git-cat tries to be like svn cat: gives you the file as it existed in the past
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.


Why it exists

Git, it seems, has nothing like svn cat. Svn cat is a great tool that displays a file as it existed in a particular revision of the source tree.

I needed to see a previous version of a file, because git diff wouldn't have provided enough context, so I needed this tool.


It's probably easiest to clone this repository somewhere then create a symlink on your path with the proper naming convention.

$ git clone
$ ln -s `pwd`/git-cat/git-cat ~/bin/git-cat

Assuming of course that you have ~/bin/ in your $PATH this will allow a workflow like:

$ git cat README.markdown 1cba2d72 

I suggest a symlink under the assumption that you have ~/bin under some kind of version control already, and/or don't want to put the git-cat repository directly on your $PATH.

On the shoulders of giants

Before I built this tool I did some Google searching. Some of this searching found good information, some found... stuff that didn't work.


If you want to help here are some things I'd like to do but lack time:

  1. Extract help documentation from the git-cat file and make it something that can be translated into a manpage.
  2. Installation script to install a git-cat symbolic link to somewhere nice on $PATH, and also install said manpage.