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I am using git for version control of various projects.

Is there easy-to-use software for navigating through commits and branches of a project and for retrieving versions?

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13 Answers 13

I guess you are looking for an easy to use front-end for git.

Take a look at "Graphical Interfaces" section of InterfacesFrontendsAndTools page on Git Wiki. There the following have been mentioned:

  • gitk - graphical history browser, in Tcl/Tk, distributed with Git (usually in gitk package)
  • git gui - graphical commit tool, in Tcl/Tk, distributed with Git (usually in git-gui package)
  • QGit - uses Qt toolkit
  • Giggle - uses GTK+ toolkit
  • git-cola - uses PyQt4
  • gitg - GTK+/GNOME clone of GitX
  • tig - text mode interface for git, is GUI and pager, uses ncurses

These are the suggestions given in the other answers.

There are a couple of software which I personally find very easy to use.

  • Giggle
  • Git Cola

I personally use giggle Install giggle . It is simple and intuitive to use.

enter image description here

Cola Git GUI

I have not used Cola Git Install git-cola, but this does seem promising.

enter image description here

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Git has a nice list of GUI Clients I really like the “Only show GUIs for my OS (Linux)” button ;) – Kuchi Jul 25 '14 at 10:32
I know this is an old answer, but I would like to +1 the use of git-cola. The way it handles staged files is the most user friendly of the linux git clients I have tried. – Daniel Oct 19 at 19:34
@Kuchi You may be comfortable with some Windows GUI using Wine. Filter by SO is like cutting down your real options. In my experience and in general, Windows GUI are a bit more elaborated. Aside that, SmartGUI is Free and is very helpful. – erm3nda 2 days ago

Having tested all the above mentioned tools, I have settled with the following tools for managing my Git repositories:


SmartGit is an easy-to-use graphical user interface for Git with optimized work-flows. SmartGit supports all Git and Mercurial features needed for every-day work in software development projects:

  • Local working tree operations
  • Status, diff, log
  • Push, pull, fetch (for all protocols)
  • Tag and branch management
  • Merge, cherry-pick, rebase, revert
  • Submodule support
  • Stash management
  • Remotes management

I has also an easy to use wizard to connect you to online repositories like GitHub and BitBucket

enter image description here


In contrast, RabbitVCS has a different approach from other tools. Rather than providing an external UI for your git repository, it integrates its self to Nautilus. In fact RabbitVCS is a set of graphical tools written to provide simple and straightforward access to the version control systems you use.

enter image description here

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+1 for RabbitVCS – Roman Podlinov Mar 20 '14 at 9:25
RabbitVCS is a waste of time, at least on my Ubuntu 13.10. It almost crashes with every action. – Omid Apr 19 '14 at 18:55
rabitvcs has bugs and is not so actively developed – aWebDeveloper Jan 25 at 8:38
SmartGit isn't free for commercial use; GitEye is free, and it's also commercially developed so good quality. – Arcane Engineer Sep 27 at 12:30

Yes; git has a gui you can run with the git gui command.

If that doesn't work, it means you need to install the GUI for git. You can do this by installing the git-gui Install git-gui package. Or, even better, install the git-all Install git-all package.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install git-all

See man git-gui for details. Note that while the manpage is called git-gui, you run this as git gui.

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After installation, you start git-gui tool with git gui or git citool – ubuntico Mar 19 '14 at 11:34
Apart from extremly ugly look-and-feel git gui is a very feature-complete thing. I like it. – Sebastian Jun 13 '14 at 22:12
Executing echo '*TkTheme: clam' | xrdb -merge - before starting git gui will make it a bit less ugly. – Mikko Rantalainen Oct 1 at 12:48

I am quite partial to smartgit. You can read more about it here It's by far the most complete git client on Linux that I have found. That being said, there is real strength in the command line, and I suggest you learn it well before using a GUI.

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+! for smart git – mreq Dec 10 '12 at 21:49
+1 for learning the command line first. GUIs make it too tempting to "just try that button, reset hard sounds like what I want". – Gauthier Jun 11 at 11:32
Plus you get command history and the text feedback does not disappear as easily as a dialog. – Gauthier Jun 11 at 11:33
no free liense for commercial use (well I could lie) and integration in ubuntu is not finalized (.deb). Not deal breaker, but still those are draw backs – Juh_ Jul 22 at 7:04

I used gitg for a while before going back to CLI only. For entertainment value, there's gource, which can turn your git history into an animation :)

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+1 for gource! Maybe not very useful but definitely cool! – Leo Dec 11 '12 at 8:45
Here's how to visualize last 10000 commits for linux kernel. (1) git clone linux repo (2) run git log --pretty=format:user:%aN%n%ct --reverse --raw --encoding=UTF-8 --no-renames -n 10000 | gource --log-format git -a 2 -i 120 -s 1 --loop --padding 1.4 --max-file-lag 1 --user-friction 0.2 - (3) press f or u to hide filenames or usernames – Mikko Rantalainen Oct 2 at 7:43
@MikkoRantalainen Oh yes, how did forgot that simple command :/ – erm3nda 2 days ago

Rather than downloading and compiling the tar.gz file from source(, there is a PPA on launchpad available that allows one to install smartgit using the normal apt-get commands.

From a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+t), enter the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:eugenesan/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install smartgit 

This will install smartgit version 3.0.11

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There is also a relatively new (just released months ago) software called GitEye.

It provides a familiar graphical interface as it is based on Eclipse RCP framework. You can use it on Windows and Mac as well, since it runs on java.

Give it a try; it's free.

So far my only complain is that its merge tool is rather limited

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Requires registration at 30 days from first use. Very easy and straight forward, great multi-platform solution. – CrandellWS Feb 7 '14 at 4:58

I use git extensions - I find it very helpful for what I need it for. Here's a link to getting it running on 12.04

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too bad you have to install mono... – woohoo Jun 21 '14 at 3:44

ungit seems like a powerful intuitive GUI for git.

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This is a list provided by

GUI Clients

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If you are using Emacs (Which is fantastic), then you would find magit a super brilliant option :D

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I wouldn't ever call it the best git client but I find it noteworthy that Meld also provides some basic version control functionality although it's main purpose is comparing files and directories:

Citing the feature overview:

  • Meld supports many version control systems, including Git, Mercurial, Bazaar and SVN
  • Launch file comparisons to check what changes were made, before you commit
  • View file versioning statuses
  • Simple version control actions are also available (i.e.,commit/update/add/remove/delete files)

Depending on your purpose and workflow it could also be interesting to have a closer look at the version control plugin of your favourite IDE. I used such e.g. in Eclipse, Monodevelop and PyCharm.

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The Cola Git is simple but delivers what it promises, and the SmartGit is full of features!

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