Easily edit Git Commit messages in the current Atom pane 🌟 😏
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Want to use Atom's handy COMMIT_EDITMSG syntax highlighting? πŸ™‹

Tired of waiting on Atom to open a new window with the --wait option? βŒ›οΈ 😴

Together with sister Atom package git-edit-atom, this Go script allows Git commit files to be conveniently edited in the current editor pane... avoiding the launch of another instance of Atom! 🌟 😏

A screenshot of git-edit-atom and git-commit-atom in action together



There are two steps to the installation process:

  • installing the Go script, and
  • configuring Git to use the Go script.

There are two ways to install the Go script. If you have Go installed on your machine (want it? see here), you can use the following commands to install from source.

go get github.com/mmore500/git-commit-atom
go install github.com/mmore500/git-commit-atom

If your are installing from source, be sure your GOBIN is included in your PATH! If your PATH isn't already properly configured, try adding the following lines to your .bash_profile.

export GOPATH=$HOME/go
export GOBIN=$GOPATH/bin
export PATH=$PATH:$GOPATH/bin

If you don't want to build from source, you can find pre-built executable binaries here. All you have to do is

  • download zipped folder appropriate for your operating system and architecture,
  • unzip it, and
  • toss the executable into a bin on your PATH.

To configure Git to use the Go script, use the following command at your terminal.

git config --global core.editor "git-commit-atom"

If you have preexisting Git repositories, you might have to use

git config core.editor "git-commit-atom"

on them.


Once git-commit-atom is configured as Git's editor, Git COMMIT_EDITMSG, TAG_EDITMSG, MERGE_MSG, git-rebase-todo, and .diff files will open in the current pane of Atom.

To complete the message editing process simply close the tab (cmd-w is convenient) if the Atom package git-edit-atom is installed or, if not, enter quit or done at the terminal.


This project has two components: a standalone Go script that acts as the editor called by Git during the commit process and the Atom package git-edit-atom.

When the standalone Go script is activated, it opens the COMMIT_EDITMSG file in the current Atom pane. When that file is closed, Atom appends a "magic marker" (## ATOM EDIT COMPLETE##) to the end of the COMMIT_EDITMSG file. The Go script, which is listening to the end of the COMMIT_EDITMSG file, recognizes the "magic marker" and terminates, ending the commit edit session.

In addition, the Go script listens for user input at the terminal. The commit session can also be ended by entering quit or done. (This functionality allows the standalone script to function in some capacity without the Atom package in place).

This project is directly inspired by AJ Foster's git-commit-atom.sh, presented on his personal blog. It is hoped that this implementation in Go and as an Atom package will yield greater portability and reliability.