Johannes Schindelin edited this page Apr 21, 2014 · 4 revisions

Table of Contents

What is msysGit?

msysGit is the development environment to compile Git for Windows. It is complete, in the sense that you just need to install msysGit, and then you can build Git. Without installing any 3rd-party software.

msysGit is not Git for Windows; that is an installer which installs Git -- and only Git.

It is easy to see the difference: the installers for Git have the prefix Git-, the msysGit installers have the prefix msysGit-. Another telltale is that the msysGit installers come in two flavors: fullinstall and netinstall. Further, msysGit does not install to C:\Program Files by default. But msysGit comes with gcc, the GNU C Compiler.

How to install it

Download the net installer. Run it. It will download roughly 170MB, including our fork of upstream Git, and then compile & install it.

Further steps

Please see WorkingOnMsysGit.

If netinstaller fails for you

Note: this is not the preferred way, as it does not set up the repositories for msysGit and git, and does not fetch the histories from However, some people cannot freely access the internet, not even with an HTTP proxy. If this applies to you, this is the installer we intended for you. In the olden days of this project, it was the only available package, "msysGit", originally not even an installer, but a 48MB zip file!

  1. Get msysGit-fullinstall from our obsolete Google Code page.
  2. Run it, or if you are uncomfortable running executables, get 7-Zip and extract it. (Sidenote: If you are still stuck with WinZip and its nagging screen, why don't you change? 7-Zip can do everything WinZip can, and more, and it is OpenSource, and there is no nagging screen, and it can compress better, and...)
  3. Extract anywhere you like (although it was only really tested on C:\msysgit\)
  4. Go into that directory and double click on msys.bat
  5. It will compile & install git (only in msysGit, no need to fear), then welcomes you with a note that all is ready.
If you installed using the fullinstaller many directories will be empty - you will need to compile the source code. To compile it as if you had cloned the repositories, please initialize msysGit like this:

This will initialize a git repository in /.git, and update your complete msysGit to the current version.

How to restart msysGit

So you installed msysGit, but closed the window, and cannot find a way to restart it? No need to fear, just execute "msys.bat" in the directory you installed to.

To make it more convenient, you can install a QuickLaunch shortcut with "/share/msysGit/add-shortcut.tcl".

How to remake the installer

  1. Inside MSys, run the script like this: "/share/msysGit-fullinstall/ VERSION"
  2. The result will be in your home directory.
See also /share/WinGit/HowToRelease.txt

How to keep up-to-date

Please refer to UpdatingMSysGit.