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Git Tools

Assorted git-related scripts and tools


  • Git (duh!). Tested in v2.17.1 and prior versions since 2010
  • Python (for git-restore-mtime). Tested in Python 3.6, also works in Python 3.1+
  • Bash (for all other tools). Tested in Bash 4, some may work in Bash 3 or even sh

Bash and Python are already installed by default in virtually all GNU/Linux distros. And you probably already have Git if you are interested in these tools. If needed, the command to install dependencies for Debian-like distros (like Ubuntu/Mint) is:

sudo apt install bash python3 git


For Debian, Ubuntu, LinuxMint, and their derivatives, in official repositories as git-restore-mtime:

sudo apt install git-restore-mtime

For Fedora and in EPEL repository for CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Oracle Linux and others, as root:

dnf install git-tools  # 'yum' if using older CentOS/RHEL releases

Gentoo and Funtoo, also as root:

emerge dev-vcs/git-tools


sudo port install git-tools

Also available in Kali Linux, MidnightBDS mports, Mageia, and possibly other distributions.

Manual install: to run from the repository tree, just clone and add the installation directory to your $PATH:

cd ~/some/dir
git clone
echo 'PATH=$PATH:~/some/dir/git-tools' >> ~/.profile  # or ~/.bashrc


If you installed using your operating system package manager, or if you added the cloned repository to your $PATH, you can simply run the tools as if they were regular git subcommands! For example:

git restore-mtime --test

The magic? Git considers any executable named git-* in either /usr/lib/git-core or in $PATH to be a subcommand! It also integrates with man, triggering the manual pages if they're installed, such as when installing using your package manager:

git restore-mtime --help
git help strip-merge

In case the manual pages are not installed in the system, such as when running from the cloned repository, you can still read the built-in help by directly invoking the tool:

git-clone-subset --help


For the packaged versions, use your repository tools such as apt, yum, emerge.

For the manual installation, just delete the directory and remove it from your $PATH.

rm -rf ~/some/dir/git-tools
sed -i '/git-tools/d' ~/.profile


This is a brief description of the tools. For more detailed instructions, see --help of each tool.


Batch renames branches with a matching prefix to another prefix


$ git-rename-branches bug bugfix
bug/128  -> bugfix/128
bug_test -> bugfix_test

$ git-rename-branches ma backup/ma
master -> backup/master
main   -> backup/main


Clones a subset of a git repository

Uses git clone and git filter-branch to remove from the clone all but the requested files, along with their associated commit history.

Clones a repository into a destination directory and runs git filter-branch --prune-empty --tree-filter 'git rm ...' -- --all on the clone to prune from history all files except the ones matching a pattern, effectively creating a clone with a subset of files (and history) of the original repository.

Useful for creating a new repository out of a set of files from another repository, migrating (only) their associated history. Very similar to what git filter-branch --subdirectory-filter does, but for a file pattern instead of just a single directory.


Recursively list repos with uncommitted changes

Recursively finds all git repositories in the given directory(es), runs git status on them, and prints the location of repositories with uncommitted changes. The tool I definitely use the most.


Resolve rebase conflicts and failed cherry-picks by favoring 'theirs' version

When using git rebase, conflicts are usually wanted to be resolved by favoring the working branch version (the branch being rebased, 'theirs' side in a rebase), instead of the upstream version (the base branch, 'ours' side). But git rebase --strategy -X theirs is only available from git 1.7.3. For older versions, git-rebase-theirs is the solution. Despite the name, it's also useful for fixing failed cherry-picks.


Restore original modification time of files based on the date of the most recent commit that modified them

Probably the most popular and useful tool, and the reason this repository was packaged into distros.

Git, unlike other version control systems, does not preserve the original timestamp of committed files. Whenever repositories are cloned, or branches/files are checked out, file timestamps are reset to the current date. While this behavior has its justifications (notably when using make to compile software), sometimes it is desirable to restore the original modification date of a file (for example, when generating release tarballs). As git does not provide any way to do that, git-restore-mtime tries to work around this limitation.

For more information and background, see

For TravisCI users, simply add this setting to .travis.yml so it clones the full repository history:

  depth: false

Similarly, when using GitHub Actions, make sure to include fetch-depth: 0 in your checkout workflow, as described in its documentation:

- uses: actions/checkout@v2
    fetch-depth: 0


A git-merge wrapper that delete files on a "foreign" branch before merging

Answer for "How to set up a git driver to ignore a folder on merge?", see


$ git checkout master
$ git-strip-merge design photoshop/*.psd


Patches are welcome! Fork, hack, request pull!

If you find a bug or have any enhancement request, please open a new issue


Rodrigo Silva (MestreLion)

License and Copyright

Copyright (C) 2012 Rodrigo Silva (MestreLion) <>.
License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>.
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.