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Importance of Git Reflog

Importance of Git Reflog

git reflog

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Suprabha Supi
Β·Mar 6, 2022Β·

3 min read

Table of contents

  • Let’s understand the git reflog and git log πŸ‘€
  • Moral of the story πŸ₯‡

By the name git reflog - Manages reflog information. It keeps tracks of everything which you do locally.

Let’s understand the git reflog and git log πŸ‘€

git reflog keep tracks of everything you have done locally.

example:

  • keep track of commit history,
  • if you have done hard reset,
  • it keeps track of git commit --amend as well

For git log, it never track the above commits(like reset and --amend).

The git reflog shows all your trials and errors. The git log just shows a clean and polished version of your work history.

So let’s say you have amend the commit, hence there will be new commit. If you do a reset and skip back a few commits in your history, those commits you skipped over won't show up in the log.

There is more to talk, let’s discuss it πŸ˜…

While working on repo, and habits of pushing code into main branch πŸ˜…

I started working on one feature without taking pull from main branch, after making changes when I tried to push changes to the main branch. I got following errors:

$ git push origin main
// I got to know I had to take pull from main (which some how I missed)
// and without taking pull I pushed forcefully

And then I did the unthinkable πŸ˜‚

$ git push origin main -f
// successfully pushed to main branch

Later one of my colleague took pull from the main branch, and she was 😳😳🀯🀯.

Then I got to know that by force pushing my changes, I have removed her commit form the remote branch and the icing on the cake was that she has pulled the changes and now her work vanished from her local machine too! πŸ™ˆ

We were not able to see those commits using git log(almost 5-6 commit ID’s were missing) πŸ˜₯

To revert back my commit, I had to find the last commit ID which has been removed from commit history. If I would have not closed my terminal tab, then there was a chance to get the last commit ID.

How would not closing terminal tab have been helpful πŸ€”

So, while doing forcefully push, you get the message:

+ aauuii1...789011 HEAD -> branchname (forced update)

Here, aauuii1 is previous HEAD, and 789011 is new which just pushed forcefully. So you can easily revert to that commit ID πŸ™ŒπŸ»

But seems, I am not that lucky, as I already closed my terminal tabs πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

After πŸ” , I got to know the context about git log and git reflog.

git reflog tells you the chronological history of what you did.

Their I found this πŸ‘‡ command,

$ git reflog show remotes/origin/branchname

It shows the forced update (789011) and previous commit (aauuii1).

After getting the last commit ID, I created new branch and reset to the commit ID

$ git checkout -b branch_name
$ git reset --soft aauuii1

// yayy! Its done 😍

git reflog allows you to go back and find those commits as it'll give you the commit ids. It is really a life saver πŸ₯

Moral of the story πŸ₯‡

Never give up, with little patience and some googling skill you might end up saving hours of work πŸ’›

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