TIP: recover file from old Git branch

In cleaning up my source code I realize I was too… aggresive in my house cleaning. I deleted a file I needed.  No biggie, just take a look at HEAD or HEAD^… Hey, that didn’t work!

TIP: use git rev-list to search and find the most recent commit that affected (deleted) a path. (Source: Charles Bailey on SO)

$ git rev-list -n 1 HEAD — docker/torta/torta-task.json
0c400d323aff484cfb2bdc18dcdb7813de93a658

Yay!  That was really easy. Now all I need to do is check out from that Git hash and I’m done:

$ git checkout 0c400d323aff484cfb2bdc18dcdb7813de93a658 !$
error: pathspec ‘docker/torta/torta-task.json’ did not match any file(s) known to git.

Err?  Hmm. Oh: the 0c4 branch contains the “delete” command. If I want to get the file contents, I’ll get it from the branch just before that one:

$ git checkout 0c400d323aff484cfb2bdc18dcdb7813de93a658^ docker/torta/torta-task.json
$ ls -l docker/torta/torta-task.json
-rw-r–r–  1 johnm  staff  1445 Nov  4 13:06 docker/torta/torta-task.json

Yay, it worked!  Thanks, interwebs!