What does the git diff –compact-summary command do?

The git diff --compact-summary command is a combination of git diff, which displays changes between commits, working tree, etc., and the --compact-summary option, which alters the output format to be more concise.

Let’s break down each part:

  • git diff: This is a command in the Git version control system that allows users to see changes between different things. Those things could be branches, commits, working tree, and so on. This command is particularly useful to understand what changes were made in a specific commit, or what the differences are between two branches or commits.
  • –compact-summary: This is an option used along with git diff. By default, git diff shows the detailed differences line by line (like a ‘unified’ diff). If you use --compact-summary option, instead of showing you the actual changes line by line, it provides a concise summary of what files have changed and how much they have changed. This includes the names of files that have been modified, the number of lines that have been inserted or deleted, and the net change in the number of lines.

Here’s an example of what the output of git diff --compact-summary might look like:

src/main/java/com/example/Main.java | 2 +-
src/main/java/com/example/Util.java | 5 +++--
2 files changed, 4 insertions(+), 3 deletions(-)

In this example, Main.java has one line added and one line removed, while Util.java has three lines added and two lines removed.

Note: While git diff by default compares the working directory with the index (staged changes), it’s flexible and you can use it to compare two commits, a commit and the working directory, etc. For example, to compare the current working directory with the HEAD commit, you could use git diff HEAD --compact-summary.

As always with Git, there’s more to learn, so don’t hesitate to check the documentation or use the git help diff command to get more detailed information.