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Stop using apps for Git, use command line

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Lots of developers I’ve met are using applications for their Git repositories. Few who use command line (terminal) to do that. You can see list of these applications in Git-SCM

I can tell that reasons for using apps instead of command line (terminal) are one of:

  • Lack of Help. Because when you have a question, there is no easy way to get your solution for it.
  • Not enough time to try and experience Git commands. (lazy developers)
  • Most think that these apps do work faster and easier.

But I am sure that when you get familiar with Git commands, you will change your mind and forget about these apps.

In this article, I will explain the most used commands for Git and how to use them. Lets split them into points:

Initializing

You have different ways to initialize your repository:

  1. Cloning: by using command
    git clone [email protected]:alaabadran/some-repository.git
  2. Setting remote URL: first, you need to initialize it by
    git init

    Then use this code

    git remote set-url origin [email protected]:alaabadran/some-repository.git
  3. Manual config: You can do this by updating file .git/config

Checking and Fetching

I want to talk about this now because we will be using this alot.

Committing

Every time you do changes, commit it. Its preferred to commit every time you change/add something. Not to do that at the end of your work.

Before committing, you should check your repository status to know what to do.

git status

If there is no message, we can commit safely

git commit [options]

We should add all added/modified files to be committed. We have to way to do that:

git add . //OR 
git add --all

or we can do that in the commit command

git commit -a

You should keep in mind that every commit should have a message. The commit command will be

git commit -m "my commit message" // or 
git commit -am "my commit message" //while m is the option for adding message.

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You can do several commits.. And once you want to upload your changes to the server, you should push it

git push origin master

Branches

When you create new repository, you have a master branch. You can create branches to split your work and once this part of work is done and tested, you can merge it with master branch.

So, master branch is for the final running and tested version.

To create a new branch do this:

git checkout -b new-branch

The new branch won’t be available on the server till you do commit and push.

To switch between branches do

git checkout branch-name

Important Note: You can’t switch between branches if you have un-committed work in your current branch.

Merging

When work on branches are done and tested, we can now merge it with master.. Or we may merge it with any other branch. The way to do that is:

git checkout master // Selecting the branch we want to marge to.
git merge new-branch

In the code above, you first select the branch. Then you merge it with other branch. new-branch should be the final tested version.

Merge Conflicts

When you are trying to merge and you’ve got  a warning for a conflict, just to be afraid. Git stores all file versions and nothing will be lost.

All you need is to run this command when you have a conflict

git mergetool

You may see a warning for choosing the tool for merging. Type one of the suggestion. I usually use this command

git mergetool opendiff

You will have to save every file conflicted and exit. Once you are done, merge will be over.

 

There are more things to discuss about Git, i just see that this is a good way to start using command line.
Please let me know if you have a question or feedback