The git pickaxe – Find commits that added/removed a specific string

On his blog, Philip Potter described something he calls “the git pickaxe”, a way to finding commits that contained a specific word. It uses git log‘s -S option to search for specific string:


Look for differences that change the number of occurrences of the specified string (i.e. addition/deletion) in a file. Intended for the scripter’s use.

It is useful when you’re looking for an exact block of code (like a struct), and want to know the history of that block since it first came into being


git log -p -S keyword

To limit searching to only one file, specify the path to it:

git log -p -S keyword /path/to/file.ext


The git pickaxe →

Published by Bramus!

Bramus is a frontend web developer from Belgium, working as a Chrome Developer Relations Engineer at Google. From the moment he discovered view-source at the age of 14 (way back in 1997), he fell in love with the web and has been tinkering with it ever since (more …)

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