GitHub cheatsheet

This article provides a quick reference to the essential commands you'll need when using Git and GitHub to contribute to MDN. If you are new to these tools and need a helping hand, our GitHub for complete beginners tutorial teaches the basics.


git clone the-repo-url

Setting up a remote

git remote add remote-name repo-you-want-to-point-to

View remotes list

git remote -v

Preparing to make a change to the repo

Switch to the main branch

git switch main

Update your main branch

git fetch remote-name
git rebase remote-name/main
git push

Get your branch locally and switch to it

git pull
git switch new-branch

Get latest status

git status

Adding, committing, and pushing changes

git add path-to-changed-file
git commit -m 'my commit message'
git push


Reverting a change you made to a file that you haven't yet added to the commit list

git restore file-path

Removing a file from the commit list

git restore --staged file-path

Reversing the last commit

git reset HEAD~1

Reversing a commit that has been pushed to the remote fork

git revert HEAD
git push

Note: Another way to handle getting rid of files that have ended up in pull requests that you don't want to be there is to use the GitHub UI. Go to your pull request's page on, go to the "Files changed" tab, and find the file you want to remove from the pull request. At the top right of the file's box in the page there will be a "three dot" (...) menu. Press this button and choose "Delete file". In the confirmation page, enter a title for the new commit, make sure the "Commit directly..." checkbox is selected, and press the "Commit changes" button.

Want to see more?

If you think this cheatsheet should contain more commands, please create an issue to suggest what you think we should include.