Native Node bindings to Git.
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Node bindings to the libgit2 project.

Linux OS X Windows Dependencies

Stable: 0.2.7

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Maintained by

Tim Branyen @tbranyen, John Haley @johnhaley81, Max Korp @maxkorp, and Steve Smith @orderedlist with help from tons of awesome contributors!

Alumni Maintainers

Michael Robinson @codeofinterest, and Nick Kallen @nk

API Documentation.

Getting started.

NodeGit will work on most systems out-of-the-box without any native dependencies.

npm install nodegit

If you encounter problems while installing, you should try the Building from source instructions below.

Building from source.

If you wish to help contribute to NodeGit it is useful to build locally.

# Fetch this project.
git clone git://

# Enter the repository.
cd nodegit

# Install all dependencies, run the code generation scripts, and build.
npm install

If you encounter errors, you most likely have not configured the dependencies correctly.

Installing dependencies:

Mac OS X


Using APT in Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install build-essential

Using Pacman in Arch Linux:

sudo pacman -S base-devel

Note that GCC/G++ 4.7+ are required, as the library makes use of some c++11 std calls.


You may have to add a build flag to the installation process to successfully install.
Try first without, if the build fails, try again with the flag.

Allegedly the order in which you install Visual Studio could trigger this error.

npm install nodegit --msvs_version=2013
# Or whatever version you've installed.
A note on environment variables in Windows

In many of the npm scripts (and examples above), things are run like BUILD_ONLY=true npm install. This sets the BUILD_ONLY environment variable to true for the duration of that command. This doesn't work in windows, however there is a solution. You can use cmd to call a command inside of cmd (very meta) with the variable set, and it only lasts for the duration of the inner call to cmd. So for the above example, you would run cmd /C "set BUILD_ONLY=true && npm install". See here for more details: SuperUser.

Debug build:

In order to track down possible bugs, you will need a debug buid so you can get a backtrace with gdb or lldb.

If you're building for the first time, run npm run installDebug (or BUILD_ONLY=true npm link)

Note that you should run rm -rf build/Release (or rd /s /q build/Release in Windows) to make sure a release build doesn't get loaded instead of the debug build.

If you're doing a subsequent rebuild of NodeGit in debug, the clean function will cause a lot of extraneous recompilation of things you probably didn't change (like the vendor dependencies). If you need to regenerate the C++ files and recompile you can run npm run rebuildDebug, or npm run recompileDebug if you've manually updated the C++ files and don't want them to regenerate.

API examples.

Cloning a repository and reading a file:

var clone = require("./").Clone.clone;

// Clone a given repository into a specific folder.
clone("", "tmp", null)
  // Look up this known commit.
  .then(function(repo) {
    // Use a known commit sha from this repository.
    return repo.getCommit("59b20b8d5c6ff8d09518454d4dd8b7b30f095ab5");
  // Look up a specific file within that commit.
  .then(function(commit) {
    return commit.getEntry("");
  // Get the blob contents from the file.
  .then(function(entry) {
    // Patch the blob to contain a reference to the entry.
    return entry.getBlob().then(function(blob) {
      blob.entry = entry;
      return blob;
  // Display information about the blob.
  .then(function(blob) {
    // Show the name, sha, and filesize in byes.
    console.log( + blob.entry.sha() + blob.size() + "b");

    // Show a spacer.
    console.log(Array(72).join("=") + "\n\n");

    // Show the entire file.
  .catch(function(err) { console.log(err); });

Emulating git log:

var open = require("nodegit");

// Open the repository directory.
  // Open the master branch.
  .then(function(repo) {
    return repo.getMasterCommit();
  // Display information about commits on master.
  .then(function(firstCommitOnMaster) {
    // Create a new history event emitter.
    var history = firstCommitOnMaster.history();

    // Create a counter to only show up to 9 entries.
    var count = 0;

    // Listen for commit events from the history.
    history.on("commit", function(commit) {
      // Disregard commits past 9.
      if (++count >= 9) {

      // Show the commit sha.
      console.log("commit " + commit.sha());

      // Store the author object.
      var author =;

      // Display author information.
      console.log("Author:\t" + + " <", + ">");

      // Show the commit date.
      console.log("Date:\t" +;

      // Give some space and show the message.
      console.log("\n    " + commit.message());

    // Start emitting events.

For more examples, check the examples/ folder.

Unit tests.

You will need to build locally before running the tests. See above.

npm test

Migrating from old versions.

The bump from 0.1.4 to 0.2.0 was a big one. Many things changed, see here:

This update is wholly and entirely a breaking one, and older versions won't be maintained. For the purpose of migration, perhaps the biggest point to make is that async methods can now use promises, rather than just taking callbacks. Additionally, lots of method and property names have changed.

nw.js (Node-Webkit)

Native compilation for nw.js

A common issue is with NodeGit not functioning properly inside of nw.js applications. Because NodeGit is a native module, it has to be rebuilt for node-webkit using nw-gyp. By default, NodeGit will look in the root package's package.json for an engines property, and within look for a nw.js property (or a node-webkit if the prior isn't found) that holds a specific version of nw.js. The value of this property is what will get passed as the --target argument to nw-gyp configure.

Version incompatibility

Prior to version 0.2.6, NodeGit used nan v1.4.3. As of 0.2.6, NodeGit uses nan v1.5.1 to provide support for io.js. Unfortunately, this breaks some nw.js compatibility. With nw.js 0.12+, the name was changed to nw.js from node-webkit. The alpha currently still breaks with NodeGit due to the nan update, but should be fixed in the final v0.12.0 release. Åpplications using previous versions of node webkit have 2 options:

  1. Use an older version (v0.2.4 or earlier) of NodeGit
  2. Use npm shrinkwrap to force NodeGit to use nan v1.4.3. Since the binary always recompiles when being used with nw.js, you shouldn't have to do anything else to make sure it works. As of NodeGit v0.2.6, the change to nan v1.4.3 doesn't cause any problems.

Currently, support for nw.js is limited, although we intend to support it better in the future.