A Practical Guide on how to work with Git log command and history

July 07, 2020


In this post, we will see ways to look at git history logs.

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git log

There are log of options with this command. Try this

git help log

Run simple git log command. Example Output:

commit e7dd2a062d569a9fc577180acde0a2b7a0a570f6 (HEAD -> master, origin/master, origin/HEAD)
Author: Gorav Singal <[email protected]>
Date:   Wed Jul 8 11:49:10 2020 +0530
commit 007675fed3657a0b194386c8c0efbeac2e1fbbed
Author: Gorav Singal <[email protected]>
Date:   Wed Jul 8 11:49:01 2020 +0530
commit 1a2af9c018e83aa0adef0684875ab7c33499b7d0
Author: Gorav Singal <[email protected]>
Date:   Wed Jul 8 11:45:46 2020 +0530


I’ve ommitted few lines in above output. This output shows commits in reverse order. The most recent commit is on top. It shows a commit id, author, and date.

Shorter commit ids

There is another command to get this history, with shorter commit ids.

git log --abbrev-commit

This shows shorter length of commit it. Typically this is only required to uniquely identify your commit.

Another short version with some graph

Lets see another shorter version of output:

git log --oneline --graph --decorate

# oneline - is for compact output
# graph - some sort of graphical representation of commit history
# decorate - shows any tags, labels etc

# Output

* e7dd2a0 (HEAD -> master, origin/master, origin/HEAD) t2
* 007675f t1
* 1a2af9c test
* f997108 test
* 9a5a776 test
* 85587c6 test1
* 574c251 test 1

Get range of commit ids

git log 1a2af9c...85587c6

You will get commit history with in this commit id range only.

Get history for last 5 days only

git log --since="5 days ago"

Get history for specific file

git log -- <file>

Get detailed info about a single commit

$ git show 574c251142008b98c74d2bed708d05953acd3f0e

commit 574c251142008b98c74d2bed708d05953acd3f0e
Author: Gorav Singal <[email protected]>
Date:   Tue Jul 7 14:14:56 2020 +0530

    test 1

diff --git a/test1.txt b/test1.txt
new file mode 100644
index 0000000..45b983b
--- /dev/null
+++ b/test1.txt
@@ -0,0 +1 @@

It has commit-id, author info, date, and the actual diff too.

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