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GITTUTORIAL-2(7)		  Git Manual		      GITTUTORIAL-2(7)

       gittutorial-2 - A tutorial introduction to Git: part two

       git *

       You should work through gittutorial(7) before reading this tutorial.

       The goal	of this	tutorial is to introduce two fundamental pieces	of
       Git's architecture--the object database and the index file--and to
       provide the reader with everything necessary to understand the rest of
       the Git documentation.

       Let's start a new project and create a small amount of history:

	   $ mkdir test-project
	   $ cd	test-project
	   $ git init
	   Initialized empty Git repository in .git/
	   $ echo 'hello world'	> file.txt
	   $ git add .
	   $ git commit	-a -m "initial commit"
	   [master (root-commit) 54196cc] initial commit
	    1 file changed, 1 insertion(+)
	    create mode	100644 file.txt
	   $ echo 'hello world!' >file.txt
	   $ git commit	-a -m "add emphasis"
	   [master c4d59f3] add	emphasis
	    1 file changed, 1 insertion(+), 1 deletion(-)

       What are	the 7 digits of	hex that Git responded to the commit with?

       We saw in part one of the tutorial that commits have names like this.
       It turns	out that every object in the Git history is stored under a
       40-digit	hex name. That name is the SHA-1 hash of the object's
       contents; among other things, this ensures that Git will	never store
       the same	data twice (since identical data is given an identical SHA-1
       name), and that the contents of a Git object will never change (since
       that would change the object's name as well). The 7 char	hex strings
       here are	simply the abbreviation	of such	40 character long strings.
       Abbreviations can be used everywhere where the 40 character strings can
       be used,	so long	as they	are unambiguous.

       It is expected that the content of the commit object you	created	while
       following the example above generates a different SHA-1 hash than the
       one shown above because the commit object records the time when it was
       created and the name of the person performing the commit.

       We can ask Git about this particular object with	the cat-file command.
       Don't copy the 40 hex digits from this example but use those from your
       own version. Note that you can shorten it to only a few characters to
       save yourself typing all	40 hex digits:

	   $ git cat-file -t 54196cc2
	   $ git cat-file commit 54196cc2
	   tree	92b8b694ffb1675e5975148e1121810081dbdffe
	   author J. Bruce Fields <>	1143414668 -0500
	   committer J.	Bruce Fields <> 1143414668 -0500

	   initial commit

       A tree can refer	to one or more "blob" objects, each corresponding to a
       file. In	addition, a tree can also refer	to other tree objects, thus
       creating	a directory hierarchy. You can examine the contents of any
       tree using ls-tree (remember that a long	enough initial portion of the
       SHA-1 will also work):

	   $ git ls-tree 92b8b694
	   100644 blob 3b18e512dba79e4c8300dd08aeb37f8e728b8dad	   file.txt

       Thus we see that	this tree has one file in it. The SHA-1	hash is	a
       reference to that file's	data:

	   $ git cat-file -t 3b18e512

       A "blob"	is just	file data, which we can	also examine with cat-file:

	   $ git cat-file blob 3b18e512
	   hello world

       Note that this is the old file data; so the object that Git named in
       its response to the initial tree	was a tree with	a snapshot of the
       directory state that was	recorded by the	first commit.

       All of these objects are	stored under their SHA-1 names inside the Git

	   $ find .git/objects/

       and the contents	of these files is just the compressed data plus	a
       header identifying their	length and their type. The type	is either a
       blob, a tree, a commit, or a tag.

       The simplest commit to find is the HEAD commit, which we	can find from

	   $ cat .git/HEAD
	   ref:	refs/heads/master

       As you can see, this tells us which branch we're	currently on, and it
       tells us	this by	naming a file under the	.git directory,	which itself
       contains	a SHA-1	name referring to a commit object, which we can
       examine with cat-file:

	   $ cat .git/refs/heads/master
	   $ git cat-file -t c4d59f39
	   $ git cat-file commit c4d59f39
	   tree	d0492b368b66bdabf2ac1fd8c92b39d3db916e59
	   parent 54196cc2703dc165cbd373a65a4dcf22d50ae7f7
	   author J. Bruce Fields <>	1143418702 -0500
	   committer J.	Bruce Fields <> 1143418702 -0500

	   add emphasis

       The "tree" object here refers to	the new	state of the tree:

	   $ git ls-tree d0492b36
	   100644 blob a0423896973644771497bdc03eb99d5281615b51	   file.txt
	   $ git cat-file blob a0423896
	   hello world!

       and the "parent"	object refers to the previous commit:

	   $ git cat-file commit 54196cc2
	   tree	92b8b694ffb1675e5975148e1121810081dbdffe
	   author J. Bruce Fields <>	1143414668 -0500
	   committer J.	Bruce Fields <> 1143414668 -0500

	   initial commit

       The tree	object is the tree we examined first, and this commit is
       unusual in that it lacks	any parent.

       Most commits have only one parent, but it is also common	for a commit
       to have multiple	parents. In that case the commit represents a merge,
       with the	parent references pointing to the heads	of the merged

       Besides blobs, trees, and commits, the only remaining type of object is
       a "tag",	which we won't discuss here; refer to git-tag(1) for details.

       So now we know how Git uses the object database to represent a
       project's history:

       o   "commit" objects refer to "tree" objects representing the snapshot
	   of a	directory tree at a particular point in	the history, and refer
	   to "parent" commits to show how they're connected into the project

       o   "tree" objects represent the	state of a single directory,
	   associating directory names to "blob" objects containing file data
	   and "tree" objects containing subdirectory information.

       o   "blob" objects contain file data without any	other structure.

       o   References to commit	objects	at the head of each branch are stored
	   in files under .git/refs/heads/.

       o   The name of the current branch is stored in .git/HEAD.

       Note, by	the way, that lots of commands take a tree as an argument. But
       as we can see above, a tree can be referred to in many different	ways--
       by the SHA-1 name for that tree,	by the name of a commit	that refers to
       the tree, by the	name of	a branch whose head refers to that tree,
       etc.--and most such commands can	accept any of these names.

       In command synopses, the	word "tree-ish"	is sometimes used to designate
       such an argument.

       The primary tool	we've been using to create commits is git-commit -a,
       which creates a commit including	every change you've made to your
       working tree. But what if you want to commit changes only to certain
       files? Or only certain changes to certain files?

       If we look at the way commits are created under the cover, we'll	see
       that there are more flexible ways creating commits.

       Continuing with our test-project, let's modify file.txt again:

	   $ echo "hello world,	again" >>file.txt

       but this	time instead of	immediately making the commit, let's take an
       intermediate step, and ask for diffs along the way to keep track	of
       what's happening:

	   $ git diff
	   --- a/file.txt
	   +++ b/file.txt
	   @@ -1 +1,2 @@
	    hello world!
	   +hello world, again
	   $ git add file.txt
	   $ git diff

       The last	diff is	empty, but no new commits have been made, and the head
       still doesn't contain the new line:

	   $ git diff HEAD
	   diff	--git a/file.txt b/file.txt
	   index a042389..513feba 100644
	   --- a/file.txt
	   +++ b/file.txt
	   @@ -1 +1,2 @@
	    hello world!
	   +hello world, again

       So git diff is comparing	against	something other	than the head. The
       thing that it's comparing against is actually the index file, which is
       stored in .git/index in a binary	format,	but whose contents we can
       examine with ls-files:

	   $ git ls-files --stage
	   100644 513feba2e53ebbd2532419ded848ba19de88ba00 0	   file.txt
	   $ git cat-file -t 513feba2
	   $ git cat-file blob 513feba2
	   hello world!
	   hello world,	again

       So what our git add did was store a new blob and	then put a reference
       to it in	the index file.	If we modify the file again, we'll see that
       the new modifications are reflected in the git diff output:

	   $ echo 'again?' >>file.txt
	   $ git diff
	   index 513feba..ba3da7b 100644
	   --- a/file.txt
	   +++ b/file.txt
	   @@ -1,2 +1,3	@@
	    hello world!
	    hello world, again

       With the	right arguments, git diff can also show	us the difference
       between the working directory and the last commit, or between the index
       and the last commit:

	   $ git diff HEAD
	   diff	--git a/file.txt b/file.txt
	   index a042389..ba3da7b 100644
	   --- a/file.txt
	   +++ b/file.txt
	   @@ -1 +1,3 @@
	    hello world!
	   +hello world, again
	   $ git diff --cached
	   diff	--git a/file.txt b/file.txt
	   index a042389..513feba 100644
	   --- a/file.txt
	   +++ b/file.txt
	   @@ -1 +1,2 @@
	    hello world!
	   +hello world, again

       At any time, we can create a new	commit using git commit	(without the
       "-a" option), and verify	that the state committed only includes the
       changes stored in the index file, not the additional change that	is
       still only in our working tree:

	   $ git commit	-m "repeat"
	   $ git diff HEAD
	   diff	--git a/file.txt b/file.txt
	   index 513feba..ba3da7b 100644
	   --- a/file.txt
	   +++ b/file.txt
	   @@ -1,2 +1,3	@@
	    hello world!
	    hello world, again

       So by default git commit	uses the index to create the commit, not the
       working tree; the "-a" option to	commit tells it	to first update	the
       index with all changes in the working tree.

       Finally,	it's worth looking at the effect of git	add on the index file:

	   $ echo "goodbye, world" >closing.txt
	   $ git add closing.txt

       The effect of the git add was to	add one	entry to the index file:

	   $ git ls-files --stage
	   100644 8b9743b20d4b15be3955fc8d5cd2b09cd2336138 0	   closing.txt
	   100644 513feba2e53ebbd2532419ded848ba19de88ba00 0	   file.txt

       And, as you can see with	cat-file, this new entry refers	to the current
       contents	of the file:

	   $ git cat-file blob 8b9743b2
	   goodbye, world

       The "status" command is a useful	way to get a quick summary of the

	   $ git status
	   On branch master
	   Changes to be committed:
	     (use "git restore --staged	<file>..." to unstage)

		   new file:   closing.txt

	   Changes not staged for commit:
	     (use "git add <file>..." to update	what will be committed)
	     (use "git restore <file>..." to discard changes in	working	directory)

		   modified:   file.txt

       Since the current state of closing.txt is cached	in the index file, it
       is listed as "Changes to	be committed". Since file.txt has changes in
       the working directory that aren't reflected in the index, it is marked
       "changed	but not	updated". At this point, running "git commit" would
       create a	commit that added closing.txt (with its	new contents), but
       that didn't modify file.txt.

       Also, note that a bare git diff shows the changes to file.txt, but not
       the addition of closing.txt, because the	version	of closing.txt in the
       index file is identical to the one in the working directory.

       In addition to being the	staging	area for new commits, the index	file
       is also populated from the object database when checking	out a branch,
       and is used to hold the trees involved in a merge operation. See
       gitcore-tutorial(7) and the relevant man	pages for details.

       At this point you should	know everything	necessary to read the man
       pages for any of	the git	commands; one good place to start would	be
       with the	commands mentioned in giteveryday(7). You should be able to
       find any	unknown	jargon in gitglossary(7).

       The Git User's Manual[1]	provides a more	comprehensive introduction to

       gitcvs-migration(7) explains how	to import a CVS	repository into	Git,
       and shows how to	use Git	in a CVS-like way.

       For some	interesting examples of	Git use, see the howtos[2].

       For Git developers, gitcore-tutorial(7) goes into detail	on the
       lower-level Git mechanisms involved in, for example, creating a new

       gittutorial(7), gitcvs-migration(7), gitcore-tutorial(7),
       gitglossary(7), git-help(1), giteveryday(7), The	Git User's Manual[1]

       Part of the git(1) suite

	1. Git User's Manual

	2. howtos

Git 2.28.0			  07/26/2020		      GITTUTORIAL-2(7)


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