Using Git Diff Without a Repo

I really like using git diff, as it's got some good defaults, and has some good options on top of it.

But when you're not in a Git repo, you can't use it, right? Not quite.

Fortunately, there's the --no-index flag which allows you to diff between files that aren't related to a Git repo:

# does not work, returns status code 0
git diff README.md ../other-repo/README.md
# works, returns status code 1 and the diff
git diff --no-index README.md ../other-repo/README.md

Written by Jamie Tanna's profile image Jamie Tanna on , and last updated on .

Content for this article is shared under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International, and code is shared under the Apache License 2.0.

#blogumentation #git.

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