Generating a list of historical changes

To find information about the history of a file or directory, use the svn log command. svn log will provide you with a record of who made changes to a file or directory, at what revision it changed, the time and date of that revision, and, if it was provided, the log message that accompanied the commit.

$ svn log
------------------------------------------------------------------------
r3 | sally | Mon, 15 Jul 2002 18:03:46 -0500 | 1 line

Added include lines and corrected # of cheese slices.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
r2 | harry | Mon, 15 Jul 2002 17:47:57 -0500 | 1 line

Added main() methods.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
r1 | sally | Mon, 15 Jul 2002 17:40:08 -0500 | 1 line

Initial import
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note that the log messages are printed in reverse chronological order by default. If you wish to see a different range of revisions in a particular order, or just a single revision, pass the --revision (-r) option:

$ svn log -r 5:19    # shows logs 5 through 19 in chronological order

$ svn log -r 19:5    # shows logs 5 through 19 in reverse order

$ svn log -r 8       # shows log for revision 8

You can also examine the log history of a single file or directory. For example:

$ svn log foo.c
…
$ svn log http://foo.com/svn/trunk/code/foo.c
…

These will display log messages only for those revisions in which the working file (or URL) changed.

If you want even more information about a file or directory, svn log also takes a --verbose (-v) option. Because Subversion allows you to move and copy files and directories, it is important to be able to track path changes in the filesystem, so in verbose mode, svn log will include a list of changed paths in a revision in its output:

$ svn log -r 8 -v
------------------------------------------------------------------------
r8 | sally | 2002-07-14 08:15:29 -0500 | 1 line
Changed paths:
M /trunk/code/foo.c
M /trunk/code/bar.h
A /trunk/code/doc/README

Frozzled the sub-space winch.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

svn log also takes a --quiet (-q) option, which suppresses the body of the log message. When combined with --verbose, it gives just the names of the changed files.