How To Read Git Branches

Love Git Branches But Hate Reading Them?

If you’re using git branching, it can be difficult sometimes to orient yourself within your git repository (repo).

Knowing where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there is next to impossible if you don’t know how to read your commit history (branches)

So I’m going to show you how to read your commit history in this post.


Here’s your first insight: Commits always point BACK to their parent commit(s), never forward to their child commit(s):

If you make some changes and commit again, the next commit stores a pointer to the commit that came immediately before it.

3.1 Git Branching – Branches in a Nutshell, Figure 10.

This subtle distinction may not seem like a big deal now, but soon this will make all the difference.

Reading Commits

Here is the output of the branch master from my local repo:

git log --oneline --graph --decorate

Given that commits always point back, we can trace our branch from Branch Pointer master (78f107a) all the way back down to our initial commit (7bc8a7a):

The totality of the entire trail from the most recent commit master (78f107a) all the way back down to our initial commit (7bc8a7a) is one branch.

Reading Multiple Branches

Here is where knowing commits point back, not forward, is REALLY going to help us out

First we expose ALL branches from my git repo:

git log --oneline --graph --decorate --all

In this output we now can see all branches laid out at once.

Reading the dev Branch

Here are a couple of things to remember when reading the commit history from command ‘git log’:

  1. The previous commit(s) is denoted by following back to the previous asterisk(s), not necessarily the commit beneath it.
  2. The vertical and diagonal bars actually do a great job of guiding us to the previous commit(s).

7bc8a7a <= a6b939a <= 8e005a4 <= 0461fc6 <= 5e3384e (dev)

We can confirm this by checking out the dev branch and listing the commit history

Reading the test Branch

Just repeat the same process for branch test and you will get the following:

Confirming the test branch:

7bc8a7a <= a6b939a <= 8e005a4 <= e5a2bcc <= 3d6f3bb (test)


Now that you know how to read your commit history (branches) you should be able to orient yourself and navigate within your git repo.

Hopefully this will empower you to leverage git branches more when you need to experiment with different version and features of your code.

Branches will allow you to test your experimental code without losing the production code.

CentOS Linux 8 Will End In 2021 And Shift To CentOS Stream

Possible Alternatives To CentOS

Here are some alternatives identical to CentOS: 100% binary clones of Red Hat

Infograph Showing Where CentOS Stream Will “Sit”

Image Source:

CentOS Stream will be a rolling release operating system, similar to Arch Linux.

Therefore, it will NOT have version numbers and will site between Fedora and Red Hat. For contrast, CentOS sat AFTER every Red Hat release.

Stated another way:

  • CentOS was downstream to Red Hat: Fedora > Redhat > CentOS
  • CentOS Stream will be upstream to Red Hat: Fedora > CentOS Stream > Redhat

CentOS 7 and 8 End Of Life

CentOS 7 => June 30, 2024

CentOS 8 => December 31, 2021


How To Connect To Your Raspberry Pi’s Graphical Desktop From Windows 10

Here I’m going to show you how to easily connect to your Raspberry Pi over the network from your Windows 10 machine.[1]

This is going to be accomplished with the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

This will allow you to quickly and conveniently access the Raspberry Pi’s graphical desktop without having to disconnect and move any of your cables (USB, HDMI, etc.) around.

A real pain in the butt!

Then you can easily experiment and test all of the open source software that the Raspberry Pi platform has to offer:

Here are a few quick examples:

1.) LibreOffice

Opensource Alternative to Microsoft Office

2.) Programming In Python For Beginners

Any Linux platform is going to come with amazing programming IDEs for dozens of popular programming languages: C, C++, Ruby, Python, Perl, you name it!

Raspberry Pi has one in particular for Python beginners.

Thonny Python IDE (to name just one of dozens)

3.) Raspberry Pi Documentation

If you want to go down the Raspberry Pi and/or Debian rabbit hole, you can access all of their References, Guides, and Help files:

Raspberry Pi OS Commands

To get this RDP solution implemented, we will need to:

  1. Install the latest Raspberry Pi OS updates (as a Best Practice)
  2. Install the open source version of RDP onto your Raspberry Pi: Xrdp
sudo apt-get update #update list of available updates
sudo apt-get upgrade #actually installs latest software versions
sudo apt-get install xrdp #installs XRDP onto Raspberry Pi

“RDP” to your Raspberry Pi

From your Windows 10 machine, type mstsc into your search bar and select Remote Desktop Connection

Enter your Raspberry Pi’s IP Address and click Connect

Click Yes if you see the following warning:

Enter the username and password of a valid Raspberry Pi account.

The one you use to Putty with should work.

Then you will be presented with the Raspberry Pi’s graphical desktop:


[1]Curated from the following website:

How to Enable Linux on Windows 10 (for FREE)

If your goal is to learn Linux and all you have is a Windows 10 machine, this post is for you.

You have to enable a feature called Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

As of writing this article, there is the new and improved WSL 2, but I will only cover WSL 1 in this post.

WSL 1 is simpler to enable, supported on more Windows 10 versions, and is perfect for getting you started with Linux ASAP.

Exciting stuff!

Enable WSL 1 on Windows 10

First…enable WSL

Install Ubuntu for WSL

Microsoft’s WSL Store:

Then…get a WSL image from Microsoft’s Store

BASH Script On Raspberry Pi To Show Filehandles

Solved an interesting problem on Unix recently that I automated with the shell; which I will demonstrate on Raspberry Pi


I performed a logrotate on a log file which performed the following transformation:

service.log => service.log.1

which is pretty straight forward, but here was the problem:

After logrotate did its thing, logs were being written to the archived log file service.log.1 and NOT service.log.

This of course defeats to whole purpose of logrotate, so to begin troubleshooting, I needed to answer this question:

What process (or processes) are keeping a handle on that file being logrotated?


So my first step was to figure out what command I could start with to answer my question.

After a quick google search and testing, I found fuser to be a great spring board.

I began my testing by using the common binary file /usr/sbin/sshd:

root@raspberrypi:~# fuser /usr/sbin/sshd
/usr/sbin/sshd: 406e 776e 846e

Now, according to man 1 fuser, it:

outputs only the PIDs to stdout, everything else is sent to stderr.

Hence, the following will clean up the original output a bit:

root@raspberrypi:~# fuser /usr/sbin/sshd 2> /dev/null
406 776 846root@raspberrypi:~#

(No newline is printed at the end of the output so the prompt was returned back on the same line.)

Now, if we pipe the output to xargs, it will work and give use the information we want. But not in most user-friendly format:

root@raspberrypi:~# fuser /usr/sbin/sshd 2> /dev/null | xargs -n1 ps -p
406 ? 00:00:00 sshd
776 ? 00:00:00 sshd
846 ? 00:00:00 sshd

Not too pretty.

Reason being, it ran a ps -p on EACH PID.

Instead, we want to run a single ps -p on ALL PIDs at once:

Here’s a way to run ps -p on ALL PIDS at once (-f added to ps command):

root@raspberrypi:~# ps -p $(fuser /usr/sbin/sshd 2> /dev/null | tr -s ' ' | sed -e 's/ /,/g' -e 's/^,//') -f
root 406 1 0 22:30 ? 00:00:00 /usr/sbin/sshd -D
root 776 406 0 22:31 ? 00:00:00 sshd: pi [priv]
pi 846 776 0 22:31 ? 00:00:00 sshd: pi@pts/0

Let’s pause here and make a couple of quick observations:

  • The end result is getting more useful
  • But getting there (the code) is starting to outgrow the shell
  • And, its not easy to re-run this code on ANY filename



If we “parameterize” the filename AND make it a script, the end result will look something like this:

root@raspberrypi:~/Documents# sh ./ /usr/sbin/sshd

Here is the source code for ./


echo "******************************************"
echo "*"
echo -n "* Parameter passed in: "
echo $1
echo "*"
echo "******************************************"

export MYFILE=$1

ps -p $(fuser $MYFILE 2> /dev/null  | tr -s ' ' | sed -e 's/ /,/g' -e 's/^,//') -f

Now we can fuser ANY file we want to investigate (30 second demo below):

sh ./ <filename>