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Matt seymour
Matt seymour

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Making git log prettier

Git without saying is a fantastic tool; but git log by default is a little ugly and actually sometimes can be a little difficult to read branches and merges quickly and accurately.

Here is an example output of basic git log:

git log output basic

Hmm, well we have a list of commits that's useful. But what about when we want to see a log of two branches or where a branch starts and ends. It's a little confusing.

Lets see if we can improve git log by writing a new alias git graph.

git config --global alias.graph "log --pretty --color --decorate --graph"

Command break down:

  • git config - the git config command
  • --global - this is going to be a global config change. You will be able to access this command in all projects.
  • alias.graph - we are going to be adding to the alias section an alias called graph. If you look in ~/.gitconfig later you will see the command.
  • "log --pretty --color --decorate --graph" - the git command we will run when the alias is called.

To run the new alias we now run the command:

git graph

From the screen shot below you now see clearly see the points where merges and branches take place.
Full git graph view

Discussion (2)

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pavelloz profile image
Paweł Kowalski

I recommend tig :) - github.com/jonas/tig

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matt profile image
Matt seymour Author

It is another option and very good.