Git

Best Graphical Version Control Apps for Linux

This article will list dedicated version control apps for Linux. These GUI apps allow you to manage online and offline source code repositories and help you keep track of commits and file changes within the source code directory. Note that the term “version control” is sometimes used interchangeably with another term called “revision control”. Even though there is a slight difference between both these terms, they both provide a way to track and revert file changes. This article will cover graphical clients that support one or both these types.

Gitg

Gitg is a graphical utility that can be used to manage your “git” repositories. Part of the official GNOME-3 application stack, Gitg can be used to browse sources of git repositories, view history and commits, explore multiple branches, view file diff, view files in a tree layout, push commits, search commits, drag and drop files and so on.

To install Gitg in Ubuntu, use the command specified below:

$ sudo apt install gitg

You can install Gitg from the official repositories in other Linux distributions. Source code can be browsed from here. A flatpak build is available here.

RabbitVCS

RabbitVCS is a collection of graphical utilities that provides extensions for managing source code repositories from the file manager available in your Linux system. It currently supports git and svn version control systems and it allows you to explore repository history as well make fresh commits. RabbitVCS doesn’t have a main application window that can be launched through the main application menu. Everything action is executed by right clicking on the file manager and navigating through menus and sub-menus.

To install RabbitVCS in Ubuntu, use the command specified below:

$ sudo apt install rabbitvcs-core

You can install RabbitVCS from the official repositories in other Linux distributions. Further instructions are available here.

In addition to the above command, you need to install file manager specific plugins for the RabbitVCS to work. In Ubuntu, you can run one of these two commands to install compatible plugins:

$ sudo apt install rabbitvcs-nautilus
$ sudo apt install rabbitvcs-thunar

You can search for these plugins in official repositories of other Linux distributions. You can also follow installation instructions available here to install these plugins in all major Linux distributions including Ubuntu. Plugins are available for Nautilus, Thunar, Nemo and Caja file managers.

Giggle

Giggle is another graphical client developed by the GNOME team that can be used to manage git repositories. It seems to be on feature parity with Gitg client mentioned above. You can use it to browse and visualize commit history as well as push new commits.

To install Giggle in Ubuntu, use the command specified below:

$ sudo apt install giggle

You can install Giggle from the official repositories in other Linux distributions. You can also compile executable binaries by getting the source code available here.

TortoiseHg

TortoiseHg is a graphical frontend for managing repositories using the mercurial revision control system. It can be used to browse source code files, filter and sort files, push commits, create changelog, view file diff, rollback files, and make fresh commits using an interactive commit tool.

To install TortoiseHg in Ubuntu, use the command specified below:

$ sudo apt install tortoisehg

You can install TortoiseHg from the official repositories in other Linux distributions. You can also get additional packages and compile executable binaries by getting source code available here.

TortoiseHg also comes with plugins for Caja and Nautilus file manager, you install them using the two command specified below:

$ sudo apt install tortoisehg-nautilus
$ sudo apt install tortoisehg-caja

Cervisia

Cervisia is a graphical utility that allows you to manage repositories using CVS version control system. Developed by the KDE team, Cervisia can be used to browse files, resolve conflicts, browse logs, create changelog, view history and so on.

(image source)

To install Cervisia in Ubuntu, use the command specified below:

$ sudo apt install cervisia

You can install Cervisia from the official repositories in other Linux distributions. You can also get additional packages and compile executable binaries by getting source code available here. A snap package is available here.

Git Cola

Git Cola is a graphical frontend for managing git repositories. You can use it to view files, view commit history using its detailed visualizer, view diff, revert commits, push fresh commits, search commits and so on.

To install Git Cola in Ubuntu, use the command specified below:

$ sudo apt install git-cola

You can install Git Cola from the official repositories in other Linux distributions. You can also get additional packages and compile executable binaries by getting source code available here.

Qgit

Qgit is a graphical client for managing source code repositories using the git version control system. You can use it to push commits, create and apply patches, view file diff, compare revisions, view file history, view annotations, manage multiple branches, drag and drop files and so on.

To install Qgit in Ubuntu, use the command specified below:

$ sudo apt install qgit

You can install Qgit from the official repositories in other Linux distributions. You can also compile executable binaries by getting source code available here.

Conclusion

These are some of the most useful graphical clients available for various version control systems available out there. Not many graphical clients are available as command line usage is more prevalent on Linux as compared to other operating systems. “GitHub”, one of the most popular git repository hosting services, provides dedicated desktop apps for Windows and macOS but not for Linux.

About the author

Nitesh Kumar

I am a freelancer software developer and content writer who loves Linux, open source software and the free software community.