Commit in Git

2 minute read

Now that your staging area is set up the way you want it, you can commit your changes. Remember that anything that is still unstaged — any files you have created or modified that you haven’t run git add on since you edited them — won’t go into this commit. They will stay as modified files on your disk. In this case, let’s say that the last time you ran git status, you saw that everything was staged, so you’re ready to commit your changes. The simplest way to commit is to type git commit:

$ git commit

Doing so launches your editor of choice.

The editor displays the following text (this example is a Vim screen):

# Please enter the commit message for your changes. Lines starting
# with '#' will be ignored, and an empty message aborts the commit.
# On branch master
# Your branch is up-to-date with 'origin/master'.
#
# Changes to be committed:
# new file: README
# modified: CONTRIBUTING.md
#
~
~
~
".git/COMMIT_EDITMSG" 9L, 283C

You can see that the default commit message contains the latest output of the git status command commented out and one empty line on top. You can remove these comments and type your commit message, or you can leave them there to help you remember what you’re committing.

When you exit the editor, Git creates your commit with that commit message (with the comments and diff stripped out). Alternatively, you can type your commit message inline with the commit command by specifying it after a -m flag, like this:

$ git commit -m "Story 182: fix benchmarks for speed"
[master 463dc4f] Story 182: fix benchmarks for speed
2 files changed, 2 insertions(+)
create mode 100644 README

Remember that the commit records the snapshot you set up in your staging area. Anything you didn’t stage is still sitting there modified; you can do another commit to add it to your history. Every time you perform a commit, you’re recording a snapshot of your project that you can revert to or compare to later.

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