Git from the bottom up

In my pursuit to understand Git, it’s been helpful for me to understand it from the bottom up – rather than look at it only in terms of its high-level commands. And since Git is so beautifully simple when viewed this way, I thought others might be interested to read what I’ve found, and perhaps avoid the pain I went through finding it.

The following article offers what I’ve learned on this journey so far. I hope it can help others to comprehend this wonderful system, and discover some of the joy I’ve experienced in the past few weeks. NOTE: After receiving more than fifty corrections by e-mail from very helpful readers, I’ve updated the PDF to reflect their input. The date at the front should read “December 2009” if you have the latest version.

Here is a summary from the table of contents:

  • Introduction
  • Repository: Directory content tracking
  • Introducing the blob
  • Blobs are stored in trees
  • How trees are made
  • The beauty of commits
  • A commit by any other name…
  • Branching and the power of rebase
  • Index Cache: Meet the middle man
  • Taking the index cache farther
  • To reset, or not to reset
  • Last links in the chain: Stashing and the reflog