TL;DR – it’s a good idea to throw experimental changes on a branch instead of stashing them.
Today I stashed some changes, then popped them out, then decided they were a failure and wiped them out, then (later) wanted them back.
git stash makes a commit, and commits are not deleted for thirty days, so there had to be a way to get them back.
git fsck finds lost references. But only ones that are good and thoroughly lost, not stashed or listed in a reflog. To find all the references that are not in the history of some named commit, try
git fsck –unreachable > temp_file
Stick the output into a temp file because this takes a long time.
Then to find the commit I was looking for:
cat temp_file | grep commit | cut -d ‘ ‘ -f 3 | xargs git show –name-only
cat temp_file reads the temp file
grep commit chooses only the commits out of all the unreachable objects found by git fsck
cut -d ‘ ‘ -f 3 prints only the third field, using space as a delimiter. This gives me the commit hash
xargs puts the input lines on the end of the argument list
git show prints information about any object it git; for commits it shows the git log output and the diff
–name-only narrows the diff output to only the changed filenames
That gave me a whole slew of commit descriptions, opened in less the same way git log works. I searched for the filename of interest
(forward slash is the less command for search; push n to go to the next one)
and then moved up (arrow key) to see the description of that lost stash-entry commit, along with its commit hash.
Date: Wed Nov 13 11:06:19 2013 -0600
index on develop: 776a776 Debug logging for claiming
Finally, I can check that out and create a temporary branch, which is what I should have done in the first place.
git checkout commit_hash
git branch crazy-changes
Now these experimental changes can hang out, out of my way and easily reachable, until I’m good and done with them and delete the branch.
git branch -d crazy-changes
Question: if I can only find this with fsck –unreachable, that implies that this commit is still recorded somewhere. Anyone know where that is?