git-whatchanged - Linux


git-whatchanged is a powerful command used to quickly and easily identify changes made to files within a Git repository. It provides a concise overview of the differences between two commits, branches, or tags, highlighting the specific modifications made to each file. By providing a clear and structured breakdown of the changes, this tool significantly simplifies the process of reviewing code changes, tracking down issues, and understanding the evolution of a project.


git whatchanged [options] <commit-ish>...


  • -a, --all – Display changes to all files, including untracked files.
  • -c, --count – Show only the number of changed lines in each file.
  • -l, --lines – Limit output to the specified number of lines per file.
  • -m, --multiline – Display multiline changes as a single line.
  • -p, --patch – Show diffs for each file.
  • --no-commit-id – Suppress commit IDs from the output.
  • --no-header – Suppress the header line containing the commit and branch information.


Show changes between two commits:

git whatchanged HEAD~1..HEAD

Display only the number of changed lines:

git whatchanged -c HEAD~1..HEAD

Limit output to 10 lines per file:

git whatchanged -l 10 HEAD~1..HEAD

Display diffs for all files:

git whatchanged -p HEAD~1..HEAD

Compare the current branch with the remote origin:

git whatchanged HEAD origin/main

Common Issues

Missing or incorrect commit-ish: Ensure that the specified commit-ish (commit, branch, or tag) is valid and exists in the repository.

No changes detected: Check if the specified commit-ish represents a genuine change in the codebase. If there are no actual changes, the command will not report any differences.

Unicode encoding issues: If non-ASCII characters are present in the file names or contents, ensure that the terminal or output device supports Unicode encoding.


Combine with grep to filter changes:

git whatchanged HEAD~1..HEAD | grep 'my-function'

Use with diff to create a patch file:

git whatchanged -p HEAD~1..HEAD | diff -u > my-patch.patch

Related Commands

  • git diff – Show differences between two commits, branches, or tags.
  • git status – Display the status of the working tree and staging area.
  • git log – Show the history of commits in a repository.

For more detailed information and examples, refer to the Git documentation.