Essential Git Commands for Developers

Git is one of the most popular version control systems used by software developers today. It allows teams to work collaboratively on a project, keep track of changes, and manage versions of their code. Git has a command-line interface (CLI) that can seem intimidating at first, but once you master the basics, you can accomplish a lot more with Git.

In this article, let’s take a look at the top 30 Git commands you should know to master Git CLI, these commands cover the most useful git commands that are often used.

Git init

The first command you'll use when starting a new Git repository is git init. This command initializes an empty Git repository in the current directory.

git init

Git commit

The git commit command records the changes made to the repository. You can add a message to describe the changes you've made.

Git branch

The git branch command lists all the branches in your repository. You can create new branches, delete branches, and switch between branches.

[Read more:Best Git Branching Strategies For Engineering Teams]

Git checkout

The git checkout command allows you to switch between branches or to a specific commit. You can also use it to create a new branch from an existing one.

Git merge

The git merge command allows you to merge changes from one branch into another. It's useful when working on a team, as it allows you to combine your changes with those of your colleagues.

git merge command

Git pull

The git pull command fetches changes from a remote repository and merges them with your local repository.

Git remote

The git remote command allows you to manage the remote repositories associated with your local repository. You can add new remote repositories, remove them, or rename them.

Git clone

The git clone command creates a copy of a remote repository on your local machine. You can use it to start working on a project that has already been created.

Git log

The git log command shows a history of commits made to the repository. It includes the commit message, author, date, and other details.

[Read more: Git Log Cheatsheet For a Productive 2023]

Git fetch

The git fetch command downloads the latest changes from a remote repository but doesn't merge them with your local repository.

Git blame

This is a git command that allows developers to determine who last modified a particular line of code in a file, as well as when the modification was made. This command is useful for identifying the author of a particular change, and for investigating the history of a file.

Git stash

This git command allows developers to temporarily save changes to the working directory without committing them to the Git repository. This command is useful for saving changes that are not yet ready to be committed, such as unfinished features or experimental code. Git stash can help developers keep their code organized and easily switch between different code states.

git stash command

Git tag

The git tag command allows developers to assign a permanent name and version number to a specific commit in the git repository. This command is useful for marking important milestones in the development process, such as the release of a new version of the software. Git tags are typically used to mark stable or production-ready versions of the code and can be used to reference specific versions of the software in the future.

[Read more: What Are Git Tags: Types, Commands, and Best Practices]

Git cherry-pick

This command is useful for developers to apply a specific commit from one branch to another branch. For the selectively applying of changes from one branch to another, such as when a bug fix or feature improvement is needed in a specific branch. Git cherry-pick can help developers save time and avoid merging unwanted changes from other branches into their current branch.

Git rebase

This command is used to modify the commit history of a branch by moving or reordering existing commits. It is a more powerful alternative to Git merge and can help keep the commit history cleaner and more organized.

Git bisect

This command is used for binary search debugging. It allows developers to find the commit that introduced a bug by automatically testing each commit in a given range until the faulty commit is found.

git bisect command

Git worktree

This command is used to create multiple working trees from a single repository. This can be useful when working on multiple branches or when multiple team members need to work on the same repository simultaneously.

[Read more: Using Git Worktree to Master Git Workflow]

Git reflog

This command is used to show a log of all Git actions that have been performed on a repository, including actions that have been undone or lost due to rebase or reset.

Git rerere

This command is used to automatically resolve merge conflicts by remembering how conflicts were resolved in the past and applying the same resolution to future conflicts.

git rerere command

Git submodule

This command is used to include another Git repository as a subdirectory of the current repository. This can be useful when working on a project that depends on multiple repositories.

Git filter-branch

This command is used to rewrite Git history by applying a filter to all commits in a repository. This can be useful for removing sensitive data from a repository or for simplifying the commit history.

Git update-index

This command is used to update Git's index, which tracks the contents of the working directory. This can be useful when manually modifying the working directory and Git needs to be notified of the changes.

git update command

Git gc

This command is used to optimize and clean up Git's internal database. This can be useful for improving the performance of Git commands and for freeing up disk space.

Git instaweb

This command is used to launch a local web server that displays a repository's commit history and file contents in a web browser. This can be useful for quickly browsing a repository's contents without needing to use the command line.

git instaweb

Git submodule foreach

This command is used to execute a Git command in each submodule of a repository. This can be useful when working with a repository that contains multiple submodules and you need to perform a task on all of them at once.

[Read more:Top Git Extensions For VS Code in 2023]


These commands include the most used and also the less commonly used Git commands but can be very useful in certain situations. By mastering these Git commands, you can work more efficiently and effectively with Git and manage your codebase with ease.

However, simply using Git, might not be enough to get the best out of your project space, an engineering analytics tool can equip you with the data-driven insights you need to place your team on top. Hatica offers metrics across 13 dashboards, powered by CI/CD tools, JiraGitHub,Azure,CircleCI and GitLab. By collating tool activities at one place, Hatica helps teams streamline their workflow and improve productivity.

Subscribe to the Hatica blog today to read more about unblocking developers, and boosting productivity with engineering analytics. 

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Table of Contents
  • Git init
  • Git commit
  • Git branch
  • Git checkout
  • Git merge
  • Git pull
  • Git remote
  • Git clone
  • Git log
  • Git fetch
  • Git blame
  • Git stash
  • Git tag
  • Git cherry-pick
  • Git rebase
  • Git bisect
  • Git worktree
  • Git reflog
  • Git rerere
  • Git submodule
  • Git filter-branch
  • Git update-index
  • Git gc
  • Git instaweb
  • Git submodule foreach
  • Conclusion