This is a list of git notes that I use everyday. Hopefully someone else finds it useful. I will update this list over time.

  • The master branch reflects production ready code only. This branch should be deployable at any time and merges to this branch should not break the build process.
  • Feature branches should be merged into the master when they are complete.
  • Feature branches consist of a single feature or discrete unit of work
  • Commit early and commit often!

Generating SSH-Public Key

  1. Switch to your .ssh directory and check if the file exists, this is your public key
  2. If it doesn’t exist, generate one with the following commandssh-keygen -t rsa -C ""

Output is something like the following:

Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/Users/danielbeard/.ssh/id_rsa): 
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): 
Enter same passphrase again: 
Your identification has been saved in /Users/danielbeard/.ssh/id_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in /Users/danielbeard/.ssh/
The key fingerprint is:
43:c5:5b:5h:b1:f1:51:43:ad:20:a6:92:6a:1f:8a:3a danielbeard@iosdev.local

Copy the contents of the public key file to your clipboard: pbcopy < ~/.ssh/

Normal Workflow

  • Checkout the remote repository with: git clone
  • Updating the repository (won’t need to be done the first time): git pull
  • Create a new branch from the master or current development branch git checkout -b featurebranchname master
  • Make changes to local files
  • Check local modifications with git status
  • Stage certain files with git add <file1> <file2> etc or add all changes git add .
  • Commit to you local repository git commit -m 'commit message'
  • Push the local commit to the remote repository and set up for tracking git push -u origin featurebranchname
  • Repeat until feature branch is complete.
  • Merge master or development branch into the working branch
    • git checkout master
    • git pull
    • git checkout featurebranchname
    • git merge master
  • Push to remote repository git push -u origin featurebranchname
  • Submit pull request and wait for code review

Repository Changes

  • Checking which files are in what state: git status
  • Tracking new files: git add README
  • Committing your changes: git commit -m 'Commit message goes here'
  • Push your current master to the remote origin: git push -u origin master
  • Unstaging a staged file: git reset HEAD <file>
  • Stage all untracked files - git add -u
  • Unmodifying a modified file: git checkout -- benchmarks.rb


  • The git add command stages a file for a commit. Calling git status shows which files are staged/unstaged or if they are untracked.
  • If you modify a file after calling git add, the git status command will show the file as being both staged and unstaged.
  • If you modify a file after calling git add, you have to run git add again to stage the latest version of the file Providing the -a option to git commit makes git automatically stage every file before doing the commit. (Letting you skip the git add part)

Basic repository changes:


  • Creating a new branch: git checkout -b branchname
  • Branching from a current branch: git checkout -b feature devbranch
  • Pushing branch to remote with tracking: git push -u origin branchname
  • Rename branch git branch -m <oldname> <newname>
  • Delete the local branch: git branch -d branchname
  • Delete the remote branch: git push origin :branchname
  • Listing all branches: git branch -a
  • Just list remote branches: git branch -r
  • Checking out a tracked remote branch: git checkout --track origin/branch_name
  • Merging a branch
    • Must have committed all changes (at least locally) like so: git commit -a -m "Made a change in this branch"
    • Switch to whichever branch you are merging back into, e.g. master git checkout master
    • Merge the branch (ALWAYS USE NO-FF): git merge --no-ff branchname


Tracked branches are local branches that have a direct relationship to a remote branch. If you’re on a tracking branch and type git push or git pull, git automatically knows which branch and server to push/pull from.

Git remote branches : Git local branches:


  • Only used for tagging master branch merges or “releases”
  • You can tag at any point, it doesn’t have to be immediately.

Show the commit history like this: git log --pretty=oneline

15027957951b64cf874c3557a0f3547bd83b3ff6 Merge branch 'experiment'
a6b4c97498bd301d84096da251c98a07c7723e65 beginning write support
0d52aaab4479697da7686c15f77a3d64d9165190 one more thing
6d52a271eda8725415634dd79daabbc4d9b6008e Merge branch 'experiment'
0b7434d86859cc7b8c3d5e1dddfed66ff742fcbc added a commit function
4682c3261057305bdd616e23b64b0857d832627b added a todo file
166ae0c4d3f420721acbb115cc33848dfcc2121a started write support
9fceb02d0ae598e95dc970b74767f19372d61af8 updated rakefile
964f16d36dfccde844893cac5b347e7b3d44abbc commit the todo
8a5cbc430f1a9c3d00faaeffd07798508422908a updated readme
  • To tag a certain commit, specify the commit checksum (or part of it) at the end of the command git tag -a v1.2.1 9fceb02
  • Then to transfer all your tags to the remote repository git push origin --tags

Git tags:

Tracking changes between branches

  • Show the modified files between two branches: git diff --name-status master..branch
  • Show side by side comparison : git difftool -t vimdiff master..branch

Git aliases: Branching model: GitHub flow: