Can anyone explain, why “git status” touches the .git directory?
I currently maintain a project for a git-prompt for bash (https://github.com/magicmonty/bash-git-prompt) and I just got a bug report (https://github.com/magicmonty/bash-git-prompt/issues/97) from someone who works with Docker, who tells me, that everytime he uses the prompt, the cache is invalidated, because the
.git directory is constantly touched.
I have looked into this, and found out, that it is the command
git status, which touches the
It seems, that only the directory entry itself and no contents are touched.
Can anyone explain, why this is needed, or is this maybe a bug in Git.
Is there a way to show all status info, without touching the .git directory?
Thanks for the help
Since the whole reason to use the
git status command was, to determine the number of untracked files, I replaced it with
git ls-files --others --exclude-standard | wc -l, which doesn’t need a lock.
One Solution collect form web for “Can anyone explain, why “git status” touches the .git directory?”
strace git status shows that this action uses the lock file
.git/index.lock, that’s why the
.git‘s mtime is updated.
git being cool, it uses the environment variable
GIT_INDEX_FILE to decide which lock file to use. If unset,
.git/index (this is the default), but if set,
git uses its value. From
This environment allows the specification of an alternate index file. If not specified, the default of
GIT_INDEX_FILE=banana git status
will not update your
So you now have to make a decision as whether you want to go along this path or not (which certainly has many caveats).