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qgit, a git GUI viewer

With qgit you will be able to browse revisions history, view patch content and changed files, graphically following different development branches.

Bugs or feature requests should be sent to the mailing list.

Main features

  • View revisions, diffs, files history, files annotation, archive tree.

  • Commit changes visually cherry picking modified files.

  • Apply or save patch series from selected commits, drag and drop commits between two instances of qgit.

  • Associate commands sequences, scripts and anything else executable to a custom action. Actions can be run from menu and corresponding output is grabbed by a terminal window.

  • qgit implements a GUI for the most common StGIT commands like push/pop and apply/save patches. You can also create new patches or refresh current top one using the same semantics of git commit, i.e. cherry picking single modified files.


You need Qt developer libraries, version 5.11.0 or later, already installed. Be sure compiler, qmake (Qt5 version) and Qt5 bin tools are in path.

Correct qmake for Qt5 (/usr/lib/qt5/bin/qmake) must be called, in case also Qt4 version is in path the former must be explicitly invoked.

To compile, install and start qgit:

  • unpack the released tar file or clone from a git public archive

  • (Windows only) open src/ and set the proper GIT_EXEC_DIR value

  • generate Makefiles (only the first time) Unix/Linux and Windows: qmake Mac Os X: qmake -spec macx-clang

  • (Windows only with VC2008 IDE) open qgit.sln solution file

  • make

  • make install

  • (Windows only) run start_qgit.bat to start the application. You can also create a a desktop icon linked to start_qgit.bat and double click on it.

Installation directory is $HOME/bin under Linux and the directory of git exe files under Windows.

You need to run qmake only the first time to generate Makefile files, then you simply call make and make install. You may need to run qmake again only after patches that modify or src/ files or in case of strange compile errors.

Remember to manually delete all Makefile* files in src/ directory before to start qmake

Performance tweaks

A git log command is used to load the repository at startup or when refreshing. This is an highly performance critical task. Default method is based on a temporary file as data exchange facility. This is the fastest on Linux with a tmpfs filesystem mounted under /tmp, as is common with most distributions. In case of portability issues it is possible to fallback on a standard QProcess based interface. To do this uncomment USE_QPROCESS define in src/dataloader.h before to compile.

Command line arguments

Run qgit from a git working directory, command line arguments are filtered by git log. Some examples:

qgit --no-merges
qgit v2.6.18.. include/scsi drivers/scsi
qgit --since="2 weeks ago" -- kernel/
qgit -r --name-status release..test

If qgit is launched without arguments or if you change archive with open menu, a dialog for range select is shown. You can select top and bottom rev tags from the list or paste a specific revision. Values are passed to git log to narrow data loading to chosen revisions.

As a special command-line argument, --view-file foo or --view-file=foo is not passed to git log, but opens the file foo in the QGit file viewer, showing the history and the annotated (blame) view for the file.

Main view

You can navigate through logs, file names, file history, archive tree. All the views will be updated accordingly.

Copy/paste is supported on all fields. Copy (CTRL+C) is supported on all views.

All the references found recursively under .git/refs/ directory are highlighted according to their type: current branch(HEAD), branch, tag, other. Reference names and any associated messages can be viewed in status bar when a tagged revision is selected.

When you right click on main view a context sensitive pop-up menu is shows available commands and a quick jump tag list.

Key bindings


Go to revisions list page


Go to patch page


Go to file page


Go to next/previous page


Toggle tree view


Toggle view of secondary panes


Toggle view of revision header


Move to first revision


Move to last revision


Move up one revision in main view (global scope)

n, k

Move down one revision in main view (global scope)


Move to previous highlighted line


Move to next highlighted line


Go back in history list


Go forward in history list


Increase font size


Decrease font size

<Delete>, b

Scroll content up one page


Scroll content up one page


Scroll content down one page


Scroll content up 18 lines


Scroll content down 18 lines

Directory tree

From menu or toolbar button it is possible to show a side panel with tree view of repository files and directories.

Double clicking on a file opens file annotation window. With filter by tree button it is possible to compress revision list to show only selected files/directories in tree view.

Tree view supports multi-selection. When you right click on a file on tree view a context sensitive pop-up menu is shows with available commands.

Working directory changes

When Check working dir flag is set, as example from main view context pop-up menu, a pseudo-revision is shown and highlighted at the top of the list. Highlight and revision name reflect current working directory status: Nothing to commit or Working directory changes respectively.

To check for working directory modified files set corresponding preference in Edit→Settings→'Working dir'. QGit checks for possible new files added in working directory using ignoring rules according to git ls-files specifications, see menu Edit→Settings→'Working dir'.

If you don’t need to see modified files in working dir, disable corresponding setting and start-up time will be shorter.
Lane info

Selecting a lane with mouse right button will display a pop-up with the list of children and parent. Select one and you jump to it.

Filter / Highlight

Use the combo box to select where you want to filter or highlight on. Currently supported fields are: log header, log message, revision author, revision SHA1, file name and patch content.

Write a filter string, press filter button and the view will update showing only commits that contain the filter string, case insensitive. Toggle filter button to release the filter.

Alternatively press the magnifying glass button, in this case matched lines will be highlighted, you can use <Shift-Up> and <Shift-Down> keys to browse them. Toggle the button to remove the highlighting.

In case of patch content regexp filtering, the given string is interpreted as a POSIX regular expression, not as a simple substring.
Very useful to quick retrieve a sha writing only first 3-4 digits and filtering / highlighting on revision sha. The sha value can then be copied from SHA field.
It is possible to insert an abbreviated sha directly in the SHA line edit at the top right of the window. After pressing enter this will trigger an higlighting of the matched revisions. It is a kind of shortcut of the previous tip.
Save patch series

After mouse selecting the chosen revisions (use standard CTRL+left click) for single select or SHIFT+left click for range select), press Save Patch button or use file menu and a dialog will let you choose patches destination directory. Then git format-patch-script will be called and patches created. It is possible to specify additional options with Edit→Settings menu.

Apply patch

This menu entry is complementary to save patch and it’s an interface to git am.

Drag and drop

It is possible to drag some selected revs from one instance of qgit to another open on a different archive. In this case git format-patch is used in the dragging archive to create temporary patches imported in the dropping archive by git am.

Make branch

Select a revision and open Edit→'Make Branch' or use right click context pop-up menu. A dialog will be shown asking for a branch name.

Make tag

Select a revision and open Edit→'Make Tag' or use right click context pop-up menu. Two dialogs will be shown, the first asking for a tag name, the second for a tag message (not mandatory). If a non empty message is written, this will be saved together with the tag. Tags and tag messages can be viewed in status bar when a tagged revision is selected.

Delete tag

Select a tagged revision and open Edit→'Delete Tag' or use right click context pop-up menu. After confirmation the selected revision will be untagged.

Save file

Select a file from tree or file list and open File→'Save file as' or use the tree view context sensitive pop-up menu (right click), a dialog will be shown asking for a file name (default to current) and destination directory. Input a valid name, press OK and the file will be saved.

Commit changes

When enabled with Edit→Settings→'Working dir'→'Diff against working dir' and there is something committable, a special highlighted first revision is shown, with the status of the archive and the possible pending stuff. From Edit→Commit it is then possible to invoke the commit dialog.

In commit dialog select the files to commit or, simply, to sync with index (call git update-index on them). A proper commit message may be entered and, after confirmation, changes are committed and a new revision is created.

It is also possible to amend last commit. The Edit→Amend commit opens the same dialog, but changes are added to the head commit instead of creating new commit.

The core commit function is performed by git commit.

It is possible to use a template for commit message, use Edit→Settings→Commit to define template file path.

Patch viewer

To open patch tab use context menu, double click on a revision or file in main view or select View→'View patch' menu (CTRL+P). The patch shown is the diff of current selected commit against:

  • Parent (default)

  • HEAD

  • Selected SHA or reference name

In the last case SHA is chosen by writing or pasting a tree-ish or a reference names in the corresponding field and pressing return. You get the same result also with a CTRL+right click on a revision in main list. Selected target will be highlighted. CTRL+right click again on the highlighted revision to release the filter.

With the filter button at the right of the tool bar it is possible to toggle the display of removed code lines. This can be useful to easy reading of the patch.

External diff tool

From View→External diff it is possible to invoke an external diff tool, as example to view the diffs in a two vertical tiled windows.

External diff tool shows the diffs between two files. First file is the current selected file of current revision. Second file is the same file of the parent revision or of a specific revision if diff to sha feature is enabled (diff target is highlighted, see above).

Default external viewer is kompare, but it is possible to set a preferred one from Edit→Settings→External Diff Tool.

File viewer

It is possible to view file contents of any file at any revision time in history.

File list panel

In the bottom right of main view a list of files modified by current revision is shown. Selecting a file name will update the patch view to center on the file. File names colors use the following convention

  • black for modified files

  • green for new files

  • red for removed files

  • dark blue for renamed/copied files

Merge files

In case of merges the groups of files corresponding to each merge parent are separated by two empty lines.

In case of merges you can chose between to see all the merge files or only the interesting ones (default), i.e. the files modified by more then one merge parent.

File content

To view file content double click on a file name in tree view, or use context menu in file list or select View→'View file' menu (CTRL+A).

In file view page will be shown current revision’s file content and file history.

It is possible to copy to the clipboard the selected content with CTRL+C or with the corresponding button.

File annotations

On opening or updating file viewer, file history will be retrieved from archive together with file content. Annotations are then calculated in background and the view is updated when ready.

Double clicking on an annotation index number will update history list to point to corresponding revision.

Hovering the mouse over an annotation index will show a tool tip with the corresponding revision description.

File content will change too, to show new selected revision file. To keep the same view content after double clicking, probably what you want, just pin it with Pin view check button. Next to the check button there is a spinbox to show/select the current revision number.

Double click on history list entry to update main, patch and tree views to corresponding revision.

Code region filter

When annotation info is available the filter button is enabled and it is possible to mouse select a region of file content. Then, when pressing the filter button, only revisions that modify the selected region will be visible. Selected code region is highlighted and a shrunken history is shown. Filter button is a toggle button, so just press it again to release the filter.

Syntax highlighter

If GNU Source-highlight ( is installed and in PATH then it is possible to toggle source code highlight pressing the Color text tool button. Please refer to Source-highlight site for the list of supported languages and additional documentation.


Actions can be added/removed using a dedicated dialog invoked from Actions→Setup actions…​ menu. Actions can be activated clicking on their name from the Actions menu.

Each action can be associated to a list of any type of git or shell commands or to an external script.

While an action is running a terminal window is shown to display the corresponding output.

An action can also ask for command line arguments before to run so to allow for maximum flexibility.

command line arguments are always appended to the first command only. This lets you define an action like:
git fetch
git merge

And if you type origin when prompted, the action executed will be:

git fetch origin
git merge

If you need a more complex arguments passing with a shell like notation define a script and associate your action to it.

Integration with StGIT

When a StGIT stack is found on top of a git archive, qgit transparently handles the added information.

Integration with StGIT is implemented both by new and modified functions.

New functions are automatically activated:
  • Visualization of applied and unapplied patches in main view.

  • Interface to push/pop patches by a mouse right click on selected items. Push supports also multi-selection.

Existing functions change behavior:
  • Amend commit dialog refreshes top stack patch with modified files instead of amending the commit. It is appropriately renamed in the menu.

  • Commit dialog creates a new patch on the top of the stack filled with modified working directory content instead of commit a new revision to git repository.

  • Apply patch changes to interface StGIT import and fold commands instead of applying patch directly on the git repository.