Evan Pratten
Evan Pratten
Software Developer

I use Git a lot. I use it for work, I use it for personal projects, I use it for this website, etc. I like it.

Through my time using Git, I've collected a small set of aliases that I use pretty much daily. This post is a little overview of those aliases with the hope that whoever stumbles across this page finds them useful in the future.

Author Ranking

Ever wondered who on your team does the most work? Well, most commits. Git can show you!

I have this command aliased as git authors:

git shortlog --summary --numbered --email

An example output from an old Raider Robotics codebase:

# git authors
727  Evan Pratten <[email protected]>
 44  William Meathrel <REDACTED>
 23  Carter Tomlenovich <REDACTED>

Commit Graph

One day, I noticed that the only reason I used GitKraken was to see the commit graph, so I decided to make an alias to display it in the terminal instead, removing my reliance on GitKraken all together.

I keep tweaking this one over time, but as of writing, I have the following command aliased as git tree:

git log --graph --decorate --abbrev-commit --all \
  --pretty=format:'%C(yellow)commit %h%C(auto)%d%n%C(cyan)Author:%Creset %aN %C(dim white)<%aE>%n%C(cyan)Date:%Creset %C(dim white)%ad (%ar)%n%s%n' \
  --date=format:'%b %d %Y %H:%M:%S %z'

Ya.. thats a long one. Feel free to check out all the formatting options Git provides.

Basically, this command displays an ASCII-art commit graph, complete with information about the commit and author. Heres a screenshot of it in action in that same Raider Robotics codebase:

Git Tree in action

Branch Overview

When working in a large team, its rather easy to loose track of other people's branch names.

To help with that, I've aliased this command as git branches:

git branch -a -l -vv

Continuing to use robotics codebases as an example, here is the output of this command:

Git Branches in action

Hot Files

This one is more out of curiosity than anything else. Sometimes I want to know what files are changed the most often.

I have this command aliased as git lscommits:

! ( echo -e "Commits\tFile" && git log --pretty=format: --name-only | sed '/^$/d' | sort | uniq -c | sort -g -r ) | less

See that exclamation mark at the start? Git aliases can actually be bound to arbitrary shell commands, not just other Git commands. This is a great way to make a command that does something Git can't do on its own.

Switching up my example repository, heres the output of this command in the bird repository:

Git lscommits in action

Small but Mighty

These last two are by far my most used, and simultaneously the most boring aliases.

🤷 efficiency is efficiency.

Bonus: Why isn't git push aliased as git p?

I wanted pushing my code upstream to remain a conscious decision, so I didn't want to make it too easy.