Delete and restore all files


Git toutes that it keeps all our repository files tracked under its version control. Now it is time to prove that you trust Git - you will be deleting all files and folders in your working directory! A good starting point for this experience is to check whether you’ve committed all changes. The easiest way to see this is to run git status in the working directory. The output should look similar to the following.

$ cd ~/myfirstrepo
$ git status
# On branch master
nothing to commit (working directory clean)

If you have untracked or modified files you should definitely take care of those before continuing. Please refer to the introduction section or ask one of the coaches if you need assistance on this subject.

Delete all content in your working directory

There are several ways to delete files and folders. You could open a file explorer, select the files and folders and simply delete them. Another option is to use the command line. Since you already working in this environment you should also learn how to delete files and folders. Please mind: You will delete all files and folders except one .git/ folder. That is important! The following command will also omit other hidden files. Be sure to navigate into the correct directory before running the remove command.

$ cd ~/myfirstrepo
$ rm -rf **/*
sure you want to delete all the files in ~/myfirstrepo/** [yn]? y

You can immediately check to see what happens by listing the contents of the directory.

$ ls -la

As you can see all that is left are the .git/ folder and the .gitignore file. Congratulations! You successfully deleted all the work you have put into this project. :-)

A frightened cat

Restoring the content of your project

So how can you get back all the files and folders which you created in hours of work? It is very easy and fast forward. One command will recover them. Please mind the . following after git checkout which points to the current directory.

$ git checkout .

Since there will be no output following to the command you need to check yourself whether your work has been restored successfully. A directory listing using ls -1a should satisfy you.

Lessons learned

From this task you should have learned at least two things. First, as long as you take care of the .git/ folder and commit your changes on a regular basis everything will be fine. Second, git checkout is quite useful to restore all content to the working directory which is kept in the repository.

If you want to go a step further go to another exercise: Delete and restore your local repository.