April 14, 2014 · git

Git quick reference for beginners

There are many good resources for learning Git. (Here's an excellent online book, and this is my videos series introducing Git and GitHub.) But once you've learned the basics, it can be hard to remember which commands to use to execute the most common tasks.

I went searching for a Git reference guide that would be useful for beginners like myself, but didn't find anything ideal:

So, I decided to make my own reference guide!

The guide below is organized by task, with an emphasis on basic tasks and common command line arguments. It begins with the workflow for cloning, updating, and syncing with a remote repo because that's a common way to get started with Git and GitHub.

Note that this is only a reference guide, and will not teach you Git. It does not explain the difference between staged and committed, what to do with a .gitignore file, or when to create a branch. But if you are already familiar with those concepts, this guide will hopefully refresh your memory and help you to discover other commands you might need.

Cloning a remote repo (that you created or forked on GitHub)

Tracking, committing, and pushing your changes

Syncing your local repo with the upstream repo

Viewing the status of your files

Viewing the commit history

Managing branches

Removing, deleting, and reverting files

Other basic commands

Let me know your thoughts or questions in the comments!

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