Revive files from the dead with git

edit ✏️

Git reflog can perform some serious magic in reviving your hard work from the dead if you happen to loose it.

caveat

You must git commit! If you never commit the file, git cannot help you. You might look into your trashcan, filesystem versions, onedrive, box, dropbox. If you have none of this, then you are probably hosed.

practice

I really like to practice these techniques before I need to use them so that I understand how they work in a low stakes fashion. This helps me understand what I can and cannot do, and how to do it in a place that does not matter in any way at all.

This is what I did to revive a dropped docker-compose.yml file. The idea is that if I can find the commit hash, I can cherry-pick it.

git init
touch readme.md
git add readme.md
git commit -m "add readme"
touch docker-compose.yml
git add docker-compose.yml
git commit -m "add docker-compose"
git reset 3cfc --hard
git reflog
# copy the hash of the commit with my docker-compose commit
git cherry-pick fd74df3

reflog

Here was the final reflog that shows all of my git actions. note I did reset twice.

❯ git reflog --name-only
0404b6a (HEAD -> main) [email protected]{0}: cherry-pick: add docker-compose
docker-compose.yml
3cfcab9 [email protected]{1}: reset: moving to 3cfc
readme.md
9175695 [email protected]{2}: cherry-pick: add docker-compose
docker-compose.yml
3cfcab9 [email protected]{3}: reset: moving to 3cfc
readme.md
fd74df3 [email protected]{4}: commit: add docker-compose
docker-compose.yml
3cfcab9 [email protected]{5}: reset: moving to HEAD
readme.md
3cfcab9 [email protected]{6}: commit (initial): add readme
readme.md