This is also a part of a basic series on git and how to use it.
There are lots of git clients. If you look at the top list for this year, you’ll see quite a few. I’ve used a couple of these, but they all give you roughly the same information. Where am I in the commit tree, and what branches are out there. I tend to prefer the command line most times, but clients are handy to have.
There are two main ones that I have been using, trading off and on between them, so a quick look at both Sourcetree and Gitkrakken.
Sourcetree is a free client from Atlassian. They’re a software company, much like Redgate, that gives back to the community. One of the ways they do this is with Sourcetree and Bitbucket . This client is available for Windows and MacOS, so it’s cross platform.
It’s simple and easy to setup, and the install isn’t worth covering. Amazing how simple most installs are these days. Once installed, you can open or create repositories easily.
The interface is clean and easy to understand. All the main features (push, pull, commit, branch, etc.) are large buttons at the top. The graph, comments, and other information is in the middle.
Below here are the staged and unstaged files in my repo, so I can easily see the state of my work.
There are tabs for each repo, so if you open multiple ones, you’ll see them listed at the top and can easily switch between them. Handy if you need to work on multiple projects.
Sourcetree will check for updates and let you know when they are available. As with most software, this will download the patch and then let you know that you need to close the app to start the install.
After using other clients, I find this sometimes a bit slow, but usually commit/push time isn’t a large factor in work. I can start the process and go get coffee or take some break.
I’d say Sourcetree is a nice client, and it’s easy to use. There’s also a nice button to pop open a Git Bash terminal, which is helpful if you want to work in a text format.
I stumbled on this client somewhere. I think someone recommended it on Twitter, and I decided to give it a try. Sourcetree was working, but I was curious if there was something else.
Gitkraken bills itself as the most popular client. It might be, but even if it’s not, I like some of the simplicity. This client is available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux, so you might prefer this if you move across all those platforms.
It’s also cool to look at. The animation when it starts is neat.
There are other clients, including some MS tools in Visual Studio (regular and code) that work with git. I don’t really use those, as I tend to work with the command line or simple interfaces for commits, not examining differences or looking at branches. For those tasks, I do like these two clients.
Of course, at some point you may need to drop into the command line if you find yourself in a pickle. While I’m sure you’ll google most issues, be comfortable solving them in the command line and practice a few tasks periodically by typing the syntax.