Examining Git

After basic snapshotting of a repository, following commands are used to get it’s commit history.

  • git log
  • git shortlog
  • git diff

Now, we will discuss each command and its different available options.

git log: As the name suggests, this command shows commit logs. It is a command which allows you to view information about the previous commit. Unlike git status command, it only inspects the history of committed repository.



  • git log –all or git log: This command displays all commits.
  • git log -n “limit”: This option helps to filter the commit history by applying the limit. Replacing “limit” with a number of commits will limit output as n most recently committed ones.
  • log –author=”name”: This option limit the output to commits by particular author “name”.
  • git log –committer=”name”: This option limit result to commits that were committed by that individual.
  • git log -p: This option shows the most detailed view of history. Here p stands for patch.
  • git log –oneline: This option is used to get bare information in a single line per commit.
  • git log –stat: This option helps to view the summary of changes made in each commit.
  • git log “file”: This option display commits that include specified file.
  • git log –before(or –after) “date”: This limits the commits to those within a given date range. The date is specified as string in “yyyy-mm-dd” format.
  • git log –after “date” –before “date”: This option specifies a date range.

git shortlog: This command is “Sub-command” of git log as it summaries git log output. Each commit is grouped by author and title.

  • git log -n
    –numbered:
    It display the output according to number of commits per author.
  • git log -s
    –summary:
    This option suppresses commit description
  • git log -e
    –email:
    This option displays the email address of each author.
  • git log -c
    –committer:m
    This option shows committer identities instead of authors.
  • git log “revision range”: Displays commits in specified revision range.

git diff: This command is used to compare different versions of the file or in other words, it shows the changes between the commits, working tree, branches, files, etc.

Summarizing: We learned that a git log command is a basic tool that is used to go through the history of commits. git log is a running record of commits. git shortlog is just a subcommand of git log- summarizing the output of git log. We have just described git diff command as it one of the most advanced options of git.



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