(TIL) Git: Show All Commits For A File Beyond Renaming

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By including -- <filename> with a git log command, we can list all the commits for a file. The following is an example of such a command with some formatting and file names.

> git log --name-only --pretty=format:%H -- README.md
4e57c5d46637286731dc7fbb1e16330f1f3b2b7c
README.md

56955ff027f02b57212476e142a97ce2b7e60efe
README.md

5abdc5106529dd246450b381f621fa1b05808830
README.md

What we may not realize, though, is that we are missing out on a commit in this file’s history. At one point, this file was renamed. The command above wasn’t able to capture that.

Using the --follow flag with a file name, we can list all commits for a file beyond renaming.

> git log --name-only --pretty=format:%H --follow README.md
4e57c5d46637286731dc7fbb1e16330f1f3b2b7c
README.md

56955ff027f02b57212476e142a97ce2b7e60efe
README.md

5abdc5106529dd246450b381f621fa1b05808830
README.md

ea885f458b0d525f673623f2440de9556954c0c9
README.rdoc

This command roped in a commit from when README.md used to be called README.rdoc. If you want to know about the full history of a file, this is the way to go.

Via jbranchaud/til.

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