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Demonstrating a soft reset

From: Git Essential Training

Video: Demonstrating a soft reset

In this movie, I want to demonstrate a soft reset. So, here's the commit log. You can see that my most recent commit was reverting this commit that was right before it. What if we wanted to undo our version, that is we wanted to get rid of this? We could revert it and revert the reversion, or what we want to do here is we want to actually rewind back in time to before I made this reversion back to this point here. So, this is the reference we're going to use. We want to rewind the HEAD back to that point so that it records from there going forward. So, what would that look like? Well, the first thing is whenever I start working with moving the HEAD pointer around, I always think it's a good idea to open up a new text file, and let's just grab the most resent commits here, we can grab the first several, no big deal, and let's just take those and paste them in here.

Demonstrating a soft reset

In this movie, I want to demonstrate a soft reset. So, here's the commit log. You can see that my most recent commit was reverting this commit that was right before it. What if we wanted to undo our version, that is we wanted to get rid of this? We could revert it and revert the reversion, or what we want to do here is we want to actually rewind back in time to before I made this reversion back to this point here. So, this is the reference we're going to use. We want to rewind the HEAD back to that point so that it records from there going forward. So, what would that look like? Well, the first thing is whenever I start working with moving the HEAD pointer around, I always think it's a good idea to open up a new text file, and let's just grab the most resent commits here, we can grab the first several, no big deal, and let's just take those and paste them in here.

So now we always have these commits to refer to. If we need to get back here, we have that value recorded. Once we rewind, our log won't show it to us anymore. I'm just going to take that and put it out of the way for now. Let's first of all take a look at what the HEAD pointer points at now, git/HEAD. It points to refs/heads/master, and we saw before that, that's also a file, refs/heads/master, and it will always point to that file. So, if we ask for this, as long as we're on the master branch, it will tell us this answer, the real SHA that we're looking for is contained in this file.

So, right now it points to that 5c86ebd. If we take a look here, you can see 5c86ebd is in fact the most recent commit. So now what we want to do is a soft reset, git reset --soft, and we want to use that second commit. Again, let's just pull it up. We're going to go back to this one here. I'm going to just copy that, and there we go, we'll paste it in here. Now, it's going to move the HEAD pointer back to that point in time.

It didn't give me any kind of message there, but if I now do that same look at what it points to, refs/heads/ master, you can see it's changed. Now, it points to this other commit. And if I do git log, you'll see that the most recent commit looks like it's that one, the da3866. Now, here is what git soft does. If we do git status, you'll see that we have in our working directory and in our staging area, we have resources.html still in its most recent state, not the change that's in the Repo here, but the changes that we made since then.

This is the reverted file. Let's take a look at the contents to see, git diff --staged, and you can see this is the change we made that reverted. So it took sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent and moved them back to the bottom. So, it did not destructively get rid of our changes. Our changes are still here in the staging index and in the working directory. We are now ready to record a new commit if we want to, and it would just record it over essentially where that other commit was before, a lot like if we had our tape recorder, and I was saying we recorded back, recorded over the last 10 minutes of audio again.

We are essentially forgetting about that old stuff that we were doing, and making new commits from here on out. Or what we can do is we can just go back to this most recent commit and change the HEAD pointer to point back to that, get reset --soft, and put the most recent one in there. Now, if we do git log, now our version has come back again, git status, there is nothing to commit. Our working directory is clean. So all we did was basically take the HEAD pointer from pointing at this one, moved it so it's pointing at this one, and then moved it back pointing to that one again.

You can see why git reset with the soft option is the safest and least destructive, because it didn't actually remove anything at all. All it did was moved the HEAD pointer that other commit was still there, and all of our work was still maintained in the staging index and in our working directory. We didn't lose anything. In the next movie let's compare this to the mixed reset.

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This video is part of

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Git Essential Training

89 video lessons · 29111 viewers

Kevin Skoglund
Author

 
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  1. 2m 46s
    1. Introduction
      1m 7s
    2. How to use the exercise files
      1m 39s
  2. 20m 24s
    1. Understanding version control
      4m 48s
    2. The history of Git
      7m 58s
    3. About distributed version control
      5m 4s
    4. Who should use Git?
      2m 34s
  3. 26m 12s
    1. Installing Git on a Mac
      3m 44s
    2. Installing Git on Windows
      5m 37s
    3. Installing Git on Linux
      1m 30s
    4. Configuring Git
      7m 29s
    5. Exploring Git auto-completion
      5m 35s
    6. Using Git help
      2m 17s
  4. 15m 49s
    1. Initializing a repository
      1m 58s
    2. Understanding where Git files are stored
      2m 34s
    3. Performing your first commit
      2m 4s
    4. Writing commit messages
      5m 22s
    5. Viewing the commit log
      3m 51s
  5. 17m 44s
    1. Exploring the three-trees architecture
      3m 57s
    2. The Git workflow
      3m 15s
    3. Using hash values (SHA-1)
      4m 7s
    4. Working with the HEAD pointer
      6m 25s
  6. 25m 52s
    1. Adding files
      5m 59s
    2. Editing files
      3m 56s
    3. Viewing changes with diff
      3m 35s
    4. Viewing only staged changes
      2m 28s
    5. Deleting files
      5m 29s
    6. Moving and renaming files
      4m 25s
  7. 19m 18s
    1. Introducing the Explore California web site
      2m 2s
    2. Initializing Git
      3m 48s
    3. Editing the support phone number
      6m 20s
    4. Editing the backpack file name and links
      7m 8s
  8. 38m 45s
    1. Undoing working directory changes
      3m 49s
    2. Unstaging files
      2m 37s
    3. Amending commits
      4m 50s
    4. Retrieving old versions
      4m 7s
    5. Reverting a commit
      3m 12s
    6. Using reset to undo commits
      3m 44s
    7. Demonstrating a soft reset
      4m 8s
    8. Demonstrating a mixed reset
      4m 7s
    9. Demonstrating a hard reset
      5m 8s
    10. Removing untracked files
      3m 3s
  9. 27m 22s
    1. Using .gitignore files
      8m 23s
    2. Understanding what to ignore
      4m 47s
    3. Ignoring files globally
      4m 49s
    4. Ignoring tracked files
      5m 26s
    5. Tracking empty directories
      3m 57s
  10. 26m 51s
    1. Referencing commits
      4m 52s
    2. Exploring tree listings
      3m 46s
    3. Getting more from the commit log
      7m 38s
    4. Viewing commits
      4m 4s
    5. Comparing commits
      6m 31s
  11. 39m 35s
    1. Branching overview
      4m 56s
    2. Viewing and creating branches
      2m 57s
    3. Switching branches
      2m 58s
    4. Creating and switching branches
      4m 53s
    5. Switching branches with uncommitted changes
      3m 26s
    6. Comparing branches
      4m 28s
    7. Renaming branches
      2m 28s
    8. Deleting branches
      4m 18s
    9. Configuring the command prompt to show the branch
      9m 11s
  12. 28m 32s
    1. Merging code
      3m 11s
    2. Using fast-forward merge vs. true merge
      6m 49s
    3. Merging conflicts
      7m 26s
    4. Resolving merge conflicts
      7m 5s
    5. Exploring strategies to reduce merge conflicts
      4m 1s
  13. 14m 34s
    1. Saving changes in the stash
      4m 5s
    2. Viewing stashed changes
      2m 39s
    3. Retrieving stashed changes
      4m 24s
    4. Deleting stashed changes
      3m 26s
  14. 1h 5m
    1. Using local and remote repositories
      6m 38s
    2. Setting up a GitHub account
      5m 39s
    3. Adding a remote repository
      4m 0s
    4. Creating a remote branch
      4m 3s
    5. Cloning a remote repository
      4m 26s
    6. Tracking remote branches
      4m 5s
    7. Pushing changes to a remote repository
      5m 8s
    8. Fetching changes from a remote repository
      5m 47s
    9. Merging in fetched changes
      4m 50s
    10. Checking out remote branches
      3m 22s
    11. Pushing to an updated remote branch
      2m 6s
    12. Deleting a remote branch
      3m 8s
    13. Enabling collaboration
      3m 40s
    14. A collaboration workflow
      8m 43s
  15. 16m 23s
    1. Setting up aliases for common commands
      5m 14s
    2. Using SSH keys for remote login
      2m 56s
    3. Exploring integrated development environments
      1m 4s
    4. Exploring graphical user interfaces
      4m 32s
    5. Understanding Git hosting
      2m 37s
  16. 55s
    1. Goodbye
      55s

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