Article version: Enterprise Server 2.17
You can compare the state of your repository across branches, tags, commits, and dates. To compare different versions of your repository, append
/compare to your repository's path.
We'll demonstrate the power of Compare by looking at the compare page for a fork of the Linguist repo, which is at https://github.com/octocat/linguist/compare/master...octocat:master.
Every repository's Compare view contains two drop down menus:
base should be considered the starting point of your comparison, and
compare is the endpoint. During a comparison, you can always change your
compare points by clicking on Edit.
The most common use of Compare is to compare branches, such as when you're starting a new pull request. You'll always be taken to the branch comparison view when starting a new pull request.
To compare branches, you can select a branch name from the
compare drop down menu at the top of the page.
Here's an example of a comparison between two branches.
Comparing release tags will show you changes to your repository since the last release.
Instead of typing a branch name, type the name of your tag in the
compare drop down menu.
Here's an example of a comparison between two tags.
You can also compare two arbitrary commits in your repository or its forks on GitHub in a two-dot diff comparison.
To quickly compare two commits or Git Object IDs (OIDs) directly with each other in a two-dot diff comparison on GitHub, edit the URL of your repository's "Comparing changes" page.
For example, this URL uses the shortened seven-character SHA codes to compare commits
To learn more about other comparison options, see "Three-dot and two-dot diff comparisons."
You can compare your base repository and any forked repository. This is the view that's presented when a user performs a Pull Request to a project.
To compare branches on different repositories, preface the branch names with user names. For example, by specifying
compare, you can compare the
master branch of the repositories respectively owned by
Here's an example of a comparison between two repositories.
As a shortcut, Git uses the
^ notation to mean "one commit prior."
You can use this notation to compare a single commit or branch against its immediate predecessors. For example,
96d29b7^^^^^ indicates five commits prior to
96d29b7, because there are five
^ marks. Typing
96d29b7^^^^^ in the
base branch and
96d29b7 in the
compare branch compares the five commits made before
96d29b7 with the
Here's an example of a comparison using the