How can you use git diff to compare changes within a specific directory?

The git diff command is a powerful tool that shows changes between commits, commit and working tree, etc. This command can be particularly useful when you need to see what has been changed in a repository. But did you know you can also use git diff to compare changes within a specific directory?

Let’s delve into the step-by-step process.

  1. Navigate to the root of your git repositoryOpen your terminal or command prompt and navigate to the root of your git repository using the cd (change directory) command.bashCopy codecd /path/to/your/git/repository
  2. Using git diff with a specific directoryTo see the changes in a specific directory, you simply have to add the path of that directory to the git diff command.bashCopy codegit diff -- ./directoryName This will show you the changes made in the specified directory. If you want to compare the changes to a specific directory between two commits, you can do so by specifying the commit hashes.phpCopy codegit diff <commitHash1>..<commitHash2> -- ./directoryName In the above command, commitHash1 and commitHash2 should be replaced by the actual commit hashes you want to compare. ./directoryName should be replaced with the directory you are interested in.
  3. Interpreting the outputThe output from git diff will display what lines have been added or removed between the two commits. A line added is marked with a +, and a line removed is marked with a -. The output is color-coded by default, with red indicating removed lines and green indicating added lines.

Remember, in Git, a commit is a snapshot of your project at a specific point in time. Each commit has a unique hash that can be used to refer back to that specific snapshot. When you’re comparing two commits using git diff, you’re asking Git to show you what has changed between those two points in time.

As a final note, if you’re interested in seeing the changes made to a specific file within a directory, you can specify the file’s path like so:

bashCopy codegit diff -- ./directoryName/fileName

This can be helpful when you’re focused on tracking changes to a specific file in a larger project. By taking advantage of Git’s powerful diffing tools, you can stay on top of every change and make sure that your project is moving in the right direction.