In this guide, we will explore the key differences between the
git add . and
git add * commands in Git. These two commands are frequently used in version control systems to stage files for a commit. We'll discuss their differences, best practices, and how to use them effectively in your version control workflow.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Git Add
git add is a command used to stage changes in your working directory for a commit. It allows you to selectively choose the changes you want to include in the next commit, giving you precise control over your version history.
For more information on the
git add command, refer to the official Git documentation.
Git Add .
git add . stages all changes in the current directory and its subdirectories. This includes any new, modified, or deleted files. The command will not stage any changes in the parent directories.
git add .
Git Add *
git add * stages all changes in the current directory, but not in its subdirectories. This command uses shell globbing, which means it will only stage files and directories that match the
* pattern. In most cases, this will include any new, modified, or deleted files in the working directory, but not in its subdirectories.
git add *
git add . stages changes in the current directory and its subdirectories, while
git add * stages changes only in the current directory.
git add * relies on shell globbing, which can lead to unexpected behavior depending on the shell and the files present in the directory. On the other hand,
git add . does not rely on shell expansion and consistently stages all changes in the current directory and its subdirectories.
git add . when you want to stage changes in the current directory and its subdirectories.
git add * when you only want to stage changes in the current directory.
git add * relies on shell expansion, which can lead to unexpected results. To avoid potential issues, it's generally better to use
git add . or other alternatives like
git add --all or
git add -A.
- Always review your staged changes using
git diff --stagedbefore committing. This helps to ensure that you are only committing the intended changes.
Q1: Can I stage specific files with
Yes, you can stage specific files by providing the file paths as arguments to the
git add command. For example:
git add file1.txt file2.txt
Q2: How do I unstage changes?
To unstage changes, use the
git restore --staged command followed by the file path(s). For example:
git restore --staged file1.txt
Q3: How do I stage changes interactively?
You can use the
git add -i or
git add --interactive command to stage changes interactively. This allows you to review and selectively stage changes before committing.
Q4: What is the difference between
git add .,
git add --all, and
git add -A?
These commands are similar but have subtle differences:
git add .: Stages changes in the current directory and its subdirectories.
git add --allor
git add -A: Stages changes in the entire repository, including the current directory, its subdirectories, and parent directories.
Q5: Can I stage and commit changes in one command?
Yes, you can use the
git commit -a or
git commit --all command to stage and commit changes in one command. However, this will only stage and commit changes to tracked files. New files will not be included unless they have been staged using
git add beforehand.