Is there a way to list all files currently under source control in git? (Not just those that have been modified).

5 Answers 5


If you want to list all files for a specific branch, e.g. master:

git ls-tree -r master --name-only

The -r option will let it recurse into subdirectories and print each file currently under version control. You can also specify HEAD instead of master to get the list for any other branch you might be in.

If you want to get a list of all files that ever existed, see here:

git log --pretty=format: --name-only --diff-filter=A  | sort -u
  • 6
    Thanks for the answer. I was looking for this. Note that git ls-tree -r master --name-only would do the same as the first option, without needing the cut. Ah, and you can specify HEAD instead of master if you just want this list for whatever branch you are currently on.
    – maurits
    Sep 13, 2012 at 10:15
  • 17
    Running "git ls-files" will save you a few characters :)
    – Zain R
    May 14, 2015 at 21:30
  • Why was cut given the ending -? It causes some additional lines to show some files in a second column which are repeats from the first.
    – Adrian
    Apr 15, 2019 at 13:06
  • @Adrian No idea, copypasted back then, fixed now.
    – slhck
    Apr 15, 2019 at 13:09
  • 1
    Replace master with $(git branch | grep \* | cut -d ' ' -f2) for current branch.
    – Eduard
    Aug 9, 2019 at 19:33

The git ls-files command will do what you need.

Source: http://www.kernel.org/pub/software/scm/git/docs/git-ls-files.html

  • 8
    git ls-files instead of git ls-tree -r master --name-only is certainly simpler.
    – karatedog
    Oct 22, 2013 at 8:14
  • 1
    Sorry but my edit wasn't invalid. In current git there is no git-ls-files binary. There is the git binary with the ls-files command. The link to the documentation is correct in content, but technically for an outdated binary.
    – JonnyJD
    Jan 11, 2014 at 3:09
  • @JonnyJD, probably marked invalid because your edit should be a comment.
    – Ascherer
    Oct 12, 2014 at 20:16
  • 1
    @JonnyJD All Git man-pages are named as git-commit, git-init, git-ls-files, etc. even though the programs are actually subcommands. There never was a git-ls-files binary, most likely. The reasoning is that it's consistent with the external subcommand mechanism, which allows you to register a git foo command by writing a git-foo binary. Jul 19, 2017 at 16:50
  • 1
    This is indeed simpler, but on the other hand git ls-tree lets you specify a "tree-ish" (i.e. a branch, tag or commit), whereas git ls-files doesn't offer that option and works therefore only on HEAD. Dec 15, 2020 at 23:10

git ls-files will only print files in the current working directory.

If, for instance, you have a git repo for dotfiles (core.worktree = /), then you will have files outside the git root and that simple command won't work anymore.

In short, this will work:

git --git-dir "`git rev-parse --git-dir`" \
    -C "`git config core.worktree || pwd`" \


mkdir ~/dotfiles
cd ~/dotfiles
git config core.worktree /

# Ignore all files by default, else Git will find all files under "/"
echo "*" > .git/info/exclude

# Add files at the git repo's root and somewhere in the work tree
touch README
git add -f README
git add -f /etc/ssh/sshd_config

# `git status` would now print:
# new file:   ../../../etc/ssh/sshd_config
# new file:   README
git status

git commit -m "Initial commit"

# At this point, `git ls-files` prints only:
git ls-files

# But you can print all files inside the work tree. This will print:
# etc/ssh/sshd_config
# home/yourusername/dotfiles/README
git --git-dir "`git rev-parse --git-dir`" -C "`git config core.worktree || pwd`" ls-files

If you want paths specified relative to your current (shell) directory, this does the job:

alias gls='git ls-tree -r master --name-only HEAD "`git config core.worktree`"'

and in the example above, it would print

  • In git v2.21, git ls-files shows all in the current directory and below. It just doesn't show files that were deleted in the repo.
    – Adrian
    Apr 15, 2019 at 13:17

You can also use the gitk interactive repository viewer.

  • 3
    This mentions a tool, but doesn't really answer the "how". Can you expand this into an actionable solution? Just pointing someone in a research direction for them to develop their own solution is more appropriate as a comment. Thanks. from review
    – fixer1234
    Mar 12, 2018 at 22:39


Please have a look at the image, on right side there are two options patch and Tree. If you select tree, you can view the folder structure for each commit.

  • 2
    Please consider a better commit to screen shot so you do not have to censor as much. May 14, 2019 at 11:25
  • While I get the image could have been better, this IS actually a useful answer, and the users first (only!) answer. I'd never realised that gitk has this tucked away in its UI.
    – dsz
    Jun 15, 2021 at 1:57

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