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Gitless is a version control system built on top of Git, that is easy to learn and use:

  • Simple commit workflow

    Track or untrack files to control what changes to commit. Changes to tracked files are committed by default, but you can easily customize the set of files to commit using flags

  • Independent branches

    Branches in Gitless include your working changes, so you can switch between branches without having to worry about conflicting uncommitted changes

  • Friendly command-line interface

    Gitless commands will give you good feedback and help you figure out what to do next

  • Compatible with Git

    Because Gitless is implemented on top of Git, you can always fall back on Git. And your coworkers you share a repo with need never know that you're not a Git aficionado. Moreover, you can use Gitless with GitHub or with any Git hosting service


Installing Gitless won't interfere with your Git installation in any way. You can keep using Git and switch between Git and Gitless seamlessly.

We currently require Git (1.7.12+) to be installed, but this requirement is going to disappear soon once we finish with our migration to pygit2.

Binary release (macOS and Linux only)

Binary releases for macOS and Linux are available from the Gitless website.

If you've downloaded a binary release of Gitless everything is contained in the gl binary, so to install simply do:

$ cp path-to-downloaded-gl-binary /usr/local/bin/gl

You can put the binary in other locations as well, just be sure to update your PATH.

If for some reason this doesn't work (maybe you are running an old version of your OS?), try one of the other options (installing from source or via the Python Package Index).

Installing from source

To install from source you need to have Python 3.7+ installed.

Additionally, you need to install pygit2.

Then, download the source code tarball and do:

$ ./ install

Installing via the Python Package Index

If you are a Python fan you might find it easier to install Gitless via the Python Package Index. To do this, you need to have Python 3.7+ installed.

Additionally, you need to install pygit2.

Then, just do:

$ pip install gitless

Installing via Homebrew (macOS only)

If you are using Homebrew, a package manager for macOS, you can install Gitless with:

brew update
brew install gitless

Installing via Snapcraft (Linux only)

If you are using Snapcraft, a package manager for Linux, you can install the most recent release of Gitless with:

snap install --channel=beta gitless

You can also use the edge channel to install the most recent build.

Installing via the Arch User Repository (Arch Linux only)

If you are using Arch Linux or any of its derivatives, you can use your favorite AUR Helper and install:

  • gitless for the latest released version
  • gitless-git to build the latest version straight from this repo


gl -h, gl subcmd -h or check our documentation


If you find a bug, create an issue in our GitHub repository. If you'd like to contribute code, here are some useful things to know:

  • To install gitless for development, install pygit2, clone the repo, cd to the repo root and do ./ develop. This will install the gl command with a symlink to your source files. You can make changes to your code and run gl to test them.

  • We follow, to some extent, the Google Python Style Guide. Before submitting code, take a few seconds to look at the style guide and the Gitless code so that your edits are consistent with the codebase.

  • Finally, if you don't want Travis to be mad at you, check that tests pass in Python 3.7+. Tests can be run with:

    python -m unittest discover gitless/tests