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Jun 25 2017

How to compare files from two different branches? Stack Overflow #git #difftool


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I have a script that works fine in one branch and is broken in another. I want to look at the two versions side-by-side and see what’s different. Are there any ways to do this?

To be clear I’m not looking for a compare tool (I use Beyond Compare). I’m looking for a git diff command that will allow me to compare the master version to my current branch version to see what has changed. I’m not in the middle of a merge or anything. I just want to say something like

asked Nov 4 ’10 at 18:04

git diff can show you the difference between two commits:

Using the latter syntax, if either side is HEAD it may be omitted (e.g. master. compares master to HEAD ).

You may also be interested in mybranch. master (from git diff docs ):

This form is to view the changes on the branch containing and up to the second commit . starting at a common ancestor of both commit . git diff A. B is equivalent to git diff $(git-merge-base A B) B .

In other words, this will give a diff of changes in master since it diverged from mybranch (but without new changes since then in mybranch ).

In all cases, the — separator before the file name indicates the end of command line flags. This is optional unless Git will get confused if the argument refers to a commit or a file, but including it is not a bad habit to get into. See https://stackoverflow.com/a/13321491/54249 for a few examples.

The same arguments can be passed to git difftool if you have one configured.

More modern syntax:

git diff. master path/to/file

The double-dot prefix means “from the current working directory to”. You can also say:

  • master. i.e. the reverse of above. This is the same as master .
  • mybranch..master. explicitly referencing a state other than the current working tree.
  • v2.0.1..master. i.e. referencing a tag.
  • [refspec]..[refspec]. basically anything identifiable as a code state to git.

answered Jun 25 ’15 at 0:41


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