Git Tutorial

How to View Git Commit History, Track Changes, Undo Changes to Repository?

Table of Contents

  • How to Record or Track Changes to Git Repository?
  • How to View History of Git Commits?
  • How to Undo or Revert Changes in Git?

How to Record or Track Changes to Git Repository?

Now that you have a fair idea of what is Git repository and how to create it, let’s now understand how to track changes in a repository, view the history of Git commits, and undo changes as well.

You can use the Git commit command to record changes to files in the repository of Git. Every update you make will be shown in chronological order in the corresponding file or directory. 

The local repository tracks the commit history. Each commit is identified by a 40-character checksum hash.

Commits can be added to the local repository at any time, even if it isn't connected to a remote repository, but before adding a commit to a remote repository, the changes must be staged first. 

Staging commits is an important part of using Git because it lets you organize your files and commits before committing them to ensure that all changes are accounted for, and nothing is forgotten. 

What staging does is modify the index file, which contains every change that has occurred in your working directory. Changes that have been staged can then be committed as one group and sent to a remote repository.

After staging changes and before committing them, use Git status with no parameters to check your working directory state. This will show all staged files and the corresponding modifications. After creating a new commit, use Git status again to verify that all changes have been committed, or else run Git add FILE to stage additional changes.

So, this is how you can track Git repository changes.

How to View History of Git Commits?

Git is a must-have tool for keeping track of our source code's history. This history becomes more valuable as the project becomes older. It's a one-of-a-kind archive of teamwork and hard effort that explains how the project evolved to be what it is now.

With our increasing reliance on powerful, open-source software, there is an increasing need to understand how these programs came to be—and Git commit history is a primary source of this knowledge. 

This file contains a record of every change ever made to that program, including comments and commit messages that describe exactly why and how those changes were made. 

Git history is not just a record of the changes themselves, but an artefact of the people who made them, a record of their work ethic, viewpoints, and thought processes. 

It's an invaluable asset to anyone who wants to contribute to an open-source project. Any given developer's past contributions are a wealth of knowledge and experience to be drawn from when deciding how best to tackle new features or bugs. 

By viewing the commits in the Git history, you can get insight into not only what that developer was thinking at that time but also what other developers thought about their approach. The longer you've been using Git for a specific project, the more valuable its repository becomes.

How to Undo or Revert Changes in Git?

This comprehensive Git Tutorial also covers how to revert changes in Git using a command. Let’s understand it.

You can undo the last commit in Git. It is used in a decentralized version control system (DVCS) to trash the most recent track record of changes made to a file without deleting the changes themselves. The modifications can be saved so that the user can edit and commit them again.

In contrast to this, Git reset HEAD --soft will remove the last commit and all changes since that commit, but not any information about what was removed.

Did you find this article helpful?