In Magit log buffer commits (one per line) are shown with relative date. This is nice for recent commits, but makes little sense for older changes. In particular, this makes it annoyingly hard to relate commit dates to specific date, e.g. to find answer to question "which change might have broken the release on 3rd of April?".

Is it possible to somehow change the way commit dates are shown? I only found magit-duration-spec, but that's not exactly what I need.


If you need to be sure about the author and/or commit date of a particular commit, then you can always just show that commit in a separate buffer by pressing RET with point on that commit in the log.

But that's not very convenient if you have to do it a lot of course. I have started working on making this more flexible.

  • I have the same problem and I'm glad to hear that you are working on this! Sep 12 '15 at 13:38
  • Indeed, it would be very nice to have a way to display absolute dates instead of durations
    – Clément
    Feb 29 '16 at 14:44
  • 4
    @tarsius Has this been implemented? I can't find a reference to it in the documentation. Thanks for Magit, it is amazing :)
    – thatismatt
    Aug 15 '16 at 8:05
  • No, I forgot about this. Could you please open a feature request, so it does not happen again.
    – tarsius
    Aug 16 '16 at 11:07
  • 1
    @thatismatt The specific variable which has this feature now is magit-log-margin.
    – GDP2
    Apr 4 '18 at 6:01

This feature is now accessible through magit-log-margin. See this ticket and this commit.

  • Is there an example of how this variable should be set to show absolute date?
    – Liam
    Jul 22 '18 at 1:26
  • 4
    @Liam I don't see any examples, but here's a section about it in the manual. Mine is set to (t "%Y-%m-%d %H:%M " magit-log-margin-width t 18), which looks like this in the Customize interface and the date looks like this as a result.
    – GDP2
    Jul 23 '18 at 4:18

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