Git is a version control Swiss army knife. A reliable versatile multipurpose revision control tool whose extraordinary flexibility makes it tricky to learn, let alone master.

As Arthur C. Clarke observed, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. This is a great way to approach Git: newbies can ignore its inner workings and view Git as a gizmo that can amaze friends and infuriate enemies with its wondrous abilities.

Rather than go into details, we provide rough instructions for particular effects. After repeated use, gradually you will understand how each trick works, and how to tailor the recipes for your needs.


Other Editions


I’m humbled that so many people have worked on translations of these pages. I greatly appreciate having a wider audience because of the efforts of those named above.

Dustin Sallings, Alberto Bertogli, James Cameron, Douglas Livingstone, Michael Budde, Richard Albury, Tarmigan, Derek Mahar, Frode Aannevik, Keith Rarick, Andy Somerville, Ralf Recker, Øyvind A. Holm, Miklos Vajna, Sébastien Hinderer, Thomas Miedema, Joe Malin, Tyler Breisacher, Sonia Hamilton, Julian Haagsma, Romain Lespinasse, Sergey Litvinov, Oliver Ferrigni, David Toca, Сергей Сергеев, Joël Thieffry, and Baiju Muthukadan contributed corrections and improvements.

François Marier maintains the Debian package originally created by Daniel Baumann.

My gratitude goes to many others for your support and praise. I’m tempted to quote you here, but it might raise expectations to ridiculous heights.

If I’ve left you out by mistake, please tell me or just send me a patch!


This guide is released under the GNU General Public License, version 3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.

Naturally, the source is kept in a Git repository, and can be obtained by typing:

$ git clone git://  # Creates "gitmagic" directory.

or from one of the mirrors:

$ git clone git://
$ git clone git://
$ git clone

GitHub, Assembla, and Bitbucket support private repositories, the latter two for free.