Tag Archives: Git

Git goodies

Oh, Git! The thing that makes our developers life so much easier, yet – as, perhaps, any involved system – having so much left out of attention of the most. It’s far from original to post this XKCD gag here, but it’s just too true:

Git by XKCD

Me myself, I don’t really understand Git. I mean sure, I’ve read few articles on its structure and what acyclic graphs are and how it works etc., but when things go awry – I’m still puzzled.

To help that a little, I started to collect a set of shortcuts and tricks to make frequent problems less hassle. These come in form of scripts – while I could make aliases, I somehow prefer separate scripts as they let you use bash syntax if task is a little more complex than a simple shortcut. What’s also nice is if you name your file (or alias, I suppose) “git-kill-all-humans“, you can then run it as “git kill-all-humans” and even see it in the tab completion for Git commands!

The full set could be found under “git-tools” directory at https://bitbucket.org/hydralien/tools, below are just a couple of the most used ones.

  • git-forget – to use as “git forget .” to loose all the uncommitted changes or “git forget filename” to just a specific file to revert
git checkout -- $@
  • git-origin – to get the remote URL of the repository, useful to share or to clone other repository that resides at the same server (so I just need to change the name)
git config --get remote.origin.url
  • git-out – to see what changes are scheduled to be pushed to origin
git diff origin/`git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD` -- $@
  • git-import – get changeset from a different host, useful when development happens on same repository cloned on many instances – sometimes changes end up on a wrong instance and need to be moved without getting them into the repository
curdir=`pwd`; ssh $1 "cd $curdir ; git diff"|git apply 
  • git-rush – probably the most used command – when the repository is large and there’s many people pushing to it, getting your changes into the origin might be a daunting process. So this one just tries till it’s done – it’s a little overcomplicated for stats reasons (and uses another shortcut, so there’s two of them here), but here it is:
attempt=1 ; time until git repush; do let "attempt++"; echo "No luck, once again..."; done ; echo "Finished in $attempt tries" ; date

and the git-repush:

git pull --rebase && git push

Bottom line here… Git is good – it just takes a few shortcuts to fully appreciate it =)

And of course there’s a hell lot more to automate if required – hooks, configuration etc. etc. etc.

Git grep for Emacs

“git grep” is incredibly useful on large repositories – where regular grep (or awk or whatever) takes minutes to proceed, git grep does the job merely in seconds. Very, very useful. The only thing is, I would really like this working as Emacs search – with files selection, highlighting etc.

Didn’t take too long to find a suitable solution – but took some time to tailor it a little. Basically it’s all taken fromĀ https://www.ogre.com/node/447 with some minor adjustments – like, for instance, I do a lot of development in “remote” mode, i.e. I open files from remote hosts via SSH (hence replace-regexp-in-string part). Enjoy!

(defun git-grep (search path)
“git-grep the entire current repo”
(interactive (list (completing-read (concat “Search for (” (current-word) “): “) nil nil nil nil (current-word)) (read-file-name “in directory: ” nil “” t)))
(grep-find (concat “git –no-pager grep -P -n –no-color ”
(shell-quote-argument (if (> (length search) 0) search (or (current-word) “”)))
” ”
(replace-regexp-in-string “/ssh.?:.+:” “” path))))

(provide ‘git-grep)

now if you add this to your .emacs, you can have it launched on some key combination (like Command-c g in my case):

(load-file “~/.emacs.d/git-grep.el”)
(global-set-key (kbd “C-c g”) ‘git-grep)

Git hooks

Git hooks are lovely. Consider automated syntax check before committing changes:

  • git config –global init.templatedir ‘~/.git-templates’
  • mkdir -p ~/.git-templates/hooks
  • vi ~/git-pre-commit-hook.sh and put, for instance, following:


  for f in $( git diff --cached --name-status|awk '$1 != "R" { print $2 }' ); do
    echo "Veryfying $f..."
    filename=$(basename "$f")
    if [ "$extension" = "pl" ] || [ "$extension" = "pm" ]; then
      perl -c $f
      if [ $lineretcode != 0 ]; then

  if [ $retcode != 0 ]; then
    echo "Pre-commit validation failed. Please fix issues or run 'git commit --no-verify' if you're certain in skipping validation step."
    exit 1

  exit 0

  • chmod a+x ~/git-pre-commit-hook.sh
  • ln -sn ~/git-pre-commit-hook.sh ~/.git-templates/hooks/pre-commit (point of this to have it centralised – on next step global template is copied to repository, so if it’s a symlink – it’s easier to adjust for all later)
  • cd to your repository and run git init there – it’d re-instantiate the repository with copying global hook templates there

That’s it – now you have yourself neat little safeguard. There are better techniques of course – flymake, for one, or some IDE build/check configuration. That works, too – but gets too tricky when you have to patch the code on remote instances. In my case, I have to edit files remotely – and while Emacs has no problem with that (Sublime has plugin for that, too, and you can always add some fuse SSH mount), my flymake settings suck, and I’m not keen to dive into a bloodthirsty piragna pool of its remote execution configuration.

So… git hooks it is.