Jubobs Jubobs - 2 months ago 13
Git Question

In my repo, how long must the longest hash prefix be to prevent any overlap?

The

--abbrev-commit
flag can be used in conjunction with
git log
and
git rev-list
in order to show partial prefixes instead of the full 40-character SHA-1 hashes of commit objects. According to the Pro Git book,


it defaults to using seven characters but makes them longer if necessary to keep the SHA-1 unambiguous [...]


Additionally, short SHAs are at least 4-character long. Still according to the Pro Git book,


Generally, eight to ten characters are more than enough to be unique within a project.

As an example, the Linux kernel, which is a pretty large project with over 450k commits and 3.6 million objects, has no two objects whose SHA-1s overlap more than the first 11 characters.


Since the length of the longest prefix required to prevent any overlap among all prefix hashes of commit objects (11, in the case of the Linux kernel) is a crude indicator of a repo's size, I'd like to programmatically determine the corresponding quantity in my own local repository. How can I do that?

Answer

The following shell script, when run in a local repo, prints the length of the longest prefix required to prevent any overlap among all prefix hashes of commit objects of that repository.

MAX_LENGTH=4;

git rev-list --abbrev=4 --abbrev-commit --all | \
  ( while read -r line; do
      if [ ${#line} -gt $MAX_LENGTH ]; then
        MAX_LENGTH=${#line};
      fi
    done && printf %s\\n "$MAX_LENGTH"
  )

The last time I edited this answer, the script printed

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