Git - Commit


A commit 1) in git is an object 2) that stores the information about:

  • who saved the file system snapshots,
  • when they were saved,
  • why they were saved.
  • the commiter
  • the author
  • the parent commit

It's added in commit log (or log) behind its parent commit.

For each commit, a new snapshots (tree) of the project directory is preserved.

Git Commit Tree Data Model




Commit identifier are the hash object calculated on the following inputs:

  • the SHA of the all files and directories
  • the SHA of all ascendant commit
  • the author name/email/timestamp
  • the committer name/email/timestamp


To reference a commit by name and not by SHA, named called ref can be used.

HEAD is a special ref that refers to the current branch (ie last commit of the current branch)


The commot message is given with the -m option.

git commit -m "My Commit"


The date of a commit is the author date.

There is also a committer date.


Cat file

git cat-file -p fdf4fc3
# where fdf4fc3 is the first characters of the commit hash
# for the last commit
git cat-file -p HEAD
tree d8329fc1cc938780ffdd9f94e0d364e0ea74f579
parent xxxx
author Foo <[email protected]> 1243040974 -0700
committer Bar <[email protected]> 1243040974 -0700

First commit


Last commit

Just for the last commit

git cat-file -p HEAD


The commit tree is the tree of the commit. It's an image of the file system (ie file and directory)

Get the hash of the commit tree

  • short hand notation that can be used in any commdn
# dos: commitHash^^{tree}

For example:

  • to print the hash:
git rev-parse commitHash^{tree}
  • the list the tree
git ls-tree commitHash^{tree}

List the files in a commit

git show --pretty="" --name-only commitHash
git ls-tree $(git rev-parse commitHash^{tree})

File in a commit

git rev-parse commitHash:path/to/file
  • Get the content
git show commitHash:path/to/file

Commit viewer : gitk

gitk the commit viewer

gitk file
gitk --follow file # for rename



git commit

The commit-tree 3)is a low level command that permits to creates a commit from a tree

echo 'First commit Message' | git commit-tree d8329f
# d8329f is the tree hash


To visualize the type of commit, you can use emoji. See a list of emoji by commit type at Emojis Commit


Git - Log (Commit History)

git log --format=fuller
git log --pretty=oneline



Undo the last commit without deleting the changed files - Reset

# --soft is the default
git reset --soft HEAD~


If you accidentally commit on master, it's not hard to fix things up. Assuming you've just made an errant commit on master:

  • “Backs up” your commit, creating a topic branch
git branch myNewTopicBranch
  • Reset your master branch to the same state as upstream/master
git reset --hard upstream/master


the Last Commit

git commit --amend args


  • last message
git commit --amend -m "another commit message"
  • the author's date
git commit --amend --date='Wed Feb 16 14:00 2037 +0100' -C HEAD

Delete the last local commit

  • The last commit if not pushed
git reset HEAD~

If you want to your working directory back to the status of upstream, see working directory purge


Command line

  • commits that branch-X has but master doesn't
git log master..branch-X


  • –oneline
  • –stat will show the files


Git - difftool

git difftool -y origin/master..origin/develop


git checkout commit_hash
git checkout 56a4e5c08

You are then in a detached head state.


git checkout -b branchName commitHash

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