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A commit is a snapshot that preserves the state of your data at a point in time. It represents a single set of changes to files or directories in your Pachyderm repository. Commit is a user-defined operation, which means that you can start a commit, make changes, and then close the commit after you are done.

Each commit has a unique identifier (ID) that you can reference in the <repo>@<commitID> format. When you create a new commit, the previous commit on which the new commit is based becomes the parent of the new commit. Your pipeline history consists of those parent-child relationships between your data commits.

You can obtain information about commits in a repository by running list commit <repo> or inspect commit <commitID>. In Pachyderm, commits are atomic operations that capture a state of the files and directories in a repository. Unlike Git commits, Pachyderm commits are centralized and transactional. You can start a commit by running the pachctl start commit command, make changes to the repository, and close the commit by running the pachctl finish commit command. After the commit is finished, Pachyderm saves the new state of the repository.

When you start, or open, a commit, it means that you can make changes by using put file, delete file, or other commands. You can finish, or close a commit which means the commit is immutable and cannot be changed.

The pachctl list commit repo@branch command returns a timestamp, size, parent, and other information about the commit. The initial commit has <none> as a parent.


pachctl list commit images@master

System Response:

REPO     BRANCH COMMIT                           PARENT                           STARTED        DURATION           SIZE
raw_data master 8248d97632874103823c7603fb8c851c 22cdb5ae05cb40868566586140ea5ed5 6 seconds ago  Less than a second 5.121MiB
raw_data master 22cdb5ae05cb40868566586140ea5ed5 <none>                           33 minutes ago Less than a second 2.561MiB

The list commit <repo> command displays all commits in all branches in the specified repository.

The pachctl inspect commit command enables you to view detailed information about a commit, such as the size, parent, and the original branch of the commit, as well as how long ago the commit was started and finished. The --full-timestamps flag, enables you to see the exact date and time of when the commit was opened and when it was finished. If you specify a branch instead of a specific commit, Pachyderm displays the information about the HEAD of the branch.


$ pachctl inspect commit raw_data@master --full-timestamps

System Response:

Commit: raw_data@8248d97632874103823c7603fb8c851c
Original Branch: master
Parent: 22cdb5ae05cb40868566586140ea5ed5
Started: 2019-07-29T18:09:51.397535516Z
Finished: 2019-07-29T18:09:51.500669562Z
Size: 5.121MiB

The delete commit command enables you to delete opened and closed commits, which results in permanent loss of all the data introduced in those commits. You can think about the delete commit command as an equivalent of the rm -rf command in Linux. It is an irreversible operation that should be used with caution. An alternative and a much safer way to revert incorrect data changes is to move the HEAD of the branch or create a new commit that removes the incorrect data.


$ pachctl delete commit raw_data@8248d97632874103823c7603fb8c851c

Last update: July 16, 2020