View a file in a different Git branch without changing branches


Is it possible to open a file in a git branch without checking out that branch? How?

Essentially I want to be able to open a file in my github pages branch without switching branches all the time. I don't want to modify it, just want to view it.

This question is tagged with git version-control branch git-branch

~ Asked on 2011-10-21 23:39:47

The Best Answer is


This should work:

git show branch:file

Where branch can be any ref (branch, tag, HEAD, ...) and file is the full path of the file. To export it you could use

git show branch:file > exported_file

You should also look at VonC's answers to some related questions:

UPDATE 2015-01-19:

Nowadays you can use relative paths with git show a1b35:./file.txt.

~ Answered on 2011-10-21 23:47:30


git show somebranch:path/to/your/file

you can also do multiple files and have them concatenated:

git show branchA~10:fileA branchB^^:fileB

You do not have to provide the full path to the file, relative paths are acceptable e.g.:

git show branchA~10:../src/hello.c

If you want to get the file in the local directory (revert just one file) you can checkout:

git checkout somebranch^^^ -- path/to/file

~ Answered on 2011-10-21 23:48:02

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