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git-gutter.el is an Emacs port of the Sublime Text plugin GitGutter.



Screenshot of git-gutter.el


  • Emacs 25.1 or higher
  • Git(1.7.0 or higher)

git-gutter.el vs git-gutter-fringe.el

git-gutter.el git-gutter-fringe.el
Work in tty frame OK unsupported
Work with linum-mode OK(experimental) OK
Show on right side unsupported OK
configurable more configurable less configurable


You can install git-gutter.el from MELPA with package.el (M-x package-install git-gutter), with el-get, or with another package manager of your choice

Global Minor Mode and Minor Mode

git-gutter.el provides a global minor-mode(global-git-gutter-mode) and minor-mode(git-gutter-mode).

If you want to use git-gutter for files in git repository. You add following s-exp in your configuration file(~/.emacs.d/init.el or ~/.emacs).

(global-git-gutter-mode +1)

Other case, you want to use git-gutter for some files, you can use git-gutter-mode. Following example of enabling git-gutter for some mode.

(add-hook 'ruby-mode-hook 'git-gutter-mode)
(add-hook 'python-mode-hook 'git-gutter-mode)


git-gutter.el provides following commands. Obsoleted interfaces will be removed when 1.0 released.


Jump to next hunk


Jump to previous hunk


Move to end of current hunk


Mark current hunk.


Set the start revision from which git-gutter performs the diffs.

You can also set the variable git-gutter:start-revision as a directory-local variable.


Popup current diff hunk(alias git-gutter:popup-diff)

git-gutter:next-hunk and git-gutter:previous-hunk update content of buffer popuped by git-gutter:popup-diff to current hunk.


Stage current hunk. You can use this command like git add -p. This command is supported only for git.


Revert current hunk


Show changes from last commit or Update change information. Please execute this command if diff information is not be updated.


Setup for working with linum-mode.


Update git-gutter information of buffers in all visible window.

Sample Configuration

(require 'git-gutter)

;; If you enable global minor mode
(global-git-gutter-mode t)

;; If you would like to use git-gutter.el and linum-mode

;; If you enable git-gutter-mode for some modes
(add-hook 'ruby-mode-hook 'git-gutter-mode)

(global-set-key (kbd "C-x C-g") 'git-gutter)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x v =") 'git-gutter:popup-hunk)

;; Jump to next/previous hunk
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x p") 'git-gutter:previous-hunk)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x n") 'git-gutter:next-hunk)

;; Stage current hunk
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x v s") 'git-gutter:stage-hunk)

;; Revert current hunk
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x v r") 'git-gutter:revert-hunk)

;; Mark current hunk
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x v SPC") #'git-gutter:mark-hunk)

Directory-local variables

Set starting revision for diffs

Using directory-local variables, you can set the start revision for diffs for any file in the current directory:

;;; .dir-locals.el
((prog-mode . ((git-gutter:start-revision . "my-branch"))))


Live updating

If you set git-gutter:update-interval seconds larger than 0, git-gutter updates diff information in real-time by idle timer.

 '(git-gutter:update-interval 2))

You can stop timer by git-gutter:cancel-update-timer and starts by git-gutter:start-update-timer.

Look and feel

Screenshot of multiple characters in gutter

You can change the signs and those faces.

 '(git-gutter:modified-sign "  ") ;; two space
 '(git-gutter:added-sign "++")    ;; multiple character is OK
 '(git-gutter:deleted-sign "--"))

(set-face-background 'git-gutter:modified "purple") ;; background color
(set-face-foreground 'git-gutter:added "green")
(set-face-foreground 'git-gutter:deleted "red")

You can change minor-mode name in mode-line to set git-gutter:lighter. Default is " GitGutter"

;; first character should be a space
 '(git-gutter:lighter " GG"))

Using full width characters

Screenshot of using full-width character as diff sign

Emacs has char-width function which returns character width. git-gutter.el uses it for calculating character length of the signs. But char-width does not work for some full-width characters. So you should explicitly specify window width, if you use full-width character.

 '(git-gutter:window-width 2)
 '(git-gutter:modified-sign "")
 '(git-gutter:added-sign "")
 '(git-gutter:deleted-sign ""))


git-gutter.el supports following version control systems

You can set backends which git-gutter.el will be used. Default value of git-gutter:handled-backends is '(git). If you want to use git-gutter.el for other VCS, please change value of git-gutter:handled-backends as below.

;; Use for 'Git'(`git`), 'Mercurial'(`hg`), 'Bazaar'(`bzr`), and 'Subversion'(`svn`) projects
 '(git-gutter:handled-backends '(git hg bzr svn)))

Updates hooks

diff information is updated at hooks in git-gutter:update-hooks.

(add-to-list 'git-gutter:update-hooks 'focus-in-hook)

Updates commands

diff information is updated after command in git-gutter:update-commands executed.

(add-to-list 'git-gutter:update-commands 'other-window)

Disabled modes

If you use global-git-gutter-mode, you may want some modes to disable git-gutter-mode. You can make it by setting git-gutter:disabled-modes to non-nil.

;; inactivate git-gutter-mode in asm-mode and image-mode
 '(git-gutter:disabled-modes '(asm-mode image-mode)))

Default is nil.

Show signs at gutter by visual lines

Emacs folds long line if truncate-lines is nil. If git-gutter:visual-line is non-nil, git-gutter puts sign by visual lines.

 '(git-gutter:visual-line t))

Default bahavior is that signs are put by logical lines. value of git-gutter:visual-line is nil.

Show Unchanged Information

Screenshot of highlighting unchanged lines

git-gutter.el can view unchanged information by setting git-gutter:unchanged-sign. Like following.

 '(git-gutter:unchanged-sign " "))
(set-face-background 'git-gutter:unchanged "yellow")

Default value of git-gutter:unchanged-sign is nil.

Show a separator column

Screenshot of showing separator between buffer and gutter

git-gutter.el can display an additional separator character at the right of the changed signs. This is mostly useful when running emacs in a console.

 '(git-gutter:separator-sign "|"))
(set-face-foreground 'git-gutter:separator "yellow")

Default value of git-gutter:separator-sign is nil.

Please set git-gutter:always-show-separator to non-nil, if you want to show separator always.

Hide gutter if there are no changes

Hide gutter when there are no changes if git-gutter:hide-gutter is non-nil. (Default is nil)

 '(git-gutter:hide-gutter t))

Pass option to 'git diff' command

You can pass git diff option to set git-gutter:diff-option.

;; ignore all spaces
 '(git-gutter:diff-option "-w"))

Don't ask whether commit/revert or not

git-gutter.el always asks you whether commit/revert or not. If you don't want, please set git-gutter:ask-p to nil.

;; Don't ask me!!
 '(git-gutter:ask-p nil))

Log/Message Level

;; Don't need log/message.
 '(git-gutter:verbosity 0))

Default value is 4(0 is lowest, 4 is highest).

Run hook

Run hook git-gutter-mode-on-hook when git-gutter-mode is turn on, and run hook git-gutter-mode-off-hook when git-gutter-mode is turn off.


git-gutter.el provides some statistic API. This is useful for knowing how much code you changed etc. To display them in mode-line is also useful.


Count unstaged hunks in current buffer.


Count unstaged hunks in all buffers


Return statistic unstaged hunks in current buffer. Return value is dot-list. First element is total added lines, second element is total deleted lines.

See Also


GitGutter is Sublime Text plugin.


Vim version of GitGutter


diff-hl is similar tool based on vc.


Fork of git-gutter.el. Some features which are not provided git-gutter.el provides. However git-gutter-plus updates diff information synchronously.