Git aliases for your life

I only use a handful of git aliases, but the ones I do I really like. First off, the basic ones:

   ci = commit
   co = checkout
   st = status
   br = branch

Also, another handy tip, as pointed out by a commenter is aliasing g to git (alias g=git) so that after you do the above instead of git ci you can merely do g ci. Neat.

Those are all very obvious and I’d bet nearly everyone has the first couple. The next ones are more in depth but I totally dig them.

I use zsh which has a huge number of glob expansions; what that means for me is that often when I try to run a git command it conflicts with the zsh globbing and I end up getting “zsh: no matches for ^foo”. So that’s what my first alias solves:

alias git='noglob git'

Once I put that in my .zshrc that problem went away entirely, which is nice.

I have the same problem with gitk, but also I always want gitk to be backgrounded, since it’s a gui tool. I wrote a tiny wrapper function and an alias to handle that:

function g_tk() { /usr/bin/env 'gitk' "[email protected]" & }
alias gitk='noglob g_tk'

That’s excellent. Now instead of ‘gitk …’ or ‘gitk … &’ just ‘gitk …’ works.

Often when running gitk I don’t really want to see the entire history of the project. What I typically want is just what’s in the current branch, but not master. I made the following alias for that:

alias grr='noglob g_tk ^origin/master HEAD'

My main repo at work has eight submodules, and updating submodules is really an obnoxiously long command, so I aliased it too:

alias gosu='git submodule update --init'

Lastly, I rebase my code regularly onto the latest master, so I made the following alias:

alias gre='git rebase --root --onto origin/master -i --autosquash'

Another tiny tool I’ve made for less painful merges is what I call “handymerge” or hm.


gitk $(cat .git/MERGE_HEAD) $(cat .git/ORIG_HEAD) "[email protected]" &

I put that in ~/bin and named it git-hm, so now when I’m merging if I want to look at the commits from both side I just run ‘git hm’. If I just want to see commits to file A I run ‘git hm A’. Pretty cool huh?

If you’re interested in learning more about Git, I cannot recommend Pro Git enough. It’s an excellent book that will explain how to use Git day-to-day, how to do more unusual things like set up Git hosting, and underlying data structures that will make the model that is Git make more sense.

Posted Wed, Aug 17, 2011

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