W1007.30 The Magic of Magit
Magit provides an easy-to-user interface to git from within emacs.
Magit is a package that runs within emacs and aims to provide an interface for the version control system git. The official website of Magit says "Magit aspires to be a complete Git porcelain". A git repository can be accessed independently from the command line directly, without any mediation, but most of the time doing so can become cumbersome. Magit does the magic here by providing the option to use git with ease. There are other tools available as well in the form of git extensions which are specific to different IDEs or base interfaces, but Magit is one of the most popular ones and the only version control tool for git available within emacs. To illustrate further, Magit works as a text based interface somewhere falling between CLI, IDE and GUI while combining the features of all three.
Benefits of Magit
The biggest reason to use Magit for managing your git repositories is the comfort and the ease of operations it provides. More specifically, the major operations of git, like staging and applying changes, is where Magit is most helpful and can save you tons of time. There are some commands like git add --patch for staging purpose which git itself provides, but due to its difficulty, a lot of developers only use such commands as a last resort. On the other hand, staging is much easier to do with the git CLI, but all of these tools are provided by Magit without any involvement of a mouse or GUI.
Getting Started with Magit
To get started with Magit, you need to clone one of your git repositories to the codermerlin server which you wish to manage via Magit. There are various ways to do so, the easiest of which is to just execute the following command:
In this way, the already existing repository will get cloned to your codermerlin server space. In this example we are considering a basic example repository, which is available here.
Once you clone the repository, just enter the emacs interface by moving inside the newly created directory and typing emacs.
You should see something similar to this:
Once you are within the emacs editor, you can initiate Magit by using the following command
This is what the basic Magit interface looks like. The most visible part of the Magit is the status buffer, which displays all the required information about the present repository in which Magit is running. The content of this buffer is generated by running several git commands and getting the concerned outputs. It also shows the current branch along with the associated list of unpulled and unpushed changes. This also has a section displaying the staged and unstaged changes. The organization of the interface may make you feel confused but since each of the segment can be collapsed, they are actually not that confusing. The status buffer is where we should enter our commands in order to interact with our git repository.
In our examples, there are segments like "untracked files" and "Unmerged into origin/master" which is not what you see all the time. The segments visible under a repository depends on what stage of the development you are on and accordingly there may be sections including "Unpushed to origin/master", "Staged changes", "Unstaged changes" so on and so forth.
Commits are done in Magit by getting the cursor on the required file and hitting c under the status buffer section. This will give a list of options which may be termed as subcommands and from where a specific type of commit can be chosen.
The list reads like: -a Stage all modified and deleted files (--all)
-e Allow empty commit (--allow-empty) -v Show diff of changes to be committed (--verbose) -n Disable hooks (--no-verify) -R Claim authorship and reset author date (--reset-author) -A Override the author (--author=) -s Add Signed-off-by line (--signoff) -C Reuse commit message (--reuse-message=)
As you can see, the concerned file(s) may be staged and there is an option to stage all the files with one go in a single command. With the e subcommand, Magit will allow an empty commit. For each of the subcommands, the equivalent CLI commands are shown within a bracket just adjacent to them. Once done with your commit, you can simply press :- twice to make the commit effective. While : - and : - makes the commit effective and aborts.
As you may already know, to pull using the git CLI, the command is git pull. The equivalent option for Magit has several options with similar base commands and are as follows:
magit-pull: This basic command provides a pop up with a list of arguments which can be used as subcommands to specify the nature of the pull request.
magit-pull-from-pushremote: This command provides the option to pull from the push-remote of the current branch. But if for some reason, the 'push-remote' is not configured or available, it is recommended to configure one before using this command. The execution will ask for the destination object's identifier.
This command provides the option to pull from the upstream of the current branch. If for some reason the 'upstream' is not configured or available, it is recommended to configure it before using this command. The execution will ask for the destination object's identifier.
magit-pull-branch: This command provides the option to pull from branch read in the minibuffer. The execution will ask for the destination object's identifier.
Similar to the command for pulling, the command to push changes from the git CLI is simply git push. The equivalent option for Magit has several options with similar base command and these are:
This will execute the basic command for pushing when invoked, and provides a pop up with a list of the arguments which can be used as subcommands to specify the nature of the push request.
This command provides the option to push to the pushremote of the current branch. If the 'pushremote' is not configured or available, it is recommended to configure one before using this command. The execution will ask for the destination object's identifier.
This command provides the option to push to the upstream of the current branch. If the 'pushremote' is not configured or available, it is recommended to configure one before using this command. The execution will ask for the destination object's identifier.
This command provides the option to push to the branch read in the minibuffer. The execution will ask for the destination object's identifier.
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