While Git is currently the default choice for version control, it's easy to screw up things and the commands can be a little difficult to remember. Over the past five years of working with Git, I've collected a bunch of aliases that I've come to depend on for my daily workflow. In this blog post, I'll be sharing my aliases with the hope that these make your life a little easier.

XKCD comic 1597 about the difficulty of git

If you're unaware of Git aliases, they are extensions that allow you to add new commands to git. You can define global git aliases for the current user at ~/.gitconfig. Before we jump in, do note that I've gathered this collection over time from experimentation, work, blog posts, etc - in no way do I claim these to be my own.

Basics #

The first few aliases are quite straightforward, they are simply shorter notations to existing top level git commands.

co = checkout
br = branch
ci = commit
st = status
cm = commit -m
l = log --oneline

Now, let's take a look at some of the more interesting ones in detail.

Unstage #

Have you ever staged a particular change only to decide you no longer want to keep that change? The unstage alias will allow you to quickly remove any file or directory from your staging area.

unstage = reset HEAD --

Undo #

Ever made a commit and wanted to undo it right away?

undo = reset --soft HEAD^

Merged #

Do you create feature or bug fix branches for every change and accumulate a bunch of branches over time? This alias lists all your merged branch so that you can quickly prune them if needed.

bm = branch --merged

Stash list #

If you are like me, you would have created a mountain of stashed changes over time that becomes harder to keep track of. This alias creates a color coded list of all your stashes.

sl = stash list --pretty=format:\"%C(red)%h%C(reset) - %C(dim yellow)(%C(bold magenta)%gd%C(dim yellow))%C(reset) %<(70,trunc)%s %C(gree  n)(%cr) %C(bold blue)<%an>%C(reset)\"

### Sample output
4316259 - (stash@{0}) WIP on master: 336067f Add script for creating kubernetes certificat.. (72 seconds ago) <Manoj Karthick>

Discard #

Completely discard any uncommitted changes made (staged, modified or untracked) for a clean slate.

discard = !git stash save --keep-index --include-untracked && git stash drop

Quick note: By default git aliases only allow aliasing a single command. We can get around that restriction by running a shell command instead. By prefixing the value of the alias with !, we tell git to execute the command on the current shell. We can also use && to comnbine commands with short-circuiting.

Pretty log #

Pretty printed log! (With commit message, author, lines modified and files updated for each commit)

ll = log --pretty=format:"%C(yellow)%h%Cred%d\\ %Creset%s%Cblue\\ [%cn]" --decorate --numstat

### Sample output
ea1ecdc Add Helper scripts to shut down GCP resources [Manoj Karthick Selva Kumar]
4 0 .gitignore
33 0 tuts/scripts/instances.sh
78 7 tuts/scripts/nlb.sh

Diff by directory #

Ever wondered which directory has the most amount of changes before committing? This alias outputs percentage changes by directory. For example, when generating this blog with a static site generator, I can use this alias to see if all the content I'm interested in were re-generated or not.

dd = diff --dirstat --find-copies --find-renames --histogram --color

I hope you found these aliases useful. I'll update this blog post when more aliases find a home in my gitconfig.

Also check out ohshitgit.com for more tips on fixing your git mistakes.