Get Time of First Commit of a File

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In git , to get the time of the first commit for every file in a directory, it is enough to run the following:

$ git log --format=format"%ci" --name-only --diff-filter=A

Which will produce something like this:

2020-10-03 15:06:25 +0200
content/things I've

2020-10-01 14:57:15 +0200

2020-10-01 12:21:03 +0200
content/digital garden
content/there is more to data than what meets the
content/what is a machine learning
content/why backlinks are the core of my digital

The date and time of the commit and the files that were added.

The important parts are: --diff-filter=A will only look at when files are added comparing one commit with the previous one. We can also use D to see deleted files, M for modified, or R for renamed. The docs explain all the rest of choices.

--name-only will output the name of the files, while the --format decides how to output the information. Out of the box, we have these choices:

  • oneline
  • short
  • medium
  • full
  • fuller
  • reference
  • email
  • raw

Or we can specify our own formatting, by making use of pretty formats . Some examples would be:


Commit date


Committer name


Commit subject (the message)


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