How do I show the changes which have been staged? – Dev

The best answers to the question “How do I show the changes which have been staged?” in the category Dev.

QUESTION:

I staged a few changes to be committed; how can I see the diff of all files which are staged for the next commit? I’m aware of git status, but I’d like to see the actual diffs – not just the names of files which are staged.

I saw that the git-diff(1) man page says

git diff [–options] [–] […]

This form is to view the changes you made relative to the index (staging area for the next commit). In other words, the differences are what you could tell git to further add to the index but you still haven’t. You can stage these changes by using git-add(1).

Unfortunately, I can’t quite make sense of this. There must be some handy one-liner which I could create an alias for, right?

ANSWER:

A simple graphic makes this clearer:

Simple Git diffs

git diff

Shows the changes between the working directory and the index. This shows what has been changed, but is not staged for a commit.

git diff –cached

Shows the changes between the index and the HEAD (which is the last commit on this branch). This shows what has been added to the index and staged for a commit.

git diff HEAD

Shows all the changes between the working directory and HEAD (which includes changes in the index). This shows all the changes since the last commit, whether or not they have been staged for commit or not.

Also:

There is a bit more detail on 365Git.

ANSWER:

It should just be:

git diff --cached

--cached means show the changes in the cache/index (i.e. staged changes) against the current HEAD. --staged is a synonym for --cached.

--staged and --cached does not point to HEAD, just difference with respect to HEAD. If you cherry pick what to commit using git add --patch (or git add -p), --staged will return what is staged.

ANSWER:

If you’d be interested in a visual side-by-side view, the diffuse visual diff tool can do that. It will even show three panes if some but not all changes are staged. In the case of conflicts, there will even be four panes.

Screenshot of diffuse with staged and unstaged edits

Invoke it with

diffuse -m

in your Git working copy.

If you ask me, the best visual differ I’ve seen for a decade. Also, it is not specific to Git: It interoperates with a plethora of other VCS, including SVN, Mercurial, Bazaar, …

See also: Show both staged & working tree in git diff?

ANSWER:

Note that git status -v also shows the staged changes!
(meaning you need to have staged — git add — some changes. No staged changes, no diff with git status -v.
It does that since Git 1.2.0, February 2006)

In its long form (default), git status has an undocumented “verbose” option which actually display the diff between HEAD and index.

And it is about to become even more complete: see “Show both staged & working tree in git diff?” (git 2.3.4+, Q2 2015):

git status -v -v