Git is undoubtedly the most used version control system in place. Most of the projects by largest of companies are running on Git repositories. Git not only makes it easier to code for your application, but it also helps you with some collaboration features so that you can work efficiently with your team on a project. Git is also a skill that every developer must have. Understanding all the operations and commands can be difficult for beginners sometimes. But a group of tools is making it simpler by providing GUI alternatives to Git command line. This post covers some of the best Git GUI clients available for the Windows operating system.
Git GUI clients for Windows
1. GitHub Desktop
Probably the most useful of this lot. If your remote repository is hosted by GitHub, then this is the tool you must be looking for. GitHub Desktop is basically an extension of your GitHub workflow. The tool provides you with a wonderful UI that lets you manage your code without typing in any commands in the command window. You can log in using your GitHub credentials and start working on your repositories. You can create new repositories, add local repositories and perform most of the Git operations from the UI. GitHub Desktop makes a really good client to track your changes and perform Git operations on the go. GitHub Desktop is completely open source, and it is available for MacOS and Windows. Click here to download GitHub Desktop.
GitKraken is a premium independently developed Git client for Windows. It supports GitHub, GitHub enterprise, Bitbucket, and Gitlab as well. GitKraken is available in free, premium and enterprise variants. The free version is suitable for small teams and start-ups, but you might need to upgrade once your team and work both expand. GitKraken comes with all the collaboration features and a beautiful UI. This is the most visually appealing Git client I have seen so far. Features like drag and drop functionality, commit graph contribute towards an intuitive experience while using this tool. You need to sign-up for GitKraken before using this tool. Click here to download GitKraken.
SmartGit is a great professional level Git client that is free to use for non-commercial organizations. You can use it freely to develop open-source and free software. But you might need to purchase a license if you are going to use the tool for the commercial purpose. The tool is not that simple to use and might require some good knowledge of git commands. You might be flabbergasted to see the number of buttons and operations available on the UI. SmartGit covers all of the Git features and comes with all the collaboration features as well. The tool even supports creating pull-requests on GitHub. Click here to download SmartGit.
SourceTree is a free Git client developed by Atlassian, the company behind Jira and Bitbucket. This free Git client shows awesome support for repositories hosted by Bitbucket and GitHub both. SourceTree is a little more advanced then GitHub Desktop but also provides more features and operations from the UI. SourceTree is an enterprise-grade tool that you might be using as a part of a larger team. If you are still learning Git, then Atlassian has a good series of articles that you can go through. You need to create an Atlassian account before using SourceTree. Click here to download SourceTree.
So, these were some of the Git clients that I have used and found useful. If you are just a beginner, I would recommend that you use a tool like GitHub Desktop or Source Tree. And if you are an experienced developer, go for GitKraken and Smart Git.
Also, did you know, Git comes with an inbuilt UI client as well? If you already have Git installed on your computer, search for ‘Git GUI’ from the start menu.