View a short summary of Git commits

Git, Repository, Commit · May 23, 2023

One of the most common things you might need to do when working with Git is to view a short summary of your commits. While git log is the go-to command for this, it can be a bit verbose at times. Luckily, it provides a plethora of options to help you customize its output.

One of these is --oneline, which is actually a shorthand for --pretty=oneline --abbrev-commit. It prints a short summary of all commits, with each commit being printed on a single line.

git log --oneline
# d540ba1 Merge network bug fix
# 3050fc0 Fix network bug
# c191f90 Initial commit

Notice the short, 7-character commit identifiers. This is because of the --abbrev-commit option, which abbreviates the commit SHA-1 checksum to 7 characters. This shorter string is enough to uniquely identify a commit.

Other options can be used in conjunction with --oneline to further customize the output. For example, you can use --no-merges to exclude merge commits from the output.

git log --oneline --no-merges
# 3050fc0 Fix network bug
# c191f90 Initial commit

Written by Angelos Chalaris

I'm Angelos Chalaris, a JavaScript software engineer, based in Athens, Greece. The best snippets from my coding adventures are published here to help others learn to code.

If you want to keep in touch, follow me on GitHub.

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