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I know how to retrieve the last modification date of a single file in a git repository:

git log -1 --format="%ad" -- path/to/file

Is there a simple and efficient way to do the same for all the files currently present in the repository?

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up vote 38 down vote accepted

A simple answer would be to iterate through each file and display its modification time, i.e.:

git ls-tree -r --name-only HEAD | while read filename; do
  echo "$(git log -1 --format="%ad" -- $filename) $filename"

This will yield output like so:

Fri Dec 23 19:01:01 2011 +0000 Config
Fri Dec 23 19:01:01 2011 +0000 Makefile

Obviously, you can control this since its just a bash script at this point--so feel free to customize to your heart's content!

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I was hoping that there was an option to get a combined output in a single run of git log, but your answer is better than the one I had in mind using find. I did not know git-ls-tree, which has the advantage of listing only the files stored in the repository, skipping the .git folder and ignored files. Thanks. – Eric Bréchemier Jun 23 '12 at 8:25
No problem, Eric; you are following the same route that I did--i.e., doing a find and ignoring the .git directory! :) There may be some options using the git plumbing commands, but quite frankly, this works pretty well. If you could find some way to get the information on a per file basis all at once, that would work best--but remember, git operates on the state of commits, not the state of individual files. – Andrew M. Jun 25 '12 at 16:40
Can this be adapted to work on a commit other than the current checkout HEAD? I think the log command is working relative to the HEAD here by default. – ThorSummoner May 30 '14 at 19:30
I recommend using the --format="%ai" if you want sortable time stamps instead of human readable dates. – ThorSummoner May 30 '14 at 19:45
Since "HEAD" is just a reference, you can use any reference you want, be it a tag, branch, commit hash, etc.. – Andrew M. May 30 '14 at 23:29

This approach also works with filenames that contain spaces:

git ls-files -z | xargs -0 -n1 -I{} -- git log -1 --format="%ai {}" {}

Example output:

2015-11-03 10:51:16 -0500 .gitignore
2016-03-30 11:50:05 -0400 .htaccess
2015-02-18 12:20:26 -0500 .travis.yml
2016-04-29 09:19:24 +0800
2016-04-29 09:29:10 +0800
2016-04-29 09:41:20 +0800
2016-04-29 08:15:19 +0800
2016-04-29 01:20:01 +0800
2016-04-29 09:49:06 +0800 3/8/
2015-08-26 16:19:56 -0400 404.htm
2016-03-31 11:54:19 -0400 _algorithms/acls-bradycardia-algorithm.htm
2015-12-23 17:03:51 -0500 _algorithms/acls-pulseless-arrest-algorithm-asystole.htm
2016-04-11 15:00:42 -0400 _algorithms/acls-pulseless-arrest-algorithm-pea.htm
2016-03-31 11:54:19 -0400 _algorithms/acls-secondary-survey.htm
2016-03-31 11:54:19 -0400 _algorithms/acls-suspected-stroke-algorithm.htm
2016-03-31 11:54:19 -0400 _algorithms/acls-tachycardia-algorithm-stable.htm
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Any way to get this sorted by modification timestamp? – Amelio Vazquez-Reina Jun 21 at 18:16

This is a small tweak of Andrew M.'s answer. (I was unable to comment on his answer.)

Wrap the first $filename in double quotes, in order to support filenames with embedded spaces.

git ls-tree -r --name-only HEAD | while read filename; do
    echo "$(git log -1 --format="%ad" -- "$filename") $filename"

Sample output:

Tue Jun 21 11:38:43 2016 -0600 subdir/this is a filename with spaces.txt

I appreciate that Andrew's solution (based on ls-tree) works with bare repositories! (This isn't true of solutions using ls-files.)

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