How to name and retrieve a stash by name in git?

This is how you do it:

git stash push -m "my_stash"

Where "my_stash" is the stash name.

Some more useful things to know: All the stashes are stored in a stack. Type:

git stash list

This will list down all your stashes.

To apply a stash and remove it from the stash stack, type:

git stash pop stash@{n}

To apply a stash and keep it in the stash stack, type:

git stash apply stash@{n}

Where n is the index of the stashed change.

Notice that you can apply a stash and keep it in the stack by using the stash name:

git stash apply my_stash_name

How to name and retrieve a stash by name in git?

git stash save is deprecated as of 2.15.x/2.16, instead you can use git stash push -m "message"

You can use it like this:

git stash push -m "message"

where “message” is your note for that stash.

In order to retrieve the stash you can use: git stash list. This will output a list like this, for example:

stash@{0}: On develop: perf-spike
stash@{1}: On develop: node v10

Then you simply use apply giving it the stash@{index}:

git stash apply 1

Answer #2:

If you are just looking for a lightweight way to save some or all of your current working copy changes and then reapply them later at will, consider a patch file:

# save your working copy changes
git diff > some.patch

# re-apply it later
git apply some.patch

Every now and then I wonder if I should be using stashes for this and then I see things like the insanity above and I’m content with what I’m doing 🙂

Answer #3:

You can turn a stash into a branch if you feel it’s important enough:

git stash branch <branchname> [<stash>]

from the man page:

This creates and checks out a new branch named <branchname> starting from the commit at which the <stash> was originally created, applies the changes recorded in <stash> to the new working tree and index, then drops the <stash> if that completes successfully. When no <stash> is given, applies the latest one.

This is useful if the branch on which you ran git stash save has changed enough that git stash apply fails due to conflicts. Since the stash is applied on top of the commit that was HEAD at the time git stash was run, it restores the originally stashed state with no conflicts.

You can later rebase this new branch to some other place that’s a descendent of where you were when you stashed.

Answer #4:

So, I’m not sure why there’s so much consternation on this topic. I can name a git stash with both a push and the deprecated save, and I can use a regex to pull it back with an apply:

Git stash method to use a name to apply

$ git stash push -m "john-hancock"

$ git stash apply stash^{/john-hancock}

As it has been mentioned before, the save command is deprecated, but it still works, so you can used this on older systems where you can’t update them with a push call. Unlike the push command, the -m switch isn’t required with save.

// save is deprecated but still functional  
$ git stash save john-hancock

This is Git 2.2 and Windows 10.

Visual Proof

Here’s a beautiful animated GIF demonstrating the process.

Animated GIF showing a git stash apply using an identifiable name.

Sequence of events

The GIF runs quickly, but if you look, the process is this:

  1. The ls command shows 4 files in the directory
  2. touch example.html adds a 5th file
  3. git stash push -m "john-hancock" -a (The -a includes untracked files)
  4. The ls command shows 4 files after the stash, meaning the stash and the implicit hard reset worked
  5. git stash apply stash^{/john-hancock} runs
  6. The ls command lists 5 files, showing the example.html file was brought back, meaning the git stash apply command worked.

Does this even make sense?

To be frank, I’m not sure what the benefit of this approach is though. There’s value in giving the stash a name, but not the retrieval. Maybe to script the shelve and unshelve process it’d be helpful, but it’s still way easier to just pop a stash by name.

$ git stash pop 3
$ git stash apply 3

That looks way easier to me than the regex.

How to name and retrieve a stash by name in git?

I have these two functions in my .zshrc file:

function gitstash() {
    git stash push -m "zsh_stash_name_$1"

function gitstashapply() {
    git stash apply $(git stash list | grep "zsh_stash_name_$1" | cut -d: -f1)

Using them this way:

gitstash nice
gitstashapply nice


save a git stash with the name

$ git stash push -m "say-my-name"

perform a git stash apply by name

$ git stash apply stash^{/say-my-name}

Hope you learned something from this post.

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About ᴾᴿᴼᵍʳᵃᵐᵐᵉʳ

Linux and Python enthusiast, in love with open source since 2014, Writer at, India.

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