Rise of the Mac Git GUIs

One sign of a developer power tool hitting critical mass is when a wellspring of Graphical User Interfaces explode onto the scene. It looks like Git — the distributed version control system authored by Linus Torvalds — has arrived. It brings with it a bevy of Git clients for Mac OS X.

Some are old, some are shiny new, and some haven’t even officially been released yet. Let’s run them down, shall we?

GitX

GitX may be the oldest of the lot, but this is a powerful and great looking Git client. It features a history viewer, GitHub’s gist integration, and most importantly a great commit interface which allows for easy hunk and single-line commits.

GitX-Commit

Best of all, it’s totally free & open source! There is a ton of activity on GitHub, most interesting of which is a fork by Brotherbard that adds many experimental features.

Git Tower

Free while still in beta, Git Tower is a commercial application claiming to be “the most powerful Git client for Mac”. Big words, but they’re doing a great job living up to them. Git Tower has a slick interface, a repo manager for easily loading previous projects, remote repo integration, and the list goes on.

history_recent_big

Another thing that makes this application special is that they managed to capture FUEL editor Doug Neiner’s ugly mug on the History view screenshot. What are the odds?! :)

Gitbox

Gitbox hosts a bunch of powerful features while maintaining a minimal interface. Anybody who has designed interfaces for software knows how difficult a task that can be.

gitbox-1.0-screenshot

The app is free for a single repository and $39 for multiple repositories. Its features include single-click operations, automated remote commit fetching, local/remote branches, and external diffing tool integration.

GitMac

screenshot_1

We don’t know too much about GitMac since it hasn’t entered its beta stage yet, but its definitely one to keep an eye on as development progresses.

Review

It’s exciting to see the maturation and adoption of a tool as powerful as Git. While graphical interfaces aren’t necessary for us “hardcore developers”, they are really nice for those who could benefit greatly from distributed version control, but have a case of Terminalitis®.

Give these tools a try and be sure to let us know in the comments if we missed any!

Jerod Santo is an Editor at Fuel Your Coding and a contract software developer at RSDi where he works daily with Ruby, JavaScript, and related technologies. He loves shiny toys, powerful tools, and open-source software. Learn more about Jerod by visiting his homepage or following him on Twitter.

 

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