📷 git-based selfies for software developers
Ruby Cucumber
Latest commit dbfe059 Oct 14, 2016 @matthutchinson matthutchinson committed on GitHub Merge pull request #323 from mroth/Ruxton-output_image_to_term
Outputs image to terminals that support inline images


lolcommits (git + webcam = lol)

lolcommits takes a snapshot with your webcam every time you git commit code, and archives a lolcat style image with it. Git blame has never been so much fun.

By default, the lol images are stored by a Github style short SHA in a ~/.lolcommits directory created for you.

Gem Version Build Status Dependency Status CodeClimate Status Coverage Status

Sample images

Please add your own lolcommit! Add to the People Using Lolcommits page on our wiki.



Mac OS X

You'll need ImageMagick installed. Homebrew makes this easy. Simply do:

brew install imagemagick

Then install the gem with:

[sudo] gem install lolcommits

If you're using RVM (or rbenv), you can/should probably omit the sudo, but the default MacOSX Ruby install is dumb and requires it.

If Boxen is your thing, try this.

Lolcommits v0.7.0 was the last release to support Ruby < 1.9.3. If you'd like to use this gem on older rubies, install it with:

[sudo] gem install lolcommits --version 0.7.0


Install dependencies using your package manager of choice, for example in Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install mplayer imagemagick libmagickwand-dev

For Ubuntu 14.04 or newer, you need to manually install ffmpeg since it no longer ships with the default Ubuntu sources. Downloads for ffmpeg

Then install the gem with:

gem install lolcommits

For more details, see Installing on Linux.

Windows - here be dragons!

It all works but you'll need some more detailed instructions to get the dependencies installed. See the wiki page for Installing on Windows.


Enabling and basic usage

From within any git repository, simply do a lolcommits --enable. From that point on, any git commit will automatically trigger a lolcommit capture! All lolcommits are stored in ~/.lolcommits by default, placed in a subdirectory by project name, and with a filename matching the commit hash.

You can also enable lolcommits across all your local git repos. Follow these steps to achieve this using git init and the init.templatedir setting.

Don't worry about it too much, half the fun of lolcommits is forgetting it's installed!

Other commands

Ok, if you insist... Since you know about --enable, common sense suggests there is also a repository specific --disable, hopefully you can guess what that does. Other handy common commands include --last, which will open for display your most recent lolcommit image, or --browse, which pops open the directory containing all the lolcommit images for your current repository. You can always do --help for a full list of available commands.

NOTE: Any extra arguments you pass with the --enable command are auto-appended to the git-commit capture command. For example;

lolcommits --enable --delay=5 --animate=4 --fork

Will configure capturing of an animated gif (4 secs) after a 5 sec delay in a forked process. See the section below for more capture configuration variables.

Capture configuration variables

lolcommits has some capture options for additional lulz. You can enable these via environment variables like so;

  • LOLCOMMITS_DEVICE set a webcam device - mac and linux only
  • LOLCOMMITS_ANIMATE (in seconds) set time for capturing an animated gif - requires ffmpeg
  • LOLCOMMITS_DELAY (in seconds) set delay persistently (for slow webcams to warmup)
  • LOLCOMMITS_FORK fork lolcommit runner (capture command forks to a new process, speedily returning you to your terminal)
  • LOLCOMMITS_STEALTH disable notification messages at commit time
  • LOLCOMMITS_DIR set the output directory used for all repositories (defaults to ~/.lolcommits)

Or they can be set via the following arguments in the capture command (located in your repository's .git/hooks/post-commit file).

  • --device=DEVICE or -d DEVICE
  • --animate=SECONDS or -a SECONDS
  • --delay=SECONDS or -w SECONDS
  • --fork
  • --stealth

You can configure lolcommits to adjust the text positions, font styles (type, size, color etc.) or add a transparent overlay to your images. Simply configure the default loltext plugin with this command:

lolcommits --config -p loltext

To find out more, read about the loltext options.

You can use lolcommits --devices to list all attached video devices available for capturing. Read how to configure commit capturing for more details.

Animated Gif Capturing

Animated gifs can take a while to generate (depending on the number of seconds you capture and the capabilities of your machine). ffmpeg is required and can be installed like so;

To enable, just set the LOLCOMMITS_ANIMATE environment variable with the number of seconds to capture. Like regular image captures you can use the env variables LOLCOMMITS_DEVICE and LOLCOMMITS_DELAY to change the capture device or delay time (seconds) before capturing.

If you find capturing an animated gif takes too long, try setting the LOLCOMMITS_FORK=true env variable. Animated gif captures are currently NOT supported on Windows.

Example animated lolcommit


A growing number of plugins are now available allowing you to transform or share your lolcommits with others. The default plugin simply appends your commit message and sha to the captured image. Others can auto post to Twitter, Tumblr (and other services), or even translate your commit messages to lolspeak. They can be easily enabled, configured or disabled with our config command:

lolcommits --config

Check them out on our plugins page.


Try our trouble-shooting FAQ, or take a read through our wiki for more information. If you think something is broken or missing, raise a GitHub issue (and please take a little time to check if we haven't already addressed it).


To watch your face as it decays while you program, you can create a quick mpeg of all your lolcommits snapshots (if you have imagemagick and ffmpeg installed):

convert `find . -type f -name "*.jpg" -print0 | xargs -0 ls -tlr | awk '{print $9}'` timelapse.mpeg