Git GUI allows you to use the Git source control management tools via a GUI. This includes staging, committing, adding, pushing, etc. It can also be used as a blame viewer, a tree browser, and a citool (make exactly one commit before exiting and returning to shell). More details about Git GUI can be found in its manual page by either running
man git-gui, or by visiting the online manual page.
Git GUI was initially written by Shawn O. Pearce, and is distributed with the standard Git installation.
You need to have the following dependencies installed before you begin:
Most of Git GUI is written in Tcl, so there is no compilation involved. Still, some things do need to be done (mostly some substitutions), so you do need to “build” it.
You can build Git GUI using:
And then install it using:
You probably need to have root/admin permissions to install.
The project is currently maintained by Pratyush Yadav over at https://github.com/prati0100/git-gui. Even though the project is hosted at GitHub, the development does not happen over GitHub Issues and Pull Requests. Instead, an email based workflow is used. The Git mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org is where the patches are discussed and reviewed.
More information about the Git mailing list and instructions to subscribe can be found here.
Since the development happens over email, you need to send in your commits in text format. Commits can be converted to emails via the two tools provided by Git:
You can use
git-format-patch to generate patches in mbox format from your commits that can then be sent via email. Let's say you are working on a branch called ‘foo’ that was created on top of ‘master’. You can run:
git format-patch -o output_dir master..foo
to convert all the extra commits in ‘foo’ into a set of patches saved in the folder
If you are sending multiple patches, it is recommended to include a cover letter. A cover letter is an email explaining in brief what the series is supposed to do. A cover letter template can be generated by passing
After you send your patches, you might get a review suggesting some changes. Make those changes, and re-send your patch(es) in reply to the first patch of your initial version. Also please mention the version of the patch. This can be done by passing
-v X to
git-format-patch, where ‘X’ is the version number of the patch(es).
You can use
git-send-email to send patches generated via
git-format-patch. While you can directly send patches via
git-send-email, it is recommended that you first use
git-format-patch to generate the emails, audit them, and then send them via
A pretty good guide to configuring and using
git-send-email can be found here
If your email client supports sending mbox format emails, you can use
git-format-patch to get an mbox file for each commit, and then send them. If there is more than one patch in the series, then all patches after the first patch (or the cover letter) need to be sent as replies to the first.
git-send-email does this by default.
Since some people prefer a GitHub pull request based workflow, they can use GitGitGadget to send in patches. The tool was originally written for sending patches to the Git project, but it now also supports sending patches for git-gui.
Instructions for using GitGitGadget to send git-gui patches, courtesy of Johannes Schindelin:
If you don't already have a fork of the git/git repo, you need to make one. Then clone your fork:
git clone https://github.com/<your-username>/git
Then add GitGitGadget as a remote:
git remote add gitgitgadget https://github.com/gitgitgadget/git
Then fetch the git-gui branch:
git fetch gitgitgadget git-gui/master
Then create a new branch based on git-gui/master:
git checkout -b <your-branch-name> git-gui/master
Make whatever commits you need to, push them to your fork, and then head over to https://github.com/gitgitgadget/git/pulls and open a Pull Request targeting git-gui/master.
GitGitGadget will welcome you with a (hopefully) helpful message.
You need to sign off your commits before sending them to the list. You can do that by passing the
-s option to
git-commit. You can also use the “Sign Off” option in Git GUI.
A sign-off is a simple ‘Signed-off-by: A U Thor <email@example.com>’ line at the end of the commit message, after your explanation of the commit.
A sign-off means that you are legally allowed to send the code, and it serves as a certificate of origin. More information can be found at developercertificate.org.
It is quite likely your patches will get review comments. Those comments are sent on the Git mailing list as replies to your patch, and you will usually be Cc'ed in those replies.
You are expected to respond by either explaining your code further to convince the reviewer what you are doing is correct, or acknowledge the comments and re-send the patches with those comments addressed.
Some tips for those not familiar with communication on a mailing list: