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. A 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 or branch> format. When you create a new commit, the previous commit on which the new commit is based becomes the parent of the new commit.

You can obtain information about commits in a repository by running pachctl list commit <repo> or pachctl 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. This command returns a timestamp, size, parent, and other information about the commit. The initial commit has <none> as a parent.


pachctl list commit [email protected]
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. For most commands, you can specify either a branch or a commit ID.

The most important information that the pachctl inspect commit command provides the origin of the commit, or its provenance. Typically, provenance can be tracked for the commits in the output repositories.


$ pachctl inspect commit [email protected]
Commit: [email protected]
Original Branch: master
Parent: c5c9849ebb5849dc8bf37c4a925e3b20
Started: 12 seconds ago
Finished: 7 seconds ago
Size: 22.22KiB
Provenance:  [email protected] (master)  [email protected] (edges)

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. The delete commit command makes it as the deleted commit never happened. If the deleted commit was the HEAD of the branch, its parent becomes the HEAD. You can only delete a commit from an input repository at the top of your commit history, also known as DAG. Deleting a commit in the middle of a DAG breaks the provenance chain. When you delete a commit from the top of your DAG, Pachyderm automatically deletes all the commits that were created in downstream output repos by processing the deleted commit, making it as if the commit never existed.

Commit deletion 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 [email protected]

See also: