Topics ▾ Version 1.7.2 ▾ git-show last updated in 2.13.1


git-show - Show various types of objects


git show [options] <object>…​


Shows one or more objects (blobs, trees, tags and commits).

For commits it shows the log message and textual diff. It also presents the merge commit in a special format as produced by git diff-tree --cc.

For tags, it shows the tag message and the referenced objects.

For trees, it shows the names (equivalent to git ls-tree with \--name-only).

For plain blobs, it shows the plain contents.

The command takes options applicable to the git diff-tree command to control how the changes the commit introduces are shown.

This manual page describes only the most frequently used options.



The names of objects to show. For a more complete list of ways to spell object names, see "SPECIFYING REVISIONS" section in gitrevisions[1].


Pretty-print the contents of the commit logs in a given format, where <format> can be one of oneline, short, medium, full, fuller, email, raw and format:<string>. See the "PRETTY FORMATS" section for some additional details for each format. When omitted, the format defaults to medium.

Note: you can specify the default pretty format in the repository configuration (see git-config[1]).


Instead of showing the full 40-byte hexadecimal commit object name, show only a partial prefix. Non default number of digits can be specified with "--abbrev=<n>" (which also modifies diff output, if it is displayed).

This should make "--pretty=oneline" a whole lot more readable for people using 80-column terminals.


This is a shorthand for "--pretty=oneline --abbrev-commit" used together.


The commit objects record the encoding used for the log message in their encoding header; this option can be used to tell the command to re-code the commit log message in the encoding preferred by the user. For non plumbing commands this defaults to UTF-8.


Show the notes (see git-notes[1]) that annotate the commit, when showing the commit log message. This is the default for git log, git show and git whatchanged commands when there is no --pretty, --format nor --oneline option is given on the command line.

With an optional argument, add this ref to the list of notes. The ref is taken to be in refs/notes/ if it is not qualified.


Enable or disable populating the notes ref list from the core.notesRef and notes.displayRef variables (or corresponding environment overrides). Enabled by default. See git-config[1].


If the commit is a merge, and if the pretty-format is not oneline, email or raw, an additional line is inserted before the Author: line. This line begins with "Merge: " and the sha1s of ancestral commits are printed, separated by spaces. Note that the listed commits may not necessarily be the list of the direct parent commits if you have limited your view of history: for example, if you are only interested in changes related to a certain directory or file.

There are several built-in formats, and you can define additional formats by setting a pretty.<name> config option to either another format name, or a format: string, as described below (see git-config[1]). Here are the details of the built-in formats:

  • oneline

    <sha1> <title line>

    This is designed to be as compact as possible.

  • short

    commit <sha1>
    Author: <author>
    <title line>
  • medium

    commit <sha1>
    Author: <author>
    Date:   <author date>
    <title line>
    <full commit message>
  • full

    commit <sha1>
    Author: <author>
    Commit: <committer>
    <title line>
    <full commit message>
  • fuller

    commit <sha1>
    Author:     <author>
    AuthorDate: <author date>
    Commit:     <committer>
    CommitDate: <committer date>
    <title line>
    <full commit message>
  • email

    From <sha1> <date>
    From: <author>
    Date: <author date>
    Subject: [PATCH] <title line>
    <full commit message>
  • raw

    The raw format shows the entire commit exactly as stored in the commit object. Notably, the SHA1s are displayed in full, regardless of whether --abbrev or --no-abbrev are used, and parents information show the true parent commits, without taking grafts nor history simplification into account.

  • format:<string>

    The format:<string> format allows you to specify which information you want to show. It works a little bit like printf format, with the notable exception that you get a newline with %n instead of \n.

    E.g, format:"The author of %h was %an, %ar%nThe title was >>%s<<%n" would show something like this:

    The author of fe6e0ee was Junio C Hamano, 23 hours ago
    The title was >>t4119: test autocomputing -p<n> for traditional diff input.<<
    The placeholders are:
    - '%H': commit hash
    - '%h': abbreviated commit hash
    - '%T': tree hash
    - '%t': abbreviated tree hash
    - '%P': parent hashes
    - '%p': abbreviated parent hashes
    - '%an': author name
    - '%aN': author name (respecting .mailmap, see git-shortlog[1] or git-blame[1])
    - '%ae': author email
    - '%aE': author email (respecting .mailmap, see git-shortlog[1] or git-blame[1])
    - '%ad': author date (format respects --date= option)
    - '%aD': author date, RFC2822 style
    - '%ar': author date, relative
    - '%at': author date, UNIX timestamp
    - '%ai': author date, ISO 8601 format
    - '%cn': committer name
    - '%cN': committer name (respecting .mailmap, see git-shortlog[1] or git-blame[1])
    - '%ce': committer email
    - '%cE': committer email (respecting .mailmap, see git-shortlog[1] or git-blame[1])
    - '%cd': committer date
    - '%cD': committer date, RFC2822 style
    - '%cr': committer date, relative
    - '%ct': committer date, UNIX timestamp
    - '%ci': committer date, ISO 8601 format
    - '%d': ref names, like the --decorate option of git-log[1]
    - '%e': encoding
    - '%s': subject
    - '%f': sanitized subject line, suitable for a filename
    - '%b': body
    - '%B': raw body (unwrapped subject and body)
    - '%N': commit notes
    - '%gD': reflog selector, e.g., `refs/stash@\{1\}`
    - '%gd': shortened reflog selector, e.g., `stash@\{1\}`
    - '%gs': reflog subject
    - '%Cred': switch color to red
    - '%Cgreen': switch color to green
    - '%Cblue': switch color to blue
    - '%Creset': reset color
    - '%C(...)': color specification, as described in color.branch.* config option
    - '%m': left, right or boundary mark
    - '%n': newline
    - '%%': a raw '%'
    - '%x00': print a byte from a hex code
    - '%w([<w>[,<i1>[,<i2>]]])': switch line wrapping, like the -w option of
    NOTE: Some placeholders may depend on other options given to the
    revision traversal engine. For example, the `%g*` reflog options will
    insert an empty string unless we are traversing reflog entries (e.g., by
    `git log -g`). The `%d` placeholder will use the "short" decoration
    format if `--decorate` was not already provided on the command line.
    If you add a `{plus}` (plus sign) after '%' of a placeholder, a line-feed
    is inserted immediately before the expansion if and only if the
    placeholder expands to a non-empty string.
    If you add a `-` (minus sign) after '%' of a placeholder, line-feeds that
    immediately precede the expansion are deleted if and only if the
    placeholder expands to an empty string.
    If you add a ` ` (space) after '%' of a placeholder, a space
    is inserted immediately before the expansion if and only if the
    placeholder expands to a non-empty string.
    * 'tformat:'
    The 'tformat:' format works exactly like 'format:', except that it
    provides "terminator" semantics instead of "separator" semantics. In
    other words, each commit has the message terminator character (usually a
    newline) appended, rather than a separator placed between entries.
    This means that the final entry of a single-line format will be properly
    terminated with a new line, just as the "oneline" format does.
    For example:
    $ git log -2 --pretty=format:%h 4da45bef \
      | perl -pe '$_ .= " -- NO NEWLINE\n" unless /\n/'
    7134973 -- NO NEWLINE
    $ git log -2 --pretty=tformat:%h 4da45bef \
      | perl -pe '$_ .= " -- NO NEWLINE\n" unless /\n/'
    In addition, any unrecognized string that has a `%` in it is interpreted
    as if it has `tformat:` in front of it.  For example, these two are
    $ git log -2 --pretty=tformat:%h 4da45bef
    $ git log -2 --pretty=%h 4da45bef
    git show v1.0.0::
    	Shows the tag `v1.0.0`, along with the object the tags
    	points at.
    git show v1.0.0^\{tree\}::
    	Shows the tree pointed to by the tag `v1.0.0`.
    git show next~10:Documentation/README::
    	Shows the contents of the file `Documentation/README` as
    	they were current in the 10th last commit of the branch
    git show master:Makefile master:t/Makefile::
    	Concatenates the contents of said Makefiles in the head
    	of the branch `master`.
    At the core level, git is character encoding agnostic.
     - The pathnames recorded in the index and in the tree objects
       are treated as uninterpreted sequences of non-NUL bytes.
       What readdir(2) returns are what are recorded and compared
       with the data git keeps track of, which in turn are expected
       to be what lstat(2) and creat(2) accepts.  There is no such
       thing as pathname encoding translation.
     - The contents of the blob objects are uninterpreted sequences
       of bytes.  There is no encoding translation at the core
     - The commit log messages are uninterpreted sequences of non-NUL
    Although we encourage that the commit log messages are encoded
    in UTF-8, both the core and git Porcelain are designed not to
    force UTF-8 on projects.  If all participants of a particular
    project find it more convenient to use legacy encodings, git
    does not forbid it.  However, there are a few things to keep in
    . 'git commit' and 'git commit-tree' issues
      a warning if the commit log message given to it does not look
      like a valid UTF-8 string, unless you explicitly say your
      project uses a legacy encoding.  The way to say this is to
      have i18n.commitencoding in `.git/config` file, like this:
    	commitencoding = ISO-8859-1
    Commit objects created with the above setting record the value
    of `i18n.commitencoding` in its `encoding` header.  This is to
    help other people who look at them later.  Lack of this header
    implies that the commit log message is encoded in UTF-8.
    . 'git log', 'git show', 'git blame' and friends look at the
      `encoding` header of a commit object, and try to re-code the
      log message into UTF-8 unless otherwise specified.  You can
      specify the desired output encoding with
      `i18n.logoutputencoding` in `.git/config` file, like this:
    	logoutputencoding = ISO-8859-1
    If you do not have this configuration variable, the value of
    `i18n.commitencoding` is used instead.
    Note that we deliberately chose not to re-code the commit log
    message when a commit is made to force UTF-8 at the commit
    object level, because re-coding to UTF-8 is not necessarily a
    reversible operation.
    Written by Linus Torvalds <> and
    Junio C Hamano <>.  Significantly enhanced by
    Johannes Schindelin <>.
    Documentation by David Greaves, Petr Baudis and the git-list <>.
    Part of the git[1] suite