English ▾ Topics ▾ Version 2.36.1 ▾ git-ls-tree last updated in 2.36.1


git-ls-tree - List the contents of a tree object


git ls-tree [-d] [-r] [-t] [-l] [-z]
	    [--name-only] [--name-status] [--object-only] [--full-name] [--full-tree] [--abbrev[=<n>]] [--format=<format>]
	    <tree-ish> [<path>…​]


Lists the contents of a given tree object, like what "/bin/ls -a" does in the current working directory. Note that:

  • the behaviour is slightly different from that of "/bin/ls" in that the <path> denotes just a list of patterns to match, e.g. so specifying directory name (without -r) will behave differently, and order of the arguments does not matter.

  • the behaviour is similar to that of "/bin/ls" in that the <path> is taken as relative to the current working directory. E.g. when you are in a directory sub that has a directory dir, you can run git ls-tree -r HEAD dir to list the contents of the tree (that is sub/dir in HEAD). You don’t want to give a tree that is not at the root level (e.g. git ls-tree -r HEAD:sub dir) in this case, as that would result in asking for sub/sub/dir in the HEAD commit. However, the current working directory can be ignored by passing --full-tree option.



Id of a tree-ish.


Show only the named tree entry itself, not its children.


Recurse into sub-trees.


Show tree entries even when going to recurse them. Has no effect if -r was not passed. -d implies -t.


Show object size of blob (file) entries.


\0 line termination on output and do not quote filenames. See OUTPUT FORMAT below for more information.


List only filenames (instead of the "long" output), one per line. Cannot be combined with --object-only.


List only names of the objects, one per line. Cannot be combined with --name-only or --name-status. This is equivalent to specifying --format='%(objectname)', but for both this option and that exact format the command takes a hand-optimized codepath instead of going through the generic formatting mechanism.


Instead of showing the full 40-byte hexadecimal object lines, show the shortest prefix that is at least <n> hexdigits long that uniquely refers the object. Non default number of digits can be specified with --abbrev=<n>.


Instead of showing the path names relative to the current working directory, show the full path names.


Do not limit the listing to the current working directory. Implies --full-name.


A string that interpolates %(fieldname) from the result being shown. It also interpolates %% to %, and %xx where xx are hex digits interpolates to character with hex code xx; for example %00 interpolates to \0 (NUL), %09 to \t (TAB) and %0a to \n (LF). When specified, --format cannot be combined with other format-altering options, including --long, --name-only and --object-only.


When paths are given, show them (note that this isn’t really raw pathnames, but rather a list of patterns to match). Otherwise implicitly uses the root level of the tree as the sole path argument.

Output Format

The output format of ls-tree is determined by either the --format option, or other format-altering options such as --name-only etc. (see --format above).

The use of certain --format directives is equivalent to using those options, but invoking the full formatting machinery can be slower than using an appropriate formatting option.

In cases where the --format would exactly map to an existing option ls-tree will use the appropriate faster path. Thus the default format is equivalent to:

%(objectmode) %(objecttype) %(objectname)%x09%(path)

This output format is compatible with what --index-info --stdin of git update-index expects.

When the -l option is used, format changes to

%(objectmode) %(objecttype) %(objectname) %(objectsize:padded)%x09%(path)

Object size identified by <objectname> is given in bytes, and right-justified with minimum width of 7 characters. Object size is given only for blobs (file) entries; for other entries - character is used in place of size.

Without the -z option, pathnames with "unusual" characters are quoted as explained for the configuration variable core.quotePath (see git-config[1]). Using -z the filename is output verbatim and the line is terminated by a NUL byte.

Customized format:

It is possible to print in a custom format by using the --format option, which is able to interpolate different fields using a %(fieldname) notation. For example, if you only care about the "objectname" and "path" fields, you can execute with a specific "--format" like

git ls-tree --format='%(objectname) %(path)' <tree-ish>


Various values from structured fields can be used to interpolate into the resulting output. For each outputing line, the following names can be used:


The mode of the object.


The type of the object (commit, blob or tree).


The name of the object.


The size of a blob object ("-" if it’s a commit or tree). It also supports a padded format of size with "%(objectsize:padded)".


The pathname of the object.


Part of the git[1] suite