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The 4 Best Github Clients For Linux

In the Linux community, basically, everyone uses the Git protocol in some form. Git works so well because it is integrated into the command-line and the Linux way of doing things. Unfortunately, not everyone has the patience to deal with the lengthy amount of Git commands to update source code. As a result, many developers turn to Github clients to simplify the process. In this list, we’ll be going over some of the best Github clients for Linux.

Note: there are many Github clients for Linux. If you know of a great Git interaction tool not talked about on this list, please tell us about it in the comment section below!

1. GitKraken

GitKraken is a freemium, cross-platform Git client. Users must pay to use this product commercially, and with large teams. It isn’t open source. That said, it has a free version that anyone can use (for personal, and hobby reasons).

The pro version of GitKraken has a lot of features, but most users on Linux that only program for school, or for non-commercial use should be fine with the free version. This tool makes managing and controlling source-code via the Git protocol very easy.

One of the main draws to GitKraken is the modern design. It’s clean and easy on the eyes, and there is a dedicated team available to support users. Developers looking for a smooth tool to manage Git with ease should consider this tool above all others.

Notable Features

  • Free for personal use
  • Support for all major operating systems so your entire team can use it
  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Support for Gitflow (graphical Git branch tool)
  • Git LFS support (Large File Storage)
  • Customizable Commit Graphs
  • Support for Git Hooks
  • Quick undo/redo button
  • Support for multiple Git providers (including self-hosted)
  • Powerful “fuzzy finder” feature allows users to quickly search for commands and actions, and execute them
  • Submodules allow for easy team collaboration
  • Multiple UI themes let the user customize GitKraken to their liking
  • Visual representations of Git repo activity in graphs

2. SmartGit

SmartGit is a cross-platform Git client. Like GitKraken, the software is free for personal use, with a paid, “pro” version for teams. SmartGit supports multiple Git providers, including GitHub, BitBucket, Self-hosted Git servers, and Atlassian Stash. In addition to this, SmartGit can also handle SVN and Mercurial pretty well.

The design of the program is very clean and no-nonsense. Not a lot of time is spent beautifying everything. Instead, the developers focus everything on features, and the most used ones are always within arm’s reach. This Git client is ideal for developers who value features over fancy UI elements and pretty colors.

Notable Features

  • Support for multiple Git providers (including self-hosted)
  • Support for other source control methods besides Git (SVN and Mercurial)
  • GitFlow support (graphical Git branch manager)
  • Git Large File Storage
  • Clean UI design
  • Easy to compare differences side-by-side
  • Integrated SSH client for quick remote connections
  • Excellent diff tool that is powerful and easy to use

3. Gitg

Gitg is a Git software repository browser specifically designed for the Gnome desktop and set of applications (though, weirdly it has a Mac version). The main goal of the Gitg tool is to give Linux users an easy to use front-end to the Git command line tool.

The software is open source, and the code is fully auditable to anyone. Consider Gitg if you’re a software developer who loves the Gnome desktop environment on Linux.

Notable Features

  • Open source and free to use forever
  • Has built-in file viewer to easily look at code
  • Integration within the Gnome Shell desktop which allows users to view recently accessed Git repositories, etc
  • Closely resembles the Mac OS client GitX and its feature-set
  • Gitg project works in collaboration with GitX for the Mac to make the app more similar
  • Search feature allows for quick branch and tag searches
  • Commit spell-checking tool

4. Magit

Magit is a plugin for the Emacs text editor and is installable on all operating systems that currently support Emacs. The plugin is open source under the GNU General Public License V3. The plugin claims to be a complete “Git Porcelain” front-end that improves the Git client interface.

This client is ideal for those that use the Emacs text editor for software development and need a good Git tool to go along with it.

Notable Features

  • Makes using Git in the terminal much easier by simplifying commands, and improving the syntax (add, am, bisect, blame, branch, checkout, cherry, cherry-pick, clean, clone, commit, config, describe, diff, fetch, etc.)
  • Integrates with the Emacs text editor so you can do development and source control via Git in the same app
  • Works with multiple Git providers, including self-hosted
  • Text-based makes it perfect for terminal fans who don’t like Git GUI tools

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