☕ 2 min read
A friend recently asked me if I knew a trick to generate a somehow clean PDF of a git history, as he needed to share that to a non-technical person.
I used to dig into git history a lot to generate git graphs in the browser (although I don’t maintain this project anymore). So I know some tricks indeed.
git CLI is a goldmine that’s overlooked. You can retrieve many things from
git log, as long as you play around with the options.
The first step is to generate a text file from the logs:
git --no-pager log --graph --all --oneline > git-history.txt
Then, you can either convert that
.txt into a PDF using an online service (if data is not sensitive): http://www.convertfiles.com/converter.php
Or you can use libreoffice if you don’t want to send your history to some online web converter (thank you @mcassard 👍):
libreoffice --convert-to "pdf" git-history.txt
I think this is a good excuse to learn some git options. These can be useful in other contexts:
git --no-pagertells git to not use a pager, so we can get all of the history in one file
log --graphtells the log command to draw a graph representation, because that’s what we’re looking for (we want to see the branches!)
--allwill show all commits from all branches (local and remote tracking) and tags, everything 👐
--onelineis a shorthand that abbreviates commits and renders a compact version of the graph (so it’s digestible on a PDF file)
To learn more about
git log options, you can have a look at the docs. But it can feel a bit abstract. I recommend you fiddling with the options in a git project to really understand what’s going on!