Check if Git head is dirty

git diff

If you want to check that files in the working tree or index are modified (and don’t care about untracked files):

$ git diff HEAD

Then to check programmatically:


git diff --quiet HEAD || echo 'dirty'

# or
if [[ $(git diff --quiet HEAD) ]]; then
  echo 'dirty'
  echo 'clean'

git status

But what if you want to check for the presence of untracked files as well?

$ git status --short

For example, if you modified README and created LICENSE:

$ git status -s

And to check programmatically:


# if index has modified/untracked files
# `-z` tests if the string is null or empty
[[ -z $(git status -s) ]] || echo 'modified/untracked'

# if index is clean
# `-n` tests if the string is not empty
[[ -n $(git status -s) ]] || echo 'clean'

FYI, there’s also a --porcelain option which formats the output like --short, but it’s a high level command that’s been known to be slow for larger repositories.