Joe White Joe White - 1 month ago 8
Git Question

How can I get a list of git branches, ordered by most recent commit?

I want to get a list of all the branches in a Git repository with the "freshest" branches at the top, where the "freshest" branch is the one that's been committed to most recently (and is, therefore, more likely to be one I want to pay attention to).

Is there a way I can use Git to either (a) sort the list of branches by latest commit, or (b) get a list of branches together with each one's last-commit date, in some kind of machine-readable format?

Worst case, I could always run

git branch
to get a list of all the branches, parse its output, and then
git log -n 1 branchname --format=format:%ci
for each one, to get each branch's commit date. But this will run on a Windows box, where spinning up a new process is relatively expensive, so launching the git executable once per branch could get slow if there are a lot of branches. Is there a way to do all this with a single command?


Use --sort=-committerdate option of git for-each-ref;
Also available since Git 2.7.0 for git branch:

Basic Usage:

git for-each-ref --sort=-committerdate refs/heads/

# or using git branch (since version 2.7.0)
git branch --sort=-committerdate



Advanced Usage:

git for-each-ref --sort=committerdate refs/heads/ --format='%(HEAD) %(color:yellow)%(refname:short)%(color:reset) - %(color:red)%(objectname:short)%(color:reset) - %(contents:subject) - %(authorname) (%(color:green)%(committerdate:relative)%(color:reset))'