Rocking your command line: Making Git bash more Windows-friendly

Git Bash is a great tool which has quite a few perks if you're using Git. For one, it has completion on the git commands and stuff like your branches. This saves you the effort of looking up the exact name of a branch every time you want to switch branches. Git Bash also shows you which branch you're currently working on , preventing you from working on the wrong branch unnoticed ( as some of my colleagues not working in Git Bash have encountered ).
Git Bash in ConEmu

However, Git Bash might seem a bit odd if you're used to working with the Windows command line, but there are a few tricks to make it behave more friendly to those used to cmd.exe.

Tab completion

For cmd-like tab completion and a case-insensitive tab completion:

Create a new file .inputrc in your home folder

      "\C-i": menu-complete
      set completion-ignore-case on

(source )

To create a file in Windows that starts with a dot, name it ".filename.", the last dot will disappear

Your own text editor instead of Vim

Vim is an awesomely powerful tool, but if you're not feeling ready for Vim just yet, just copy this command in the command line.

git config --global core.editor "'c:/Program Files (x86)/Notepad++/notepad++. exe' -multiInst -notabbar -nosession -noPlugin "

(source: )

Of course you change the path to Notepad++, or use any text editor you like.

A more visual merge tool

Not to claim this is the best one ( I haven't done a full comparison yet ), but TortoiseMerge might feel more comfortable than vimdiff if you're not used to vim.

On my pc TortoiseMerge was automatically set as the default mergetool after my usual git installation which includes installing TortoiseGit. You can set it manually as well by putting this in the git config.

tool = tortoise

[mergetool "tortoise"]
cmd = "TortoiseMerge.exe" -base:"$BASE" -theirs:"$REMOTE" -mine:"$LOCAL" -merged:"$MERGED"

(source: Getting Git to use TortoiseMerge)


Setting the right aliases in git can save you a lot of time typing out all the right commands and switches, as well as give your mind a rest trying to remember all of those switches.

I've compiled a small list of aliases I've encountered, some of which I use very frequently.

Hosting a git repo

serve = !git daemon --reuseaddr --verbose --base-path=. --export-all

Showing the last 10 commits

last = log --pretty=format:"%C(yellow)%h%x09%Creset%an%x09%x09%s" --decorate -10

A graph view of your history with branches

graph = log --graph --pretty=format:'%Cred%h%Creset -%C(yellow)%d%Creset %s %Cgreen(%cr)%Creset' --abbrev-commit --all

Another graph, with more detail ( and other colors )

graph2 = log --graph --all --format=format:'%C(bold yellow)%h%C(reset) - %C(bold cyan)%aD%C(reset) %C(bold green)(%ar)%C(reset)%C(bold yellow)%d%C(reset)%n'' %C(white)%s%C(reset) %C(bold white)- %an%C(reset)' --abbrev-commit

Initialize a repo

this = !git init && git add . && git commit -m \"initial commit\"

Show a list of aliases, sorted

alias = !git config --list | grep 'alias\\.' | sed 's/alias\\.\\([^=]*\\)=\\(.*\\)/\\1\\t=> \\2/' | sort

There are many resources online that describe different tactics on aliases, from only using them for the more "complicated" commands ( showing a git graph with dates & author names ) to replacing practically every simple command ( "git st" instead of "git status" ). I usually only use aliases for the commands with lots of switches, since Git Bash will autocomplete simple commands anyways.

(sources, among others:, )