How to Interactively discard selected changes in git

GIT is offering us the way to discard selected changes interactively. Here is how you will do it,

To checkout or discard selected changes from all modified files

git checkout -p  

If you want to checkout or discard selected changes from specific file, give that file as an argument

git checkout -p  file_name

As per this command git will break down the file into chunks called hunks. After you execute this command, you will be prompted with following question with several options to choose.

Discard this hunk from worktree [y,n,q,a,d,/,e,?]?

Here is the description of each option,

y – discard this hunk from worktree
n – do not discard this hunk from worktree
q – quit; do not discard this hunk nor any of the remaining ones
a – discard this hunk and all later hunks in the file
d – do not discard this hunk nor any of the later hunks in the file
g – select a hunk to go to
/ – search for a hunk matching the given regex
j – leave this hunk undecided, see next undecided hunk
J – leave this hunk undecided, see next hunk
k – leave this hunk undecided, see previous undecided hunk
K – leave this hunk undecided, see previous hunk
s – split the current hunk into smaller hunks
e – manually edit the current hunk
? – print help

You can also unstage the selected changes from all staged files or from specific file.

To unstage selected changes from all staged files use following command

git reset HEAD -p

To unstage changes from specific file give that file as an argument.

git reset HEAD -p  file_name

Here also you will be prompted to choose any one of the option to unstage hunk.


GIT Tips

List Contributed Users

We can list the user who contributed in git using command git log.  Here is the way to get,

And you can check users who contributed using following command

Enable Debugging

You can see curl debug message while push, pull and clone if you set the environment variable GIT_CURL_VERBOSE to 1


Set this variable before you push or pull or clone. You would be able to see debug message

List History Of Operations

The following command can be useful to list all history of operations performed using git


Stage all modified files in git

Stage all modified files using single command.

How to edit or change commit history using git rebase

Do you ever wonder about rewriting git commit history. Here is how you can do. One great advantage we get with git version control system is that, we can edit or rewrite the history of commits. Some times may be you want to publish the different commit history or for some reason you may want to edit the few chunks for commit history.

There are different ways to edit the history of commits. There is one quick way to edit the very last commit or HEAD. Using following command

If you want to edit selected commits in the history, you can do it using feature called rebasing in git. Rebasing is a great feature in git. Other than process called merging  we can use rebasing to merge different branches in different way other than usual git merge. One of the advantage is we can rewrite the history to make sure commit history looks like the way you want.

We have to use interactive rebasing to edit the commit history, using the following command

where we specify the commit  which is parent of the commit  from which you want to edit the commit history

Lets say I chosen the commit from where I want to edit the history, I would type the following command

If you perform above command, you wold see the following content in the default editor,

The above content is self explanatory, if you want to remove commits just remove corresponding commit line. if you want to abort interactive rebase any time use git rebase –abort. You should notice that your last commit is at bottom. These commits from chronological from top to bottom.

If you chose to edit the selected commits, let’s say want to change author, you have to replace the word pick with word edit for that corresponding commits and quit the editor by saving. Then you will stop at the first commit, you can change the author using following command

Like wise you can change the commit message as well. Of course you can also change the content of files to commit

and then to continue rewriting history using following command,

You have to  repeat these steps for each commit that you change the  word pick to edit. Git will stop to let you amend the commit. Once you are finished with specific commit, you can proceed further by using rebase command using command line argument –continue. 

Once you finished with rebase, you may see the following message

If you get conflicts, you have to resolve them in the way you resolve for merging process. Once you resolved the conflicts by removing conflict markers(>>>>>> ======= <<<<<<<). Use to git add  to mark them resolved. Then continue to rebase using command



Beware of rebase,  you may corrupt the commit history  of your team members and it may leads to confusion.

If you are learning don’t try to experiment it on real repository. Instead you create the dummy repo and get hands on experience.

You may produce merge conflicts sometimes, you may have to resolve to proceed the rebase

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