I'm looking for a text-mode client for git – ideally something like Midnight Commander (so if there's some "Gitnight Commander", that's it).


  • text-mode, so it also works over an SSH shell
  • runs on Linux (Debian)
  • offers an nCurses like text-GUI the user can navigate with the keyboard
  • shows (and lets navigate through) commit history, tree structure etc.
  • allows at least for basic actions like blame and diff
  • intuitive usage
  • free (as in "free beer" and in "free speech"; ­i.e. FOSS)

Strongly preferred

  • available via standard Debian repository
  • well maintained and up-to-date

I primarily need this to browse git repositories on a remote host, so "read-only" is perfectly fine. If it goes beyond that – well, cannot hurt as long it doesn't end with "bloated". Should be easy to use.


What comes very close to my needs is tig: a text-mode interface using ncurses.

tig tig
tig: browsing commits, display diff (source: tig; click images for larger variants)

As I wrote: close (but no cigar). It definitely fits my basic needs (all listed requirements and even the "strongly preferred" part), and it's what I use for now. But the "intuitive usage" part is not fully complete (well, once you get used to the shortcuts you can use it intuitively, but until then…). The condition of "Gitnight Commander" is not met: no "help mode" to show the keys one needs, for example. So I'm still open for alternative recommendations.

  • According to tig: h key triggers the help mode. – thetonyrom Feb 21 '19 at 14:45

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