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Powerline Gitstatus

A Powerline segment for showing the status of a Git working copy.

By Jasper N. Brouwer.

It will show the branch-name, or the commit hash if in detached head state.

It will also show the number of commits behind, commits ahead, staged files, unmerged files (conflicts), changed files, untracked files and stashed files if that number is greater than zero.



  • : branch name or commit hash
  • : most recent tag (if enabled)
  • : n commits behind
  • : n commits ahead
  • : n staged files
  • : n unmerged files (conflicts)
  • : n changed files
  • : n untracked files
  • : n stashed files


The Gitstatus segment requires git! Preferably, but not limited to, version 1.8.5 or higher.

Version 1.8.5 will enable the usage of the -C parameter, which is more performant and accurate.


On Debian/Ubuntu

apt install powerline-gitstatus

This command will also instruct your package manager to install Powerline, if it's not already available.

Powerline will be automatically configured to use the Gitstatus highlight groups and add the segment to the default shell theme.

Using pip

pip install powerline-gitstatus


The Gitstatus segment uses a couple of custom highlight groups. You'll need to define those groups in your colorscheme, for example in .config/powerline/colorschemes/default.json:

  "groups": {
    "gitstatus":                 { "fg": "gray8",           "bg": "gray2", "attrs": [] },
    "gitstatus_branch":          { "fg": "gray8",           "bg": "gray2", "attrs": [] },
    "gitstatus_branch_clean":    { "fg": "green",           "bg": "gray2", "attrs": [] },
    "gitstatus_branch_dirty":    { "fg": "gray8",           "bg": "gray2", "attrs": [] },
    "gitstatus_branch_detached": { "fg": "mediumpurple",    "bg": "gray2", "attrs": [] },
    "gitstatus_tag":             { "fg": "darkcyan",        "bg": "gray2", "attrs": [] },
    "gitstatus_behind":          { "fg": "gray10",          "bg": "gray2", "attrs": [] },
    "gitstatus_ahead":           { "fg": "gray10",          "bg": "gray2", "attrs": [] },
    "gitstatus_staged":          { "fg": "green",           "bg": "gray2", "attrs": [] },
    "gitstatus_unmerged":        { "fg": "brightred",       "bg": "gray2", "attrs": [] },
    "gitstatus_changed":         { "fg": "mediumorange",    "bg": "gray2", "attrs": [] },
    "gitstatus_untracked":       { "fg": "brightestorange", "bg": "gray2", "attrs": [] },
    "gitstatus_stashed":         { "fg": "darkblue",        "bg": "gray2", "attrs": [] },
    "gitstatus:divider":         { "fg": "gray8",           "bg": "gray2", "attrs": [] }

Then you can activate the Gitstatus segment by adding it to your segment configuration, for example in .config/powerline/themes/shell/default.json:

    "function": "powerline_gitstatus.gitstatus",
    "priority": 40

The Gitstatus segment will use the -C argument by default, but this requires git 1.8.5 or higher.

If you cannot meet that requirement, you'll have to disable the usage of -C. Do this by passing false to the use_dash_c argument, for example in .config/powerline/themes/shell/__main__.json:

"gitstatus": {
    "args": {
        "use_dash_c": false

Optionally, a tag description for the current branch may be displayed using the show_tag option. Valid values for this argument are:

  • last : shows the most recent tag
  • annotated : shows the most recent annotated tag
  • contains : shows the closest tag that comes after the current commit
  • exact : shows a tag only if it matches the current commit

You can enable this by passing one of these to the show_tag argument, for example in .config/powerline/themes/shell/__main__.json:

"gitstatus": {
    "args": {
        "show_tag": "exact"

Git is executed an additional time to find this tag, so it is disabled by default.

Note: before v1.3.0, the behavior when the value is True was last. As of v1.3.0 onwards, True behaves as exact.

Optionally the format in which Gitstatus shows information can be customized. This allows to use a different symbol or remove a fragment if desired. You can customize string formats for branch, tag, behind, ahead, staged, unmerged, changed, untracked and stash fragments with the following arguments in a theme configuration file, for example .config/powerline/themes/shell/__main__.json:

"gitstatus": {
    "args": { 
        "formats": {
            "branch": "\ue0a0 {}",
            "tag": " ★ {}",
            "behind": " ↓ {}",
            "ahead": " ↑ {}",
            "staged": " ● {}",
            "unmerged": " ✖ {}",
            "changed": " ✚ {}",
            "untracked": " … {}",
            "stashed": " ⚑ {}"

By default, when in detached head state (current revision is not a branch tip), Gitstatus shows a short commit hash in place of the branch name. This can be replaced with a description of the closest reachable ref using the detached_head_style argument, for example in .config/powerline/themes/shell/__main__.json:

"gitstatus": {
    "args": { 
        "detached_head_style": "ref"


Licensed under the MIT License.


A Powerline segment for showing the status of a Git working copy




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