Specifying revisions

Revision identifiers and ranges

Bazaar has a very expressive way to specify a revision or a range of revisions. To specify a range of revisions, the upper and lower bounds are separated by the .. symbol. For example:

$ bzr log -r 1..4

You can omit one bound like:

$ bzr log -r 1..
$ bzr log -r ..4

Some commands take only one revision, not a range. For example:

$ bzr cat -r 42 foo.c

In other cases, a range is required but you want the length of the range to be one. For commands where this is relevant, the -c option is used like this:

$ bzr diff -c 42

Available revision identifiers

The revision, or the bounds of the range, can be given using different format specifications as shown below.

argument type description
number revision number
revno:number revision number
last:number negative revision number
guid globally unique revision id
revid:guid globally unique revision id
before:rev leftmost parent of ‘’rev’‘
date-value first entry after a given date
date:date-value first entry after a given date
tag-name revision matching a given tag
tag:tag-name revision matching a given tag
ancestor:path last merged revision from a branch
branch:path latest revision on another branch
submit:path common ancestor with submit branch

A brief introduction to some of these formats is given below. For complete details, see Revision Identifiers in the Bazaar User Reference.


Positive numbers denote revision numbers in the current branch. Revision numbers are labelled as “revno” in the output of bzr log. To display the log for the first ten revisions:

$ bzr log -r ..10

Negative numbers count from the latest revision, -1 is the last committed revision.

To display the log for the last ten revisions:

$ bzr log -r -10..


revid allows specifying an internal revision ID, as shown by bzr log --show-ids and some other commands.

For example:

$ bzr log -r revid:Matthieu.Moy@imag.fr-20051026185030-93c7cad63ee570df


‘’rev’’ specifies the leftmost parent of ‘’rev’‘, that is the revision that appears before ‘’rev’’ in the revision history, or the revision that was current when ‘’rev’’ was committed.

‘’rev’’ can be any revision specifier and may be chained.

For example:

$ bzr log -r before:before:4
revno: 2


‘’value’’ matches the first history entry after a given date, either at midnight or at a specified time.

Legal values are:

  • yesterday
  • today
  • tomorrow
  • A YYYY-MM-DD format date.
  • A YYYY-MM-DD,HH:MM:SS format date/time, seconds are optional (note the comma)

The proper way of saying “give me all the log entries for today” is:

$ bzr log -r date:yesterday..date:today


specifies the common ancestor between the current branch and a different branch. This is the same ancestor that would be used for merging purposes.

path may be the URL of a remote branch, or the file path to a local branch.

For example, to see what changes were made on a branch since it was forked off ../parent:

$ bzr diff -r ancestor:../parent


path specifies the latest revision in another branch.

path may be the URL of a remote branch, or the file path to a local branch.

For example, to get the differences between this and another branch:

$ bzr diff -r branch:http://example.com/bzr/foo.dev

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