If you use Git for version control, then committing, branching, merging and rebasing are some of the most common tasks you perform. Multiple times a day, sometimes multiple times an hour. Why not speed them up a bit?

Git Aliases

The quickest way to do this is via git aliases. There are several gains we can make:

  • Fewer keystrokes: like git ci instead of git commit, git co for git checkout etc. It all adds up.
  • Combining repetitive commands: if you frequently perform the same sequence of steps, why not combine them all into a single alias?
    • e.g. git cop to combine checkout and pull operations
    • e.g. git rbs to combine all the steps needed to rebase from master into your current branch: git checkout master, git pull, git checkout - (check out previous branch), git rebase master, git push.

Here’s a look at the aliases I use most frequently (each alias should be a row under the [alias] section of your .gitconfig file):

ci = commit
st = status
co = checkout
di = diff --color-words
br = branch
cob = checkout -b
cm = !git add -A && git commit -m
fc = !git fetch && git checkout
save = !git add -A && git commit -m 'SAVEPOINT'
wip = commit -am "WIP"

Creating custom git commands

Aliases are just one way. My colleague Jeremy Jordan prefers creating custom commands for git, like so:

  • Navigate to C:\Program Files(x86)\Git\libexec\git-core\
  • Create a new file with no file extension
  • Name this file git-[YOUR_COMMAND_NAME]. e.g.: git-customCommand
  • Edit the file (see the attached example)
    • The first line of the file should be how the file will be interpreted. Ex. ‘#!/bin/bash’ to execute the scrip in bash. You can also create scripts using Ruby or Python but this line would need to change.
    • The reset of the script is your command so enter the commands that would accomplish the above scenario
Example Git Command File:

git checkout master
git pull
git checkout -
git rebase master


  • The alias defines and calls a bash function, that chains git commands using &&.
  • The quotes (“) around the function definition & call are not necessary for *nix environments, only for Windows.
  • Interestingly, commands such as “git rebase” are actually shell commands.