Junio C Hamano 85c787f1e9 Merge
  Revert "git-gui: remove lines starting with the comment character"
2021-03-04 12:38:50 -08:00
lib Merge 2021-03-04 12:38:50 -08:00
macosx git-gui 0.20.0 2015-04-18 18:35:48 -07:00
po Merge 2021-03-01 09:22:18 -08:00
windows git-gui 0.19.0 2014-01-21 13:16:17 -08:00
.gitattributes Fix build with core.autocrlf=true 2017-05-10 13:32:50 +09:00
.gitignore Merge git:// 2007-11-21 00:00:56 -08:00
GIT-VERSION-GEN git-gui 0.21.0 2016-10-20 09:33:17 -07:00
Makefile Merge 2020-12-18 15:07:10 -08:00 Merge 2019-11-04 13:29:38 +09:00
git-gui--askpass Merge 2020-12-18 15:07:10 -08:00 Merge 2021-03-04 12:38:50 -08:00

Git GUI - A graphical user interface for Git

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.

Building and installing

You need to have the following dependencies installed before you begin:

  • Git
  • Tcl
  • Tk
  • wish
  • Gitk (needed for browsing history)
  • msgfmt

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:

make install

You probably need to have root/admin permissions to install.


The project is currently maintained by Pratyush Yadav over at 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 is where the patches are discussed and reviewed.

More information about the Git mailing list and instructions to subscribe can be found here.

Sending your changes

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: git-send-email and git-format-patch.

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

to convert all the extra commits in 'foo' into a set of patches saved in the folder output_dir.

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 --cover-letter to git-format-patch.

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).

Using git-send-email

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 git-send-email.

A pretty good guide to configuring and using git-send-email can be found here

Using your email client

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.

Using GitGitGadget

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<your-username>/git

Then add GitGitGadget as a remote:

git remote add gitgitgadget

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 and open a Pull Request targeting git-gui/master.

GitGitGadget will welcome you with a (hopefully) helpful message.

Signing off

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 <>' 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

Responding to review comments

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:

  • Use only plain text emails. No HTML at all.
  • Wrap lines at around 75 characters.
  • Do not send attachments. If you do need to send some files, consider using a hosting service, and paste the link in your email.
  • Do not top post.
  • Always "reply all". Keep all correspondents and the list in Cc. If you reply directly to a reviewer, and not Cc the list, other people would not be able to chime in.