If you are starting a software/app development project and do not know which git clients or git GUIs will be the perfect fit, here are the best 14 git tools for you.
Software, mobile app, or web development projects need to handle multiple source codes or programming scripts. When it comes to writing the technical documents for these programs, writers eventually go through multiple iterations resulting in more than one document.
In development projects, organizations need a version control system or Git. Project managers, developers, and technical writers need to sync their workstations to any Git server or package hosting repos for forking. This is where you need to use the git GUIs or git clients.
Continue reading to find out some of the popular git clients.
What Is a Git Client? 🖥️
Git clients are essentially computer software that interacts with your local or remote package hosting repos. These tools are the fundamental requirements for any development project’s technology stack.
During software development iterations, the development team performs git clone, git fetch, git pull, git commit, git stash, and other tasks related to version control. A git GUI automates these tasks for you and your DevOps team, so there are fewer human errors.
You might wonder how the GitHub command-line interface (CLI) differs from any dedicated git client. Most git platforms offer a CLI for interacting with the software packages from an IDE or integrated development environment.
But, the git clients offer a graphical visualization of your git and do not require complex program syntaxes to perform git commit or fetch or any other tasks.
How Do Git Clients Boost Development Productivity? ⏲️
Git clients or GUI tools are the modern apps that offer multiple benefits when you use them in your DevOps projects. Here are the best advantages:
- A git GUI can save you from wasting time on resolving unexpected git issues and errors. You do not want to see your team involved in resolving git repository problems when they could have been coding a software module.
- Git CLI is good for basic tasks. You should definitely practice those tasks to become a confident developer. However, you may want to use the git clients for complex routine tasks like managing branches, rebasing, pulling, merging, or pushing.
- Merge conflicts are troublesome, and debugging these errors is easier on a git GUI rather than the git CLI.
- Git clients are useful when onboarding a novice programmer to an ongoing development project.
Now that you have found out more about git clients, it is time to know the best git GUIs out there for efficient DevOps projects:
GitFinder is a git GUI for macOS computers that run on macOS 10.11.5+ operating systems. It combines a version control system or Git with a Finder module. When you import git files in the Finder tool, it shows the status of those files with descriptive icons and badges.
Its GUI also offers an elaborate toolbar menu. Thus, you can execute git commit, git pull, git push, git blame, and many other activities with the click of a mouse button. Moreover, it comes with a customizable contextual menu.
Its repository browser window gives a developer enormous power during program development. The repository browser can show remote branches, local branches, submodules, and tags.
Other vital functions that GitFinder offers are Quick diffs, Merge conflicts, File history, Pull requests, Simple blames, Keyboard shortcuts, Delete/create remote repos, Cherry-pick, and Revert.
GitUp is the open-source solution for a git repository and IDE interaction on macOS computers. The tool is based on a generic Git toolkit known as the GitUpKit. This toolkit is reusable, and hence you can build your own Git app based on GitUpKit.
One of the best features of this tool is a real-time visualization of repo or source code changes. Even if you make small or significant changes outside the GitUp environment, the tool will show a live activity to point out the changes.
You can also utilize its Snapshots feature to go back in time if you need an old version of your software program. Moreover, It is a blazing fast git GUI since it can load and render the visualization of 40,000 commits of the Git repo in under a second.
Gitbox is another dedicated git client for macOS computers. It lets you perform git pull, push, and commit in one click. You can also perform other complex tasks like undo Git commands, advanced history search, branch reset, rebase, and cherry-picking without using Git CLI.
Its user interface (UI) keeps the programming tasks focused by visualizing all the vital sections on one screen.
Thus, you can pick the function you need without looking through different windows of the program. For example, the UI of Gitbox shows the followings:
- Current branch
- Pull, push, merge, and rebase
- Remote or local target branch
- Text-based history search box
- Files and changes
It also offers various third-party tool integrations for diff checking. For example, Gitbox can sync with diff tools like Kaleidoscope, DiffMerge, Xcode FileMerge, and Changes.
If you love to work on a Windows computer for development projects, you must try out the TortoiseGit tool. It is an open-source program thus does not burden your project with added expense when you add this tool to your programming tech stack.
It is essentially a TortoiseSVN-based Windows Shell UI to Git. Using various Git commands is easy since you need to interact with a familiar UI—the Windows explorer context menu.
You are free to use TortoiseGit with any development programs that you prefer since it is not an IDE-specific integration for Eclipse, Visual Studio, and so on. It is perfect for large-scale DevOps projects since you can also integrate the tool with issue tracking systems.
If you want to try something new and fresh, Fork should be on your list. It is available for both macOS and Windows workstations. You can either get the free evaluation copy for basic tasks or get a paid license if you need more powerful development features.
This git GUI offers an extremely helpful tab-based navigation so that you can easily organize your git management tasks. Also, if you are looking for git clients that let you open the app or website being developed on the same tool, again, you should pick Fork.
Some of the notable features of this tool are Image diffs, Merge conflicts, Cherry-pick, Submodules, Git LFS, Git-flow, Interactive rebase, and Repository manager.
Aurees Git Client
For remote and distributed teams that use different workstations for DevOps projects, Aurees Git Client could be a wise choice. The reason is that the tool supports most Windows, macOS, and Linux computers. Thus, your team can work on a single tool and deliver more consistent work.
Aurees uses a GitHub account. Hence, its users need to log in to that GitHub account to use this git GUI client. After logging in, you can examine all the programming code changes, tags, IDs, and authors linked to those modifications.
It is a viable free alternative to the complex Git CLI since you can perform almost all Git-related tasks on this tool. Moreover, its colorful tags help you effortlessly navigate through the Git repository.
Git Cola is a Git desktop client primarily made for Linux distributions. It is an open-source tool and should already be present in your Linux workstation. Later on, as the popularity grew, the tool developers released compatible versions for Windows and macOS.
One of its best features is robust customization of the interface. You can only keep the options you frequently use and hide all other features to keep the coding interface clutter-free. Thus, you can focus more on coding than playing with unnecessary Git commands.
GitKraken is another top-of-the-line tool among git clients due to its efficiency, reliability, and stylish user interface (UI). The tool is equally popular among expert and novice developers.
However, if you need to give a novice developer a spot in your DevOps project, GitKraken should be the first choice.
Along with the necessary functionalities for Git management, it offers an editor for making changes in the existing programming codes. Also, you can start a new project without leaving the desktop client.
New and existing tasks sync automatically, and therefore this is the ideal tool for organized teamwork on software or app development.
Tower Git Client
Tower Git Client helps you manage large development projects and is also ideal for projects that need scaling up. It is a premium git GUI client for Windows and macOS computers.
Though you need to make some initial investment on this tool, it will quickly give you the returns by boosting your project productivity.
It comes with many robust features like Repository Management, Commit History, Submodules, and Learning Resources. Also, you can effortlessly sync service accounts into the platform since it supports GitLab, Bitbucket, GitHub, Azure DevOps, and so on.
Sourcetree Git Client
Sourcetree is a git GUI tool from the house of Atlassian, the IT tech company that also developed Bitbucket and Jira. Compared to other similar tools, Sourcetree offers a more powerful graphical user interface (GUI.)
Similar to the competitors, it facilitates seamless execution of the basic Git-related tasks like local/remote repository cloning, pulling, committing, pushing, and merging programming code changes.
Sourcetree supports extraordinarily large Git files. The tool quickly loads and renders the branching diagrams or commit graphs of such large package repositories without slowing down the workflow.
If you are looking for a cross-platform git GUI, you can try SmartGit. You can easily install the software on macOS, Linux, or Windows computers. Moreover, the tool runs smoothly on your device without slowing it down.
It comes with all the Git functionalities you might need for your software development project. It also has a special feature that automatically resolves to merge conflicts.
However, you can also visualize two source codes side-by-side for an in-depth study of the programming code changes.
Experts like this tool for robust integration support. You can easily connect the tool with your BitBucket Server and GitHub accounts. You can also use the Distributed Reviews add-ons for real-time review of programming codes from remote offices.
Sublime Merge lets you commit faster, review program codes better, search efficiently within the entire repository and automatically find resolution of merge conflicts.
Also, the tool supports Linux, macOS, and Windows devices so that your development team does not have to work on the same project using different git clients.
Some of the notable Git-related functionalities of this tool are Text syntax highlighting, Line-by-line staging, Commit editing, Sub-module management, Command palette, and Git Flow integration.
Sublime Merge gives you the feeling of the real Git since you can visualize the exact commands that you see in Git.
GitHub Desktop is the global standard for working with Git-related tasks in a graphical user interface (GUI). It is an open-source tool and hence completely free to use for all sorts of projects. It is available for both Windows and macOS desktops and laptops.
GitHub Desktop lets you:
- Quickly create local repositories
- Collaborate with internal or external developers
- Easily write codes with syntax suggestions
- Visually track all source code changes, versions, and their authors.
There is a huge developer community that dedicates talent and effort to keep the GitHub Desktop functional and updates all the time.
Git is an outstanding version control system since it supports a whole bunch of devices like Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android. Thus, if your team loves to manage git on smartphone devices, you might want to try Git.
Though Git primarily offers a CLI for git management, it also has two built-in GUI tools for Git-related tasks. The git-GUI is specific for committing, whereas gitk is for repository browsing.
For other git management tasks, you need to integrate Git with third-party tools like GitHub Desktop, SourceTree, TortoiseGit, and so on.
Git clients are efficient tools that increase the productivity of any commercial or non-commercial website/app/software development program. The discussed tools are the preferred git GUIs that many veteran software developers rely on.
All these tools will offer the basic functionalities that any development project needs for interacting with the git repositories. A few of the above may contain specialized or premium features that open source git clients may not offer.
Thus, you may choose the tool that suits your development project. Moreover, you can use an AI-powered code completion tool for further assistance in software development.