Showing which files have changed between two revisions – Dev

The best answers to the question “Showing which files have changed between two revisions” in the category Dev.


I want to merge two branches that have been separated for a while and wanted to know which files have been modified.

Came across this link: which was quite useful.

The tools to compare branches I’ve come across are:

  • git diff master..branch
  • git log master..branch
  • git shortlog master..branch

Was wondering if there’s something like “git status master..branch” to only see those files that are different between the two branches.

Without creating a new tool, I think this is the closest you can get to do that now (which of course will show repeats if a file was modified more than once):

  • git diff master..branch | grep "^diff"

Was wondering if there’s something I missed…



$ git diff --stat --color master..branchName

This will give you more info about each change, while still using the same number of lines.

You can also flip the branches to get an even clearer picture of the difference if you were to merge the other way:

$ git diff --stat --color branchName..master


To compare the current branch against main branch:

$ git diff --name-status main

To compare any two branches:

$ git diff --name-status firstbranch..yourBranchName

There is more options to git diff in the official documentation (and specifically --name-status option).


If anyone is trying to generate a diff file from two branches :

git diff master..otherbranch > myDiffFile.diff


Also keep in mind that git has cheap and easy branching. If I think a merge could be problematic I create a branch for the merge. So if master has the changes I want to merge in and ba is my branch that needs the code from master I might do the following:

git checkout ba
git checkout -b ba-merge
git merge master
.... review new code and fix conflicts....
git commit
git checkout ba
git merge ba-merge
git branch -d ba-merge
git merge master

End result is that I got to try out the merge on a throw-away branch before screwing with my branch. If I get my self tangled up I can just delete the ba-merge branch and start over.