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The Ultimate Git Alias Setup

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The Ultimate Git Alias Setup

If you use git on the command-line, you'll eventually find yourself wanting aliases for your most commonly-used commands. It's incredibly useful to be able to explore your repos with only a few keystrokes that eventually get hardcoded into muscle memory.

Some people don't add aliases because they don't want to have to adjust to not having them on a remote server. Personally, I find that having aliases doesn't mean I that forget the underlying commands, and aliases provide such a massive improvement to my workflow that it would be crazy not to have them.

The simplest way to add an alias for a specific git command is to use a standard bash alias.

# .bashrc

alias s="git status -s"

The disadvantage of this is that it isn't integrated with git's own alias system, which lets you define git commands or external shell commands that you call with git <alias>. This has some nice advantages:

  • integration with git's default bash completion for subcommand arguments
  • ability to store your git aliases separately from your bash aliases
  • ability to see all your aliases and their corresponding commands using git config

If you add the following code to your .bashrc on a system with the default git bash completion scripts installed, it will automatically create completion-aware g<alias> bash aliases for each of your git aliases.

if [ -f /etc/bash_completion ] && ! shopt -oq posix; then
    . /etc/bash_completion                                                                                                                                                                

function_exists() {
    declare -f -F $1 > /dev/null
    return $?

for al in `__git_aliases`; do
    alias g$al="git $al"

    complete_func=_git_$(__git_aliased_command $al)
    function_exists $complete_fnc && __git_complete g$al $complete_func

The main downside to this approach is that it will make your terminal take a little longer to load.

My aliases

Here are the aliases I use constantly in my workflow. I'm lazy about remembering many other aliases that I've decided I should be using, which this setup is great for because I can always list them all using gla.

    # one-line log
    l = log --pretty=format:"%C(yellow)%h\\ %ad%Cred%d\\ %Creset%s%Cblue\\ [%cn]" --decorate --date=short

    a = add
    ap = add -p
    c = commit --verbose
    ca = commit -a --verbose
    cm = commit -m
    cam = commit -a -m
    m = commit --amend --verbose

    d = diff
    ds = diff --stat
    dc = diff --cached

    s = status -s
    co = checkout
    cob = checkout -b
    # list branches sorted by last modified
    b = "!git for-each-ref --sort='-authordate' --format='%(authordate)%09%(objectname:short)%09%(refname)' refs/heads | sed -e 's-refs/heads/--'"

    # list aliases
    la = "!git config -l | grep alias | cut -c 7-"

See Must Have Git Aliases for more.

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