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Git contribution layer for Spacemacs


Table of Contents


This layers adds extensive support for git.


New to Magit? Checkout the official intro.



To use this configuration layer, add it to your ~/.spacemacs. You will need to add git to the existing dotspacemacs-configuration-layers list in this file.

Magit status fullscreen

To display the magit status buffer in fullscreen set the variable git-magit-status-fullscreen to t in your dotspacemacs/user-init function.

(defun dotspacemacs/user-init ()
  (setq-default git-magit-status-fullscreen t))

Magit auto-complete

Magit auto-complete feature is enabled. For this feature to work best you have to setup your Git repository directory in your dotspacemacs/user-config function, this is the folder where you keep all your git-controlled projects (the path should end up with a / to respect Emacs conventions):

(setq magit-repository-directories '("~/repos/"))

For more information, see Magit-User-Manual#Status-buffer

Magit SVN plugin

For convenience the magit SVN plugin can be activated directly in the Git layer by setting the variable git-enable-magit-svn-plugin to t.

(defun dotspacemacs/user-init ()
  (setq-default git-enable-magit-svn-plugin t))

Global git commit mode

Spacemacs can be used as the $EDITOR (or $GIT_EDITOR) for editing git commits messages. To enable this you have to add the following line to your dotspacemacs/user-config:

(global-git-commit-mode t)


Of course if your OS does not ship with git (!) you’ll have to install it on your machine. You can download it from the download page.


Git-flow is a standardized branching pattern for git repositories with the aim of making things more manageable. While there are tools to assist with making this easier, these do nothing you couldn’t do manually.

Support requires installation of the git-flow extensions. Please reference their installation page for assistance.

Org integration

See the commentary section of the package here.

Working with Git

Git commands (start with g):

Key BindingDescription
SPC g >show submodule prompt
SPC g bopen a magit blame
SPC g f hshow file commits history
SPC g H cclear highlights
SPC g H hhighlight regions by age of commits
SPC g H thighlight regions by last updated time
SPC g Iopen helm-gitignore
SPC g sopen a magit status window
SPC g Sstage current file
SPC g mmagit dispatch popup
SPC g Mdisplay the last commit message of the current line
SPC g tlaunch the git time machine
SPC g Uunstage current file
  • Highlight by age of commit or last update time is provided by smeargle.
  • Git time machine is provided by git-timemachine.
  • Git last commit message per line is provided by git-messenger.


Spacemacs uses magit to manage Git repositories.

To open a status buffer, type in a buffer of a Git repository: SPC g s. The central key binding hub of Magit is available on SPC g m.

Spacemacs uses evil-magit for key bindings in magit buffers (unless your editing style is set to emacs, in which case you get the default magit bindings), which are the standard magit key bindings with some minimal changes to make them comfortable for evil users.

Here are the often used bindings inside a status buffer:

Key BindingDescription
$open command output buffer
c copen a commit message buffer
b bcheckout a branch
b ccreate a branch
f ffetch changes
F (r) upull tracked branch and rebase
jgoto next magit section
C-jnext visual line
kgoto previous magit section
C-kprevious visual line
l lopen log buffer
nnext search occurrence
Nprevious search occurrence
orevert item at point
P upush to tracked branch
P mpush to matching branch (e.g., upstream/develop to origin/develop)
son a file or hunk in a diff: stage the file or hunk
xdiscard changes
+on a hunk: increase hunk size
-on a hunk: decrease hunk size
Sstage all
TABon a file: expand/collapse diff
uon a staged file: unstage
Uunstage all staged files
v or Vselect multiple lines
z zstash changes

Staging lines

Magit allows you to stage specific lines by selecting them in a diff and hitting s to stage. Due to inconsistencies between Vim and Emacs editing styles, if you enter visual line state with V, you will stage one more line than intended. To work around this, you can use v instead (since Magit only stages whole lines, in any case).

Commit message editing buffer

In a commit message buffer press ​,​c (if dotspacemacs-major-mode-leader-key is ​,​) or C-c C-c to commit the changes with the entered message. Pressing ​,​a or C-c C-k will discard the commit message.

Key BindingDescription
hgo left
jgo down
kgo up
lgo right

Interactive rebase buffer

Key BindingDescription
c or ppick
jgo down
M-jmove line down
kgo up
M-kmove line up
d or xkill line

Quick guide for recurring use cases in Magit

  • Amend a commit:
    • l l to open log buffer
    • c a on the commit you want to amend
    • ​,​c or C-c C-c to submit the changes
  • Squash last commit:
    • l l to open log buffer
    • r e on the second to last commit, it opens the rebase buffer
    • j to put point on last commit
    • s to squash it
    • ​,​c or C-c C-c to continue to the commit message buffer
    • ​,​c or C-c C-c again when you have finished to edit the commit message
  • Force push a squashed commit:
    • in the status buffer you should see the new commit unpushed and the old commit unpulled
    • P -f P for force a push (beware usually it is not recommended to rewrite the history of a public repository, but if you are sure that you are the only one to work on a repository it is ok - i.e. in your fork).
  • Add upstream remote (the parent repository you have forked):
    • M to open the remote popup
    • a to add a remote, type the name (i.e. upstream) and the URL
  • Pull changes from upstream (the parent repository you have forked) and push:
    • F -r C-u F and choose upstream or the name you gave to it
    • P P to push the commit to origin


magit-gitflow provides git-flow commands in its own magit menu.

Key BindingDescription
%open magit-gitflow menu

Git time machine

git-timemachine allows to quickly browse the commits of the current buffer.

Key BindingDescription
SPC g tstart git timemachine and initiate transient-state
cshow current commit
nshow next commit
Nshow previous commit
pshow previous commit
qleave transient-state and git timemachine
Ycopy current commit hash

Git links to web services

These key bindings allow to quickly construct URLs pointing to a given commit or lines in a file hosted on Git web services like GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket…

Key BindingDescription
SPC g l con a commit hash, browse to the current file at this commit
SPC g l Con a commit hash, create link to the file at this commit and copy it
SPC g l lon a region, browse to file at current lines position
SPC g l Lon a region, create a link to the file highlighting the selected lines


  • You can use the universal argument SPC u to select a remote repository.
  • When the link is opened, the URL is also copied in the kill ring, you can override this behavior by setting the variable git-link-open-in-browser to nil.