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GIT\-DIFF\-INDEX

Section: Git Manual (1)
Updated: 09/30/2007
Index Return to Main Contents
 

NAME

git-diff-index - Compares content and mode of blobs between the index and repository  

SYNOPSIS

git-diff-index [-m] [--cached] [<common diff options>] <tree-ish> [<path>...]  

DESCRIPTION

Compares the content and mode of the blobs found via a tree object with the content of the current index and, optionally ignoring the stat state of the file on disk. When paths are specified, compares only those named paths. Otherwise all entries in the index are compared.  

OPTIONS

-p

Generate patch (see section on generating patches)

-u

Synonym for "-p".

-U<n>

Shorthand for "--unified=<n>".

--unified=<n>

Generate diffs with <n> lines of context instead of the usual three. Implies "-p".

--raw

Generate the raw format.

--patch-with-raw

Synonym for "-p --raw".

--stat[=width[,name-width]]

Generate a diffstat. You can override the default output width for 80-column terminal by "--stat=width". The width of the filename part can be controlled by giving another width to it separated by a comma.

--numstat

Similar to --stat, but shows number of added and deleted lines in decimal notation and pathname without abbreviation, to make it more machine friendly. For binary files, outputs two - instead of saying 0 0.

--shortstat

Output only the last line of the --stat format containing total number of modified files, as well as number of added and deleted lines.

--summary

Output a condensed summary of extended header information such as creations, renames and mode changes.

--patch-with-stat

Synonym for "-p --stat".

-z

NUL-line termination on output. This affects the --raw output field terminator. Also output from commands such as "git-log" will be delimited with NUL between commits.

--name-only

Show only names of changed files.

--name-status

Show only names and status of changed files.

--color

Show colored diff.

--no-color

Turn off colored diff, even when the configuration file gives the default to color output.

--color-words

Show colored word diff, i.e. color words which have changed.

--no-renames

Turn off rename detection, even when the configuration file gives the default to do so.

--check

Warn if changes introduce trailing whitespace or an indent that uses a space before a tab.

--full-index

Instead of the first handful characters, show full object name of pre- and post-image blob on the "index" line when generating a patch format output.

--binary

In addition to --full-index, output "binary diff" that can be applied with "git apply".

--abbrev[=<n>]

Instead of showing the full 40-byte hexadecimal object name in diff-raw format output and diff-tree header lines, show only handful hexdigits prefix. This is independent of --full-index option above, which controls the diff-patch output format. Non default number of digits can be specified with --abbrev=<n>.

-B

Break complete rewrite changes into pairs of delete and create.

-M

Detect renames.

-C

Detect copies as well as renames. See also --find-copies-harder.

--diff-filter=[ACDMRTUXB*]

Select only files that are Added (A), Copied (C), Deleted (D), Modified (M), Renamed (R), have their type (mode) changed (T), are Unmerged (U), are Unknown (X), or have had their pairing Broken (B). Any combination of the filter characters may be used. When * (All-or-none) is added to the combination, all paths are selected if there is any file that matches other criteria in the comparison; if there is no file that matches other criteria, nothing is selected.

--find-copies-harder

For performance reasons, by default, -C option finds copies only if the original file of the copy was modified in the same changeset. This flag makes the command inspect unmodified files as candidates for the source of copy. This is a very expensive operation for large projects, so use it with caution. Giving more than one -C option has the same effect.

-l<num>

-M and -C options require O(n^2) processing time where n is the number of potential rename/copy targets. This option prevents rename/copy detection from running if the number of rename/copy targets exceeds the specified number.

-S<string>

Look for differences that contain the change in <string>.

--pickaxe-all

When -S finds a change, show all the changes in that changeset, not just the files that contain the change in <string>.

--pickaxe-regex

Make the <string> not a plain string but an extended POSIX regex to match.

-O<orderfile>

Output the patch in the order specified in the <orderfile>, which has one shell glob pattern per line.

-R

Swap two inputs; that is, show differences from index or on-disk file to tree contents.

--text

Treat all files as text.

-a

Shorthand for "--text".

--ignore-space-at-eol

Ignore changes in white spaces at EOL.

--ignore-space-change

Ignore changes in amount of white space. This ignores white space at line end, and consider all other sequences of one or more white space characters to be equivalent.

-b

Shorthand for "--ignore-space-change".

--ignore-all-space

Ignore white space when comparing lines. This ignores difference even if one line has white space where the other line has none.

-w

Shorthand for "--ignore-all-space".

--exit-code

Make the program exit with codes similar to diff(1). That is, it exits with 1 if there were differences and 0 means no differences.

--quiet

Disable all output of the program. Implies --exit-code.

--ext-diff

Allow an external diff helper to be executed. If you set an external diff driver with gitlink:gitattributes(5), you need to use this option with gitlink:git-log(1) and friends.

--no-ext-diff

Disallow external diff drivers.
For more detailed explanation on these common options, see also diffcore documentation[1].

<tree-ish>

The id of a tree object to diff against.

--cached

do not consider the on-disk file at all

-m

By default, files recorded in the index but not checked out are reported as deleted. This flag makes "git-diff-index" say that all non-checked-out files are up to date.
 

OUTPUT FORMAT

The output format from "git-diff-index", "git-diff-tree" and "git-diff-files" are very similar.

These commands all compare two sets of things; what is compared differs:

git-diff-index <tree-ish>

compares the <tree-ish> and the files on the filesystem.

git-diff-index --cached <tree-ish>

compares the <tree-ish> and the index.

git-diff-tree [-r] <tree-ish-1> <tree-ish-2> [<pattern>...]

compares the trees named by the two arguments.

git-diff-files [<pattern>...]

compares the index and the files on the filesystem.
An output line is formatted this way:


.ft C
in-place edit  :100644 100644 bcd1234... 0123456... M file0
copy-edit      :100644 100644 abcd123... 1234567... C68 file1 file2
rename-edit    :100644 100644 abcd123... 1234567... R86 file1 file3
create         :000000 100644 0000000... 1234567... A file4
delete         :100644 000000 1234567... 0000000... D file5
unmerged       :000000 000000 0000000... 0000000... U file6
.ft

That is, from the left to the right:

1.a colon.
2.mode for "src"; 000000 if creation or unmerged.
3.a space.
4.mode for "dst"; 000000 if deletion or unmerged.
5.a space.
6.sha1 for "src"; 0{40} if creation or unmerged.
7.a space.
8.sha1 for "dst"; 0{40} if creation, unmerged or "look at work tree".
9.a space.
10.status, followed by optional "score" number.
11.a tab or a NUL when -z option is used.
12.path for "src"
13.a tab or a NUL when -z option is used; only exists for C or R.
14.path for "dst"; only exists for C or R.
15.an LF or a NUL when -z option is used, to terminate the record.
<sha1> is shown as all 0's if a file is new on the filesystem and it is out of sync with the index.

Example:


.ft C
:100644 100644 5be4a4...... 000000...... M file.c
.ft

When -z option is not used, TAB, LF, and backslash characters in pathnames are represented as \t, \n, and \\, respectively.  

DIFF FORMAT FOR MERGES

"git-diff-tree" and "git-diff-files" can take -c or --cc option to generate diff output also for merge commits. The output differs from the format described above in the following way:

1.there is a colon for each parent
2.there are more "src" modes and "src" sha1
3.status is concatenated status characters for each parent
4.no optional "score" number
5.single path, only for "dst"
Example:


.ft C
::100644 100644 100644 fabadb8... cc95eb0... 4866510... MM      describe.c
.ft

Note that combined diff lists only files which were modified from all parents.  

GENERATING PATCHES WITH -P

When "git-diff-index", "git-diff-tree", or "git-diff-files" are run with a -p option, they do not produce the output described above; instead they produce a patch file. You can customize the creation of such patches via the GIT_EXTERNAL_DIFF and the GIT_DIFF_OPTS environment variables.

What the -p option produces is slightly different from the traditional diff format.

1.It is preceded with a "git diff" header, that looks like this:

diff --git a/file1 b/file2
The a/ and b/ filenames are the same unless rename/copy is involved. Especially, even for a creation or a deletion, /dev/null is not used in place of a/ or b/ filenames.

When rename/copy is involved, file1 and file2 show the name of the source file of the rename/copy and the name of the file that rename/copy produces, respectively.

2.It is followed by one or more extended header lines:

old mode <mode>
new mode <mode>
deleted file mode <mode>
new file mode <mode>
copy from <path>
copy to <path>
rename from <path>
rename to <path>
similarity index <number>
dissimilarity index <number>
index <hash>..<hash> <mode>
3.TAB, LF, double quote and backslash characters in pathnames are represented as \t, \n, \" and \\, respectively. If there is need for such substitution then the whole pathname is put in double quotes.
The similarity index is the percentage of unchanged lines, and the dissimilarity index is the percentage of changed lines. It is a rounded down integer, followed by a percent sign. The similarity index value of 100% is thus reserved for two equal files, while 100% dissimilarity means that no line from the old file made it into the new one.  

COMBINED DIFF FORMAT

git-diff-tree and git-diff-files can take -c or --cc option to produce combined diff, which looks like this:


.ft C
diff --combined describe.c
index fabadb8,cc95eb0..4866510
--- a/describe.c
+++ b/describe.c
@@@ -98,20 -98,12 +98,20 @@@
        return (a_date > b_date) ? -1 : (a_date == b_date) ? 0 : 1;
  }

- static void describe(char *arg)
 -static void describe(struct commit *cmit, int last_one)
++static void describe(char *arg, int last_one)
  {
 +      unsigned char sha1[20];
 +      struct commit *cmit;
        struct commit_list *list;
        static int initialized = 0;
        struct commit_name *n;

 +      if (get_sha1(arg, sha1) < 0)
 +              usage(describe_usage);
 +      cmit = lookup_commit_reference(sha1);
 +      if (!cmit)
 +              usage(describe_usage);
 +
        if (!initialized) {
                initialized = 1;
                for_each_ref(get_name);
.ft

1.It is preceded with a "git diff" header, that looks like this (when -c option is used):

diff --combined file
or like this (when --cc option is used):

diff --c file
2.It is followed by one or more extended header lines (this example shows a merge with two parents):

index <hash>,<hash>..<hash>
mode <mode>,<mode>..<mode>
new file mode <mode>
deleted file mode <mode>,<mode>
The mode <mode>,<mode>..<mode> line appears only if at least one of the <mode> is different from the rest. Extended headers with information about detected contents movement (renames and copying detection) are designed to work with diff of two <tree-ish> and are not used by combined diff format.
3.It is followed by two-line from-file/to-file header

--- a/file
+++ b/file
Similar to two-line header for traditional unified diff format, /dev/null is used to signal created or deleted files.
4.Chunk header format is modified to prevent people from accidentally feeding it to patch -p1. Combined diff format was created for review of merge commit changes, and was not meant for apply. The change is similar to the change in the extended index header:

@@@ <from-file-range> <from-file-range> <to-file-range> @@@
There are (number of parents + 1) @ characters in the chunk header for combined diff format.
Unlike the traditional unified diff format, which shows two files A and B with a single column that has - (minus --- appears in A but removed in B), + (plus --- missing in A but added to B), or " " (space --- unchanged) prefix, this format compares two or more files file1, file2,... with one file X, and shows how X differs from each of fileN. One column for each of fileN is prepended to the output line to note how X's line is different from it.

A - character in the column N means that the line appears in fileN but it does not appear in the result. A + character in the column N means that the line appears in the last file, and fileN does not have that line (in other words, the line was added, from the point of view of that parent).

In the above example output, the function signature was changed from both files (hence two - removals from both file1 and file2, plus + to mean one line that was added does not appear in either file1 nor file2). Also two other lines are the same from file1 but do not appear in file2 (hence prefixed with ).

When shown by git diff-tree -c, it compares the parents of a merge commit with the merge result (i.e. file1..fileN are the parents). When shown by git diff-files -c, it compares the two unresolved merge parents with the working tree file (i.e. file1 is stage 2 aka "our version", file2 is stage 3 aka "their version").  

OPERATING MODES

You can choose whether you want to trust the index file entirely (using the --cached flag) or ask the diff logic to show any files that don't match the stat state as being "tentatively changed". Both of these operations are very useful indeed.  

CACHED MODE

If --cached is specified, it allows you to ask:

show me the differences between HEAD and the current index
contents (the ones I'd write with a "git-write-tree")
For example, let's say that you have worked on your working directory, updated some files in the index and are ready to commit. You want to see exactly what you are going to commit, without having to write a new tree object and compare it that way, and to do that, you just do

git-diff-index --cached HEAD
Example: let's say I had renamed commit.c to git-commit.c, and I had done an "git-update-index" to make that effective in the index file. "git-diff-files" wouldn't show anything at all, since the index file matches my working directory. But doing a "git-diff-index" does:

torvalds@ppc970:~/git> git-diff-index --cached HEAD
-100644 blob    4161aecc6700a2eb579e842af0b7f22b98443f74        commit.c
+100644 blob    4161aecc6700a2eb579e842af0b7f22b98443f74        git-commit.c
You can see easily that the above is a rename.

In fact, "git-diff-index --cached" should always be entirely equivalent to actually doing a "git-write-tree" and comparing that. Except this one is much nicer for the case where you just want to check where you are.

So doing a "git-diff-index --cached" is basically very useful when you are asking yourself "what have I already marked for being committed, and what's the difference to a previous tree".  

NON-CACHED MODE

The "non-cached" mode takes a different approach, and is potentially the more useful of the two in that what it does can't be emulated with a "git-write-tree" + "git-diff-tree". Thus that's the default mode. The non-cached version asks the question:

show me the differences between HEAD and the currently checked out
tree - index contents _and_ files that aren't up-to-date
which is obviously a very useful question too, since that tells you what you could commit. Again, the output matches the "git-diff-tree -r" output to a tee, but with a twist.

The twist is that if some file doesn't match the index, we don't have a backing store thing for it, and we use the magic "all-zero" sha1 to show that. So let's say that you have edited kernel/sched.c, but have not actually done a "git-update-index" on it yet - there is no "object" associated with the new state, and you get:

torvalds@ppc970:~/v2.6/linux> git-diff-index HEAD
*100644->100664 blob    7476bb......->000000......      kernel/sched.c
i.e., it shows that the tree has changed, and that kernel/sched.c has is not up-to-date and may contain new stuff. The all-zero sha1 means that to get the real diff, you need to look at the object in the working directory directly rather than do an object-to-object diff.


Note As with other commands of this type, "git-diff-index" does not actually look at the contents of the file at all. So maybe kernel/sched.c hasn't actually changed, and it's just that you touched it. In either case, it's a note that you need to "git-update-index" it to make the index be in sync.


Note You can have a mixture of files show up as "has been updated" and "is still dirty in the working directory" together. You can always tell which file is in which state, since the "has been updated" ones show a valid sha1, and the "not in sync with the index" ones will always have the special all-zero sha1.

 

AUTHOR

Written by Linus Torvalds <torvalds@osdl.org>  

DOCUMENTATION

Documentation by David Greaves, Junio C Hamano and the git-list <git@vger.kernel.org>.  

GIT

Part of the git(7) suite  

REFERENCES

1.
diffcore documentation
diffcore.html


 

Index

NAME
SYNOPSIS
DESCRIPTION
OPTIONS
OUTPUT FORMAT
DIFF FORMAT FOR MERGES
GENERATING PATCHES WITH -P
COMBINED DIFF FORMAT
OPERATING MODES
CACHED MODE
NON-CACHED MODE
AUTHOR
DOCUMENTATION
GIT
REFERENCES




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