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    1 git-diff-index(1)
    2 =================
    3 
    4 NAME
    5 ----
    6 git-diff-index - Compare a tree to the working tree or index
    7 
    8 
    9 SYNOPSIS
   10 --------
   11 [verse]
   12 'git diff-index' [-m] [--cached] [<common diff options>] <tree-ish> [<path>...]
   13 
   14 DESCRIPTION
   15 -----------
   16 Compares the content and mode of the blobs found in a tree object
   17 with the corresponding tracked files in the working tree, or with the
   18 corresponding paths in the index.  When <path> arguments are present,
   19 compares only paths matching those patterns.  Otherwise all tracked
   20 files are compared.
   21 
   22 OPTIONS
   23 -------
   24 include::diff-options.txt[]
   25 
   26 <tree-ish>::
   27 	The id of a tree object to diff against.
   28 
   29 --cached::
   30 	do not consider the on-disk file at all
   31 
   32 -m::
   33 	By default, files recorded in the index but not checked
   34 	out are reported as deleted.  This flag makes
   35 	'git diff-index' say that all non-checked-out files are up
   36 	to date.
   37 
   38 include::diff-format.txt[]
   39 
   40 OPERATING MODES
   41 ---------------
   42 You can choose whether you want to trust the index file entirely
   43 (using the `--cached` flag) or ask the diff logic to show any files
   44 that don't match the stat state as being "tentatively changed".  Both
   45 of these operations are very useful indeed.
   46 
   47 CACHED MODE
   48 -----------
   49 If `--cached` is specified, it allows you to ask:
   50 
   51 	show me the differences between HEAD and the current index
   52 	contents (the ones I'd write using 'git write-tree')
   53 
   54 For example, let's say that you have worked on your working directory, updated
   55 some files in the index and are ready to commit. You want to see exactly
   56 *what* you are going to commit, without having to write a new tree
   57 object and compare it that way, and to do that, you just do
   58 
   59 	git diff-index --cached HEAD
   60 
   61 Example: let's say I had renamed `commit.c` to `git-commit.c`, and I had
   62 done an `update-index` to make that effective in the index file.
   63 `git diff-files` wouldn't show anything at all, since the index file
   64 matches my working directory. But doing a 'git diff-index' does:
   65 
   66   torvalds@ppc970:~/git> git diff-index --cached HEAD
   67   -100644 blob    4161aecc6700a2eb579e842af0b7f22b98443f74        commit.c
   68   +100644 blob    4161aecc6700a2eb579e842af0b7f22b98443f74        git-commit.c
   69 
   70 You can see easily that the above is a rename.
   71 
   72 In fact, `git diff-index --cached` *should* always be entirely equivalent to
   73 actually doing a 'git write-tree' and comparing that. Except this one is much
   74 nicer for the case where you just want to check where you are.
   75 
   76 So doing a `git diff-index --cached` is basically very useful when you are
   77 asking yourself "what have I already marked for being committed, and
   78 what's the difference to a previous tree".
   79 
   80 NON-CACHED MODE
   81 ---------------
   82 The "non-cached" mode takes a different approach, and is potentially
   83 the more useful of the two in that what it does can't be emulated with
   84 a 'git write-tree' + 'git diff-tree'. Thus that's the default mode.
   85 The non-cached version asks the question:
   86 
   87   show me the differences between HEAD and the currently checked out
   88   tree - index contents _and_ files that aren't up to date
   89 
   90 which is obviously a very useful question too, since that tells you what
   91 you *could* commit. Again, the output matches the 'git diff-tree -r'
   92 output to a tee, but with a twist.
   93 
   94 The twist is that if some file doesn't match the index, we don't have
   95 a backing store thing for it, and we use the magic "all-zero" sha1 to
   96 show that. So let's say that you have edited `kernel/sched.c`, but
   97 have not actually done a 'git update-index' on it yet - there is no
   98 "object" associated with the new state, and you get:
   99 
  100   torvalds@ppc970:~/v2.6/linux> git diff-index --abbrev HEAD
  101   :100644 100664 7476bb... 000000...      kernel/sched.c
  102 
  103 i.e., it shows that the tree has changed, and that `kernel/sched.c` is
  104 not up to date and may contain new stuff. The all-zero sha1 means that to
  105 get the real diff, you need to look at the object in the working directory
  106 directly rather than do an object-to-object diff.
  107 
  108 NOTE: As with other commands of this type, 'git diff-index' does not
  109 actually look at the contents of the file at all. So maybe
  110 `kernel/sched.c` hasn't actually changed, and it's just that you
  111 touched it. In either case, it's a note that you need to
  112 'git update-index' it to make the index be in sync.
  113 
  114 NOTE: You can have a mixture of files show up as "has been updated"
  115 and "is still dirty in the working directory" together. You can always
  116 tell which file is in which state, since the "has been updated" ones
  117 show a valid sha1, and the "not in sync with the index" ones will
  118 always have the special all-zero sha1.
  119 
  120 GIT
  121 ---
  122 Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite