Chapters ▾ 2nd Edition

1.7 Getting Started - Getting Help

Getting Help

If you ever need help while using Git, there are two equivalent ways to get the comprehensive manual page (manpage) help for any of the Git commands:

$ git help <verb>
$ man git-<verb>

For example, you can get the manpage help for the git config command by running

$ git help config

These commands are nice because you can access them anywhere, even offline. If the manpages and this book aren’t enough and you need in-person help, you can try the #git or #github channel on the Freenode IRC server ( These channels are regularly filled with hundreds of people who are all very knowledgeable about Git and are often willing to help.

In addition, if you don’t need the full-blown manpage help, but just need a quick refresher on the available options for a Git command, you can ask for the more concise “help” output with the -h or --help options, as in:

$ git add -h
usage: git add [<options>] [--] <pathspec>...

    -n, --dry-run         dry run
    -v, --verbose         be verbose

    -i, --interactive     interactive picking
    -p, --patch           select hunks interactively
    -e, --edit            edit current diff and apply
    -f, --force           allow adding otherwise ignored files
    -u, --update          update tracked files
    -N, --intent-to-add   record only the fact that the path will be added later
    -A, --all             add changes from all tracked and untracked files
    --ignore-removal      ignore paths removed in the working tree (same as --no-all)
    --refresh             don't add, only refresh the index
    --ignore-errors       just skip files which cannot be added because of errors
    --ignore-missing      check if - even missing - files are ignored in dry run
    --chmod <(+/-)x>      override the executable bit of the listed files