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Git best practices workshop

Best practices with git - The essentials you should know about git to use if efficiently

Workshop by Otto Kekäläinen at OpenFest 7.11.2015, Sofia, Bulagaria.

This 68 slides beast surely has something new even for seasoned git developers!

Git best practices workshop

  1. 1. Workshop Best practices with git The essentials you should know about git to use if efficiently Otto Kekäläinen OpenFest 7.11.2015 Sofia,Bulagaria
  2. 2. @ottokekalainen ● 15+ years in open source ● technology & business & advocacy ● development with git since 2010
  3. 3. The MariaDB Foundation Continuity and open collaboration ● sponsors include,, Automattic,Odin/Parallels,Visma... ● Employs 6 persons,including ”Monty”Widenius,the creator of MySQL/MariaDB ● Single contact point for collaboration and contributions ● The Foundation makes sure all pull requests and patches are reviewed ● All development work done with git at
  4. 4. Outline 1.The story of Git 2.Basic commands 3.Doing it with Github 4.Branches and tags 5.Git hooks and CI 6.Git internals 7. Advanced commands 8.Git everywhere? Follow @ottokekalainen to get a link to the slides
  5. 5. 1.Story of Git
  6. 6. Git / t/ɡɪ ”A silly,incompetent,stupid, annoying or childish person.”
  7. 7. "I'm an egotistical bastard,so I name all my projects after myself. First Linux,now Git” Linus Torvalds,PC World.2012-07-14
  8. 8. Linus needed a new source code revision manager for Linux,and none of the available options in 2005 where good enough,so he wrote his own in. Kernel 2.6.12 was the first release managed by Git and version 1.0 of Git was released in December 2005.
  9. 9. Design goals of Git: ● distributed revision management ● protection against corruption, both accidental and hostile ● speed
  10. 10. Git popularity according to
  11. 11. Git popularity according to Google Trends git svn
  12. 12. ...but adoption would be faster if it was not so difficult to use. Originally Linus did not intend end users to use Git directly,instead he tried to delegate to somebody else the task of making the actual command line interface. We are still waiting for it... Luckily Git has been simplified and documentation has improved over time,but some Git commands still refer to Git internals that are difficult to grasp. E.g. git-push: Update remote refs along with associated objects.
  13. 13. Git might feel difficult at first, but once you learn it, you never want to go back to anything less flexible and powerful.
  14. 14. Install on Linux: apt-get install git git-gui Install on Mac/Windows:
  15. 15. 2.Basic commands
  16. 16. First obstacle: same terms with different meanings
  17. 17. git config --global "John Doe" git config --global Define the author of commits
  18. 18. git init git add example.txt git commit -am “First commit” # edit files git commit -am “Second commit” Start a new repository
  19. 19. git pull # edit files git commit -am “Implemented X” git push git log git show Typical workflow
  20. 20. How to write a good commit message ● Your attitude towards commit messages should be the same as for code: it is written once,but read thousands of times. ● Don't explain how was done,that is visible in the diff anyway.Explain what the intention was and why it was made. ● Use imperative form “Fix typo”(instead of “Fixed typo”) ● Keep subject line short and sweet,under 72 chars.Body can be verbose. ● Use proper English.Capital letters.Reference issue identifiers is possible. ● Looking for a good example? How about one by Linus himself?
  21. 21. Use git commit -a --amend to you screwed up the commit and want to overwrite the latest with an improved commit. Completely delete the last commit: git reset –hard HEAD^ Delete all untracked and modified files: git clean -fdx && git reset --hard
  22. 22. 3.Doing it with Github
  23. 23. Visit After making your first repository,set up SSH key for convenient authentication: Note: Github is not the only Git hosting site, Gitlab and Bitbucket are popular too.
  24. 24. Exercise: -go to and fork it -look at the fork under your own Github account and clone it to your laptop -edit names.txt and add yours -push changes back to Github -in Github,do a merge request back to me
  25. 25. git clone git://<yourname>/git-training.git # edit names.txt git commit -am “Added my name” git push # Open pull request on Github
  26. 26. The best part of Github is pull requests,and how they enable frictionless collaboration among millions of developers
  27. 27. 4.Branches and tags
  28. 28. Basically just labels that point to certain commit IDs. Each commit ID point to its parent,thus forms a chain.
  29. 29. All developers branch from master and then merge back. New releases branch from master. Support releases branch from release branch. Image source: 2014/04/09/a-successful-git-br anching-model-with-enterprise- support/
  30. 30. Git layout strategy 1/2 ● Start working on the master branch only.Don't create other branches until you really need them. ● Every new developer has their own branch (local clone). ● Never break master. Push only stuff what works.Other developers must be able to branch from master at any time and start working on something new,instead of having to deal with fixing a broken state that somebody else left in master.
  31. 31. Git layout strategy 2/2 ● If you have a need to push your work that is half-way done,that is a good signal that you should create a new branch. ● Typically tree kind of branches: – feature branches – bugfix branches – personal branches ● Project layout: split code up in many separate files. – Lower likelihood of conflicting changes when branches merge.
  32. 32. Keep branch name visible in the bash prompt:
  33. 33. Distributed version control? Example scenarios at
  34. 34. 5.Git hooks and CI
  35. 35. Git commit hook: stop bad code entering repo /.git/hooks$ cat pre-commit #!/bin/bash # Really fast check if syntax is at all parseable for FILE in $(git diff --cached --name-only); do if [[ "$FILE" =~ .php$ ]]; then php -l "$FILE" 1> /dev/null if [[ $? -ne 0 ]]; then echo -e "e[1;33mAborting commit: PHP code contains syntax errorse[0m" >&2 exit 1 fi fi done
  36. 36. Want to put a simple shared repository on any SSH capable server? Create a bare .git with no working files: git init --bare Want to have notifications when somebody commits? Put a shell script at .git/hooks/post-receive
  37. 37. Continuous integration ● Host your own Jenkins? ● Travis-CI
  38. 38. 6.Git internals
  39. 39. Folder /.git contains everything, your / is just the working copy.
  40. 40. Folder /.git contains everything, your / is just the working copy. When you commit a 2 MB file /example.png, your / will grow to 4 MB...
  41. 41. When you add a file, it goes to the staging area. The file does not go into the actual history tree until the stage is committed.
  42. 42. Commands push and pull and many other commands are shortcuts that act with both your local repository and the remote repositories.
  43. 43. Image credits Steve Bennet (
  44. 44. Git tracks content,not files! Git history is immutable as each commit ID is the SHA-1 of the commit data and metadata (including the commit ID of parents).Changing any commit in the history will change the SHA-1 commit IDs of every following commit in the chain. If you need to change something in the history,you have to rebase and make a new history.
  45. 45. Git commit IDs and rebase Original git log –oneline 1bf7024 MDEV-8991: bind-address appears twice in default my.cnf b2205c5 MDEV-9011: Redo log encryption does not work cf9e6b2 Fix test failures seen on buildbot. 923827e MDEV-7949: Item_field::used_tables() takes 0.29% in OLTP RO 239e0c5 MDEV-8551 compilation fails with 10.1.6 After git rebase -i HEAD^^^ 34350b9 MDEV-8991: bind-address appears twice in default my.cnf f5f2dd9 MDEV-9011: Redo log encryption does not work 531e1ac Fixed all bugs 923827e MDEV-7949: Item_field::used_tables() takes 0.29% in OLTP RO 239e0c5 MDEV-8551 compilation fails with 10.1.6
  46. 46. Rebasing workflow git rebase -i HEAD^^^ # pick in editor what commits you want to edit # rebase automatically makes a checkout at intended commit # edit the files git commit -a --amend git rebase --continue # repeat until you reach the head of the branch
  47. 47. 7.Advanced commands
  48. 48. Sorry,but default commands not very friendly,so get yourself good cheat cheets and write up your common commands once you've figured them out.. Image credits Steve Bennet (
  49. 49. Example of how fast-forward works 1/2 ● Branch“feature-branch-example”forked from master branch “10.1”and has 3 commits
  50. 50. Example of how fast-forward works 2/2 ● Normal merge defaults to fast-forward in this case ● ● ● Result of no fast-forward (git merge --no-ff)
  51. 51. Want to avoid “ugly”merge commits? ● git config pull.ff=only ● git config alias.ff=merge --ff-only ● Run git rebase master to rebase you work on the master branch before pushing or making pull request – In MariaDB before submitting a pull request: git rebase 10.1 – You changes will be based on current 10.1 head and easy to merge ● Run git merge on when importing changes from remote head only if you really want to merge
  52. 52. Cherry-pick as alternative to merge git cherry-pick 166a2f28487530ead0cf813ce0252baa The commit with given ID will be applied as a new commit on top of your current branch head.
  53. 53. Git bisect –find the commit that broke you app git bisect bad # mark the checked out commit as bad git bisect good mariadb-10.1.7 # mark the ref (=commit) good git bisect run Git automatically checks out every commit between “bad”and “good”and runs the test script. Test script is supposed to return 0 for good commits and non-0 for bad commits. Exceptions are exit codes 255 and 125 that have special meaning to git bisect. When the run is completed git will tell you the exact commit between “good”and “bad”where the started to fail (exit code not 0).
  54. 54. Git stash as alternative to temp branch git stash # moves the current uncommited changes to the stash git stash list # shows what is stashed git stash pop # applies the latest stash on the checked out working tree
  55. 55. Compare changes and create diffs git show 166a2f284875 # standard show in patch format git diff v1.2.3..HEAD translations/ > new-translations.diff # diff of all changes in directory translation/ since tag v.1.2.3 git diff branch1 branch2 # compare two branches git diff branch1..branch2 # same as above git diff branch1...branch2 # tree dots: changes on branch2 since it diverged
  56. 56. GUI tool: gitk ● graphical tool to view git history (and also uncommitted changes) ● shows all commits,tags,branch names etc in a nice way ● with gitk you don’t need to checkout the branch/file to view it ● includes search feature for both commit messages and commit contents ● run “gitk example/file.h”to see the git log that affects a single file ● “git gui blame”can be used to view graphically via the context menu that opens when clicking on a commit with the secondary mouse button ● view diff between any two diffs: click on first commit normally,and then click with secondary button on the second commit and select from context menu to view the diff ● run “gitk mariadb-10.1.4..mariadb-10.1.5”to view diff between two commits ● you can also view diff between different branches like this – gitk 10.1..HEAD vs gitk HEAD..10.1 vs gitk 10.1...HEAD
  57. 57. Other GUI tools ● git citool –graphical tool to do selective commits easily – you can click to select the files you want,individual hunks inside files,and even individual lines inside hunks – you can also write commits inside the tool’s window ● git mergetool –tool for easy merging, – automatically launches the pre-configured 3-way merge tool for all conflicts (e.g.meld)
  58. 58. Compress and free up file space: git repack-ad; git gc--aggressive
  59. 59. 8.Git everywhere?
  60. 60. Git everywhere ● Distributed permanent storage files system: ● Password manager:
  61. 61. Would you like to store all your files in Git? Git-annex Diff of binary files? Add in .git/config [diff"odf"] textconv=odt2txt See also:
  62. 62. Bug tracker as part of project? Bug tracker and wiki contents in Git? trac+git Clone wiki from Github with git clone
  63. 63. Publish to the web with one commit? self-hosted Jekyll or on Github Open source alternative to Dropbox based on Git?
  64. 64. Would you like others to contribute to your software? Provide easy forking (git clone), easy way to develop new feature (git branch), and an easy way to send them back (merge request).
  65. 65. Will Git credits replace developers CV's?
  66. 66. Is there anything we can't store and track in Git?
  67. 67. © 2015 MariaDB Foundation70 Thanks! @ottokekalainen