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Last active July 13, 2023 07:45
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Git: move files in an subfolder keeping history

Change structure of project folder with Git

I have this structure:


I want this structure:


The benefits

  • Keep away from the Internet my .git folder
  • Wordpress files separated in a sub-folder
  • Keep Git history changes
  • Hide from the Internet deployment scripts or project sensitive informations

Move files with git and keep file history

  1. Be sure you don't have files uncommitted, if not commit them before next step.

    git status

  2. In project-directory create public subfolder

    mkdir public

  3. Move files with git mv except public subfolder to avoid errors

    for file in $(ls | grep -v 'public'); do git mv $file public; done;

  4. Move specific files like .htaccess etc...

    git mv .htaccess public/

  5. Commit changes

    git commit -m 'Moved files to public/'

  6. That's all !

    git log -M summary

To see file history of moved files

In Bash:

git log --follow

In SourceTree:

On logging file(s) you have to check [x] Follow renamed files

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gpoole commented May 4, 2022

I'm not sure what specific problem it's solving with Explorer, but as far as the actual tracking of renames through Git history is concerned, git mv functionally equivalent to:

mv path/to/old/file path/to/new/file
git add path/to/new/file
git rm path/to/old/file

In terms of being able to follow the history of a file through renames in Git, neither approach do a better job.

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I concur with @cxgreat2014 , testing it myself on a windows system, the key points of interest are:

  1. open the project folder with gitbash in order to avail yourself of linux
  2. use the for file in $(ls | grep -v 'public'); do git mv $file public; done; line, substituting public with the name of your new folder
  3. upon reopening my terminal in this folder, I see a message from git written in blue stating * History restored
  4. I find git now has all moved files staged for a commit, marked as 'renamed'. I make a new commit of these renames, and I find I have my old git history intact with only an additional commit added to my repo. Great work @ajaegers !

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