Getting more serious with Git

Learn more advanced commands about Git with this tutorial

Recommended books

You liked this tutorial and want to go even further with Git? Here some some books we recommend you to read. They are great additions to what we covered in this tutorial.

New Git commands used in this tutorial

Stash the changes in a dirty working directory away.


git stash list [<options>]
git stash show [<stash>]
git stash drop [-q|--quiet] [<stash>]
git stash ( pop | apply ) [--index] [-q|--quiet] [<stash>]
git stash branch <branchname> [<stash>]
git stash [save [-p|--patch] [-k|--[no-]keep-index] [-q|--quiet]
          [-u|--include-untracked] [-a|--all] [<message>]]
git stash clear
git stash create [<message>]
git stash store [-m|--message <message>] [-q|--quiet] <commit>


Use git stash when you want to record the current state of the working directory and the index, but want to go back to a clean working directory. The command saves your local modifications away and reverts the working directory to match the HEAD commit.

The modifications stashed away by this command can be listed with git stash list, inspected with git stash show, and restored (potentially on top of a different commit) with git stash apply. Calling git stash without any arguments is equivalent to git stash save. A stash is by default listed as "WIP on branchname ...", but you can give a more descriptive message on the command line when you create one.

The latest stash you created is stored in refs/stash; older stashes are found in the reflog of this reference and can be named using the usual reflog syntax (e.g. [email protected]{0} is the most recently created stash, [email protected]{1} is the one before it, [email protected]{2.hours.ago} is also possible).


   save [-p|--patch] [-k|--[no-]keep-index] [-u|--include-untracked] [-a|--all] [-q|--quiet] [<message>]
       Save your local modifications to a new stash, and run git reset --hard to revert them. The
       <message> part is optional and gives the description along with the stashed state. For quickly
       making a snapshot, you can omit both "save" and <message>, but giving only <message> does not
       trigger this action to prevent a misspelled subcommand from making an unwanted stash.

       If the --keep-index option is used, all changes already added to the index are left intact.

       If the --include-untracked option is used, all untracked files are also stashed and then cleaned
       up with git clean, leaving the working directory in a very clean state. If the --all option is
       used instead then the ignored files are stashed and cleaned in addition to the untracked files.

       With --patch, you can interactively select hunks from the diff between HEAD and the working tree
       to be stashed. The stash entry is constructed such that its index state is the same as the index
       state of your repository, and its worktree contains only the changes you selected interactively.
       The selected changes are then rolled back from your worktree. See the "Interactive Mode" section
       of git-add(1) to learn how to operate the --patch mode.

       The --patch option implies --keep-index. You can use --no-keep-index to override this.

   list [<options>]
       List the stashes that you currently have. Each stash is listed with its name (e.g.  [email protected]{0} is
       the latest stash, [email protected]{1} is the one before, etc.), the name of the branch that was current
       when the stash was made, and a short description of the commit the stash was based on.

           [email protected]{0}: WIP on submit: 6ebd0e2... Update git-stash documentation
           [email protected]{1}: On master: 9cc0589... Add git-stash

       The command takes options applicable to the git log command to control what is shown and how. See

   show [<stash>]
       Show the changes recorded in the stash as a diff between the stashed state and its original
       parent. When no <stash> is given, shows the latest one. By default, the command shows the
       diffstat, but it will accept any format known to git diff (e.g., git stash show -p [email protected]{1} to
       view the second most recent stash in patch form).

   pop [--index] [-q|--quiet] [<stash>]
       Remove a single stashed state from the stash list and apply it on top of the current working tree
       state, i.e., do the inverse operation of git stash save. The working directory must match the

       Applying the state can fail with conflicts; in this case, it is not removed from the stash list.
       You need to resolve the conflicts by hand and call git stash drop manually afterwards.

       If the --index option is used, then tries to reinstate not only the working tree's changes, but
       also the index's ones. However, this can fail, when you have conflicts (which are stored in the
       index, where you therefore can no longer apply the changes as they were originally).

       When no <stash> is given, [email protected]{0} is assumed, otherwise <stash> must be a reference of the form
       [email protected]{<revision>}.

   apply [--index] [-q|--quiet] [<stash>]
       Like pop, but do not remove the state from the stash list. Unlike pop, <stash> may be any commit
       that looks like a commit created by stash save or stash create.

   branch <branchname> [<stash>]
       Creates and checks out a new branch named <branchname> starting from the commit at which the
       <stash> was originally created, applies the changes recorded in <stash> to the new working tree
       and index. If that succeeds, and <stash> is a reference of the form [email protected]{<revision>}, it then
       drops the <stash>. When no <stash> is given, applies the latest one.

       This is useful if the branch on which you ran git stash save has changed enough that git stash
       apply fails due to conflicts. Since the stash is applied on top of the commit that was HEAD at
       the time git stash was run, it restores the originally stashed state with no conflicts.

       Remove all the stashed states. Note that those states will then be subject to pruning, and may be
       impossible to recover (see Examples below for a possible strategy).

   drop [-q|--quiet] [<stash>]
       Remove a single stashed state from the stash list. When no <stash> is given, it removes the
       latest one. i.e.  [email protected]{0}, otherwise <stash> must be a valid stash log reference of the form
       [email protected]{<revision>}.

       Create a stash (which is a regular commit object) and return its object name, without storing it
       anywhere in the ref namespace. This is intended to be useful for scripts. It is probably not the
       command you want to use; see "save" above.

       Store a given stash created via git stash create (which is a dangling merge commit) in the stash
       ref, updating the stash reflog. This is intended to be useful for scripts. It is probably not the
       command you want to use; see "save" above.
Reset current HEAD to the specified state.


git reset [-q] [<tree-ish>] [--] <paths>...
git reset (--patch | -p) [<tree-ish>] [--] [<paths>...]
git reset [--soft | --mixed [-N] | --hard | --merge | --keep] [-q] [<commit>]


In the first and second form, copy entries from <tree-ish> to the index. In the third form, set the current branch head (HEAD) to <commit>, optionally modifying index and working tree to match. The <tree-ish>/<commit> defaults to HEAD in all forms.

If you want to undo a commit other than the latest on a branch, git-revert(1) is your friend.


   -q, --quiet
       Be quiet, only report errors.
Remove files from the working tree and from the index.


git rm [-f | --force] [-n] [-r] [--cached] [--ignore-unmatch] [--quiet] [--] <file>...


Remove files from the index, or from the working tree and the index. git rm will not remove a file from just your working directory. (There is no option to remove a file only from the working tree and yet keep it in the index; use /bin/rm if you want to do that.) The files being removed have to be identical to the tip of the branch, and no updates to their contents can be staged in the index, though that default behavior can be overridden with the -f option. When --cached is given, the staged content has to match either the tip of the branch or the file on disk, allowing the file to be removed from just the index.


       Files to remove. Fileglobs (e.g.  *.c) can be given to remove all matching files. If you want Git
       to expand file glob characters, you may need to shell-escape them. A leading directory name (e.g.
       dir to remove dir/file1 and dir/file2) can be given to remove all files in the directory, and
       recursively all sub-directories, but this requires the -r option to be explicitly given.

   -f, --force
       Override the up-to-date check.

   -n, --dry-run
       Don't actually remove any file(s). Instead, just show if they exist in the index and would
       otherwise be removed by the command.

       Allow recursive removal when a leading directory name is given.

       This option can be used to separate command-line options from the list of files, (useful when
       filenames might be mistaken for command-line options).

       Use this option to unstage and remove paths only from the index. Working tree files, whether
       modified or not, will be left alone.

       Exit with a zero status even if no files matched.

   -q, --quiet
       git rm normally outputs one line (in the form of an rm command) for each file removed. This
       option suppresses that output.