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A Git command line interface to GitHub

Debian package Ubuntu package


git hub is a simple command line interface to GitHub, enabling most useful GitHub tasks (like creating and listing pull request or issues) to be accessed directly through the Git command line.

Although probably the most outstanding feature (and the one that motivated the creation of this tool) is the pull rebase command, which is the rebasing version of the GitHub Merge (TM) button. This enables an easy workflow that doesn't involve thousands of merges which makes the repository history unreadable.

Another unique feature is the ability to transform an issue into a pull request by attaching commits to it (this is something offered by the GitHub API but not by the web interface).


Here are some usage examples, for more information about all the supported command an options, please refer to the man page using git hub --help or looking at the online version (this is for the latest development snapshot though).

One time global setup to get the credentials

To use this tool you most likely will need a GitHub PAT (personal access token). If you don't have one you regularly use, you can create a new one (check GitHub docs if you need more help).

Make sure your PAT has at least repo and user scope.

Then you can use git hub setup to save it.

$ git hub setup --global --user octocat

You need to use a GitHub Personal Access Token to do almost anything useful.
To create one you can go to:
More help at:

GitHub token: ******
Saved git config hub.username
Saved git config hub.oauthtoken

You can revoke this credentials at any time in the GitHub Applications Settings page.

Clone (and fork) a project

$ git hub clone -t sociomantic-tsunami/git-hub
Forking sociomantic-tsunami/git-hub to octocat/git-hub
Cloning to git-hub
Fetching from fork (

The fork will happen only if you haven't fork the project before, of course. And we are using the triangular workflow option (-t / --triangular), so we can pull from the parent repo but push to our fork by default.

Using a pre-existing cloned repository

$ git config hub.upstream sociomantic-tsunami/git-hub

This sets the master GitHub project. It's where we query for issues and pull requests and where we create new pull requests, etc.

This is only necessary if you didn't clone your repository using git hub clone and is a one time only setup step.

List issues

$ git hub issue list
[3] pull: Use the tracking branch as default base branch (leandro-lucarella-sociomantic)
[1] bash-completion: Complete with IDs only when is appropriate according to command line arguments (leandro-lucarella-sociomantic)

Update an issue

$ git hub issue update --label important --label question \
      -m 'New Title' --assign octocat --open --milestone v0.5 1
[1] New Title (leandro-lucarella-sociomantic)

Create a new pull request

$ git hub pull new -b experimental -c mypull
Pushing master to mypull in myfork
[4] Some pull request (octocat)

This creates a pull request against the upstream branch experimental using the current HEAD, but creating a new topic branch called mypull to store the actual pull request (assuming our HEAD is in the branch master).

Attach code to an existing issue

$ git hub pull attach -b experimental -c mypull 1
Pushing master to mypull in myfork
[1] Some issue (octocat)

Same as before, but this time attach the commits to issue 2 (effectively converting the issue into a pull request).

Rebase a pull request

$ git hub pull rebase 4
Fetching mypull from
Rebasing to master in
Pushing results to master in
[4] Some pull request (octocat)

If the rebase fails, you can use git hub pull rebase --continue as you would do with a normal rebase.


You can get this tool from the GitHub project. If you want to grab a release, please remember to visit the Release section.



  • Python 3.x
  • Git >= 1.7.7 (if you use Ubuntu you can easily get the latest Git version using the Git stable PPA)
  • Docutils (>= 0.8, although it might work with older versions too, only needed to build the man page)
  • FPM (>= 1.0.1, although it might work with older versions too, only needed to build the Debian package)


Only the man page and bash completion script need to be built. Type make to build them.

Alternatively, you can build a Debian/Ubuntu package. Use make deb for that.


If you built the Debian/Ubuntu package, you can just install the package (dpkg -i ../git-hub_VER_all.deb).

Otherwise you can type make install to install the tool, man page, bash completion and VIM ftdetect plugin (by default in /usr/local, but you can pick a different location by passing the prefix variable to make (for example make install prefix=/usr). To pick a location for the completion scripts (by default in /etc), use the sysconfdir variable.

If Docutils is installed using pip the environment variable RST2MAN should be set to

The installation locations might be too specific for Debian/Ubuntu though. Please report any failed installation attempts.

To enjoy the bash completion you need to re-login (or re-load the /etc/bash_completion script).

To have syntax highlight in VIM when editing git-hub messages, you need to activate the ftdetect plugin by copying or symbolic-linking it to ~/.vim/ftdetect/githubmsg.vim:

mkdir -p ~/.vim/ftdetect
ln -s $(prefix)/share/vim/addons/githubmsg.vim ~/.vim/ftdetect/
# or if you are copying from the sources:
# ln -s ftdetect.vim ~/.vim/ftdetect/githubmsg.vim

Similar Projects

We explored other alternatives before starting this project, but none of these tools do (or are targeted) at what we needed. But here are the ones we found, in case they are a better fit for you:

  • hub: Is the official tool, but it completely replaces the Git command, adding special syntax for official git commands.
  • gh: Another official tool, that tries to bring all the GitHub UI features but with a CLI interface. It works side-by-side with git.
  • ghi: This only handle issues. It seems a bit abandoned (at the time of writing it was last updated in October 2016).
  • git-spindle: This tool was discovered after we started and published this project. It covers similar ground, but doesn't offer rebase capabilities (this, of course, could have been implemented as an extension). Sadly, it also extends the Git command-line adding the hub command, which can introduce a lot of confusion to users. We might try to merge our code into that project eventually, if there is interest.


If you want to contact us, either because you are a user and have questions, or because you want to contribute to the project, you can subscribe to the mailing list.

Subscription happens automatically (after confirmation) the first time you write to: (this first e-mail will be dropped).

You can always visit the mailing list archives to check if your questions were already answered in the past :)

You can also use GMANE to get a better list archive (both threaded and blog-like interfaces available) or to read the list using NNTP.

If you want to report a bug, just create an issue please (if you use this tool I'm sure you already have a GitHub account ;).