering these essential Git commands, developers can optimize their workflows, maintain a clean and organized repository, and mitigate common development challenges effectively. Whether you're a seasoned Git user or just beginning your journey, integrating these commands into your toolkit will undoubtedly elevate your version control experience. Happy coding!


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