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Given a GitHub repo, how can I quickly find the date of its first commit?

I often want to know how old the project is, but I cannot find a quick way to get to the start of the commit histories for projects with very long commit histories.

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Thread on SO might be helpful How to show first commit by 'git log' looks like git log --reverse will show commits from earliest to most recent – batpigandme May 2 '13 at 19:51
up vote 18 down vote accepted

Click on the "Network" tab of the repository that you want to see the oldest commit. When the page is fully loaded (i.e. you can see lots of lines joining and all), press Shift+ to go all the way to the first commit. Click on the dot that represents the first commit and you can get it.

Note: This only works for repositories that was created on GitHub originally, not repositories that were imported from another place (i.e. commits not registered through GitHub itself).

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Doesn't work if the repo has too many forks. – Mike McKay May 22 '15 at 21:10
"Network" is found under the "Graphs" side tab (just in case) – Jedidja May 30 '15 at 14:12

If you have cloned the repo, just use git commands as usual:

// cd to repo
$ git log --reverse

it will show you the history of commits in reverse order. LOL.-

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This will get you the last page:

while :
  printf '%s%d\t' $url $up
  if wget -q --spider $url$up
    echo OK
    up=$((up * 2))
    echo Not Found
while :
  k=$(((lw + up) / 2))
  if [ $k = $lw ]
  printf '%s%d\t' $url $k
  if wget -q --spider $url$k
    echo OK
    echo Not Found


$ github.sh jp9000 OBS
https://github.com/jp9000/OBS/commits?page=1    OK
https://github.com/jp9000/OBS/commits?page=2    OK
https://github.com/jp9000/OBS/commits?page=4    OK
https://github.com/jp9000/OBS/commits?page=8    OK
https://github.com/jp9000/OBS/commits?page=16   OK
https://github.com/jp9000/OBS/commits?page=32   OK
https://github.com/jp9000/OBS/commits?page=64   OK
https://github.com/jp9000/OBS/commits?page=128  Not Found
https://github.com/jp9000/OBS/commits?page=96   Not Found
https://github.com/jp9000/OBS/commits?page=80   Not Found
https://github.com/jp9000/OBS/commits?page=72   OK
https://github.com/jp9000/OBS/commits?page=76   OK
https://github.com/jp9000/OBS/commits?page=78   OK
https://github.com/jp9000/OBS/commits?page=79   OK


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Hydra's answer not working with projects that have a lot of forks: "Couldn’t load network graph. Too many forks to display." You can check 'Contributors' tab under 'Graphs' enter image description here

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There is a way to do it from the GitHub interface itself.

Go the the project page and pick the Code tab followed by the Commits sub-tab as shown here:

enter image description here

That brings you to your list of commits. If you then scroll to the bottom of the page, you can keep going back in time by clicking the Older button.

I couldn't really find a way to sort it so that the commits shown in ascending order.

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I already knew that. The question was for projects with very long commit histories. – Randomblue May 3 '13 at 7:35

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