Git-GUI is a rudimentary GUI tool for Git written in Tcl/Tk. It should be available on all platforms where Git is available. It is primarily meant for committing. However, its dinosaur GUI hides quite a few actions that can be very useful.

  • To install Git-GUI:
$ sudo apt install git-gui
  • To invoke Git-GUI:
$ git gui
  • By default, it shows the unstaged files in top-left and staged files in bottom-left. When any files in these sections are clicked, their diff is shown in the main window.

  • To stage a file in the Unstaged Changes section: click the file icon to the left of the file. I know this is totally non-intuitive, but that is how this GUI is designed!

  • To move all the unstaged files to staged, click the Stage Changed button at the bottom. The same can be achieved from the top menu: Commit -> Stage changed files to commit.

  • To unstage a staged file that is in the Unstaged Changes section: Click the checkbox icon to the left of the filename.

  • To commit, type commit message in the bottom box and press Commit button beside it.

  • To view graphical history log of any branch, go to Repository -> Visualize All Branch History. This uses gitk to show this info.

  • All other basic operations are accessible from the top menu. For example, create/checkout/delete of branches and so on.

  • To browse the directory tree and look inside files of any branch, use the Repository -> Browse branch files option. This is very useful. When you open a file, it is opened in a rudimentary File Viewer.

File Viewer

The information shown in the file viewer is incredibly informative!

  • You can hover mouse on any line and see its full history (who added it and so on)!

  • The file viewer also has rudimentary features to find text and other operations. Right-click anywhere to view these.

  • To view graphical log of just this file, right-click and choose Show History Context.

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