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Using Git Information


A frequent requirement for the documentation of software projects, is to insert version information. Nowadays, the tool of choice for version control is git.

Several specific plugins exist, this comes out of the box with mkdocs-macros. Plus, covers a wide range of use cases, from the simplest to more complicated ones.

How to access

Providing of course the site is under a git repository, information is provided out of the box in a page, through the git variable.

To have the full string (corresponding to git log -1 on the command line):

{{ git.raw }}

To have, e.g. the short hash of the last commit, the date and the author:

{{ git.short_commit}} ({{}}) by {{}}

For the date, you may use the standard Python methods, e.g. strftime():

{{"%b %d, %Y %H:%M:%S") }}

Testing for the presence of git repo

If the plugin cannot find the git executable, or if the page is not in a git repository, then git.status is set to False.

If you want to print git information only if applicable:

{% if git.status %}
Git: {{ git.short_commit }}
{% endif %}

If the page is indeed in a git repo, but git.status is still False, try displaying {{ git.error }}


Here is a list of attributes of the git object:

Attribute Description
short_commit short hash of the last commit (e.g. 2bd7950)
commit long hash of the last commit
author author's name
author_email author's email
committer committer's name
committer_email committer's email
tag last active tag of the repo
short_tag last active tag of the repo, abbreviated
date full date of the commit (as a date object)
date_ISO full date of the commit (as an ISO string)
message full message of the last commit
raw string description of the last commit
root_dir root dir of the git repository
status is git present?


Most of the time, you might be interested in the author's information. For more information on the difference between author and committer, see the Pro Git Book, chapter 2.3


To get the full list all attributes of the git object:

{{ context(git)| pretty }}

Date of the last commit

In order to obtain a printout of the date of the last commit, you can use:

{{ }}

which would return e.g.:

2020-05-13 16:08:52+02:00


For the commit dates (date and date_ISO) the common sense choice has been to use git's committer date, since that guarantees that if the commit has been modified (rebased, etc.), the date has been updated.

Since it is a datetime object, you can also use any of the usual attributes (.year, .month), as well as the strftime() formatting method, e.g.:

{{"%b %d, %Y %H:%M:%S") }}

which would return e.g.

May 13, 2020 16:08:52

tag and short_tag

The tag attribute shows the full description of the tag, for example v1.0.4-14-g2414721. Meanwhile, short_tag shows the tag name without any suffix, for example v1.0.4. The later can be useful when showing the latest release.

Tip: Is this really a git repo?

In case you are not sure that there really is a git repo, you could use:

{{ or now() }}

Which would give you at least the build date for the static website. Note that now() is also a datetime object.