O'Reilly logo

Version Control with Git, 2nd Edition by Matthew McCullough, Jon Loeliger

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 20. Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

With a plethora of commands and options, Git provides a rich resource for performing varied and powerful changes to a repository. Sometimes, though, the actual means for accomplishing some particular task are a bit elusive. Sometimes, the purpose of a particular command and option isn’t really clear or becomes lost in a technical description.

This chapter provides a collection of various tips, tricks, and techniques that highlight Git’s ability to do interesting transformations.

Interactive Rebase with a Dirty Working Directory

Frequently, when developing a multicommit change sequence on a local branch, I realize that I need to make an additional modification to some commit I’ve already made earlier in the sequence. Rather than scribbling a note about it on the side and coming back to it later, I will immediately edit and introduce that change directly into a new commit with a reminder note in the commit log entry that it should be squashed into a previous commit.

When I eventually get around to cleaning up my commit sequence, and want to use git rebase -i, I am often midstride and find myself with a dirty working directory. In this case, Git will refuse to do the rebase.

    $ git show-branch --more=10
    [master] Tinker bar
    [master^] Squash into 'More foo and bar'
    [master~2] Modify bar
    [master~3] More foo and bar
    [master~4] Initial foo and bar.

    $ git rebase -i master~4
    Cannot rebase: You have unstaged changes.
    Please commit or stash them.

As suggested, ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required