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Does anybody have recommendations for a free git GUI for use in windows 10? The user interface should be simple to use, light weight is preferable but not really necessary. I will prefer the interface to be not too cluttered (so a GUI that only offers basic operations is good enough). It should have a side-by-side file difference viewer, to compare between different commits. Most importantly, for any commands that I might issue from the GIU, it should show the exact command line the software used to execute it.

Here are some lists I have found,

https://blog.devart.com/best-git-gui-clients-for-windows.html
https://git-scm.com/download/gui/windows

but there are just too many options and I don't know which one is better than another. I am tempted to just go with Github desktop (only because it's something I have heard of) but the screenshots make me think it might have just too many features in it's GUI.

Tortoise Git seems to have a simpler GUI with buttons for most of the basic commands, but I don't know if it has a side-by-side difference viewer and whether it would show me the command line for each command or not.

Does anyone have any recommendations that fulfill all these requirements? I have used sourcetree a few times but I was wondering if there was something with an even simpler and intuitive GUI.

2 Answers 2

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I use Git Extensions. It is free.

If you enable the Show Console Window, you will see the commands.

settings

It can cope with complex stuff

Branches

It has a built-in viewer but you can use external diff viewers and editors. I use Beyond Compare.

I am not associated with either software.

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  • The "Show Console Window" feature seems to be close to what I wanted. Is it possible to set it such a way that the console command window shows up, but does not execute the command until I actually approve it? For example, if I double click on a branch in the GUI the console window opens up and shows something like "C:\Program Files\Git\bin\git.exe" checkout "branch1", but by this point it has also executed this command. I want it to just show me the command but not execute it, until I press another execute button. Is it possible to set it this way?
    – user17915
    Feb 24, 2023 at 6:32
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I tested a bunch of them and if I was to point at the easiest to use, it would be GitHub Desktop which has a very user-friendly UI. It is not really lightweight though as it's an Electron app, so it uses more memory than it should.

The most lightweight ones, on the other hand, would be either some editor extensions (e.g. VSCode has a bunch, like GitKraken) or Tortoise Git if you need a standalone app.

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  • Does github desktop let me see the command line it uses before executing the command?
    – user17915
    Feb 24, 2023 at 1:43
  • Oops, missed your comment. I doesn't by default, it's as simple as it can be. I see however that there's a possibility to open browser-like dev tools and with verbose output you can view some commands there, from what I see not all.
    – Destroy666
    Mar 1, 2023 at 16:29

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