How to fix common git mistakes

Paul Ccari

Paul Ccari

January 10, 2021

8 min read

How to fix common git mistakes
We all feel intimidating at first when we start working with git since we are afraid to break something but here I will show you how to fix them.
  • Change a commit message that hasn't been pushed yet
git commit --amend -m "New message"
  • Add more files and changes to commit before pushing
# add files to the staging area
git add -A

#rewrite the most recent commit
git commit --amend -m "My new message"
  • Remove files from staging before committing
# specific filename
git reset HEAD filename

# all files that has been added to the staging area
git reset
  • Remove changes from commit before pushing
# go to head and then back on the tree 1
git reset HEAD~1

# undo the commit before the hash
git reset [HASH]

git revert --no-commit HEAD~3..
  • Use and compare the different git reset options: —hard, —soft, —mixed
# moving back to the staging area from committment
git reset --soft HEAD~1

# moving back to the working directory (DEFAULT)
git reset --mixed HEAD~1

# Get rid of the commit, unstaged the changes and removed from the working directory
git reset --hard HEAD~1
  • Recover local changes from 'git reset —hard' with 'git reflog'
# it saves commits but only if they havent been gargabe collected by git
git reflog

# recover from the ref log
git reset --hard [hash]
  • Undo a commit that has already been pushed
# create a new commit where all things changed will be reverted
# revert the commit you want
git revert [HASH-TO-UNDO]
  • Push a new branch to Github that doesn't exist remotely yet
# create a new branch and switch to it
git checkout -b 'new-branch'

# current commit that we're on for each branch and see the remote
git branch -vv

# push the branch
git push -u origin new-branch
  • Copy a commit from one branch to another
# Copy a commit from a branch to another
git cherry-pick [HASH-COMMIT-TO-MOVE]
  • Move a commit that was committed on the wrong branch
# use cherry pick to copy the commit to the right branch
git cherry-pick [HASH_TO_COPY]

# remove that commit from the wrong branch (go back to working directory)
git reset HEAD~1

# will reset the file to whatever it is at the bash that we reset to
git checkout [file-name]
  • Use git stash to save local changes while pulling
# stash the local changes
git stash

# pop & apply kind of similar
# pop will throws away after apply the changes
git stash pop

# whereas git stash apply leaves it in the stash list for possible later reuse
# (or you can then git stash drop it).
git stash apply

# drop the change from the stash
git stash drop stash@{0}
  • Explore old commits with a detached HEAD, and then recover
# back to an old commit and we'll be in a detached HEAD state
# detached HEAD means that HEAD is not pointing to a branch
git checkout [HASH]

# now, we need to make a new branch from where we at and everything should be OK
git checkout -b my-new-branch
git switch -c my-new-branch
  • Fix a Pull request that has a merge conflict
# try to merge it locally first
git merge master

# resolve conflicts and commit
git commit -m 'fixed conflicts'

# push it and make the PR
git push
  • Cleanup and delete branches after a pull request
# After merging, we can delete branch from github
git branch -vv
git log --oneline --graph

# branches are just pointer to commits
# so we can safely delete branches without losing the underlying commits

# lists branches that can be deleted/pruned on your local.
git remote prune origin --dry-run

# cleanup locally remote branch
git remote prune origin
# will show: [branch-name: gone]

# delete it locally
git branch -d branch-name
  • Change the commit message of a previous commit with interactive rebase

Note: you shouldn't try to do this on commits that have already been pushed - only commits you still have locally

# start the interactive rebase
git rebase -i HEAD~3

# change pick to reword, then we can reword the commit message
# press i to insert mode in vim
# then will show the commit message to edit
# change and save, and quit vim
  • Git ignore a file that has already been committed and pushed
# we pushed an env file and didnt add a gitignore
# so we create gitignore and added .env
# thats not enough because the envfile will be still be on the branch on github

# first, we remove all of our files from our git cache with
git rm -r --cached

# add back all the files we want (env file will be exclude because of gitignore)
git add -A

# the commit that change and push it
git commit -m 'remove env from remote' && git push

IMPORTANT! If you have secrets in a file that you remove in this way, you should still consider those secrets compromised, because anyone could have pulled them already - and they are also still in the git history.

  • Add a file to a previous commit with interactive rebase
# pick a previous commit and enter an interactive rebase
git rebase -i HEAD~2

# change pick to edit on the commit where we want to add a file
# then you can create the files and add, commit (with same message commit)
git commit --amend --no-edit

# to finish the interactive rebase
git rebase --continue
  • Fix merge conflicts while changing commits during an interactive rebase
# use git rebase to back 2 commits
git rebase -i HEAD~2

# change pick to edit on the commit where we want to make changes
# then we add, and commit it without change the message
git commit --amend --no-edit

# now to finish
git rebase --continue # this wont work since the file has been changed later

# now we'll get into a merge conflict during rebase
# so we have to clean this up manually
# fix conflicts and add, commit
git commit -m "Merge rebase changes 2 into changes 3"

# now we can finish
git rebase --continue
  • How to rebase squashing commits in the original branch
# go to the branch you want to rebase
git checkout branch0

# You need the hash that's been created when its squashed and
# last hash commit ( A -> B -> `C` )  => squash => ( `B` )
# you need the B hash (squash commit)
# and the the C hash, the last hash that's been squashed

git rebase --onto [hash commit squash commit] [last hash commit squashed]

How to rebase after squashing commits in the original branch?

  • How to rebase local branch with remote master
# First fetch the new master from the upstream repository, then rebase your work branch on that:
git fetch origin            # Updates origin/master
git rebase origin/master    # Rebases current branch onto origin/master

#other way
git pull --rebase origin master

How to rebase local branch with remote master

  • Rename local and remote branch
# Rename the local branch to the new name
git branch -m <old_name> <new_name>

# Delete the old branch on remote - where <remote> is, for example, origin
git push <remote> --delete <old_name>

# Or shorter way to delete remote branch [:]
git push <remote> :<old_name>

# Prevent git from using the old name when pushing in the next step.
# Otherwise, git will use the old upstream name instead of <new_name>.
git branch --unset-upstream <old_name>

# Push the new branch to remote
git push <remote> <new_name>

# Reset the upstream branch for the new_name local branch
git push <remote> -u <new_name>

Skip the hook husky post-checkout

I'm spreading this information around as it's super useful:

As of v2.4.0 you can now do HUSKY_SKIP_HOOKS=1 git <command> ...

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