Github For Mac Client


The Command Line, SmartGit, and Fork are probably your best bets out of the 29 options considered. 'The most powerful way to use git' is the primary reason people pick The Command Line over the competition. This page is powered by a knowledgeable community that helps you make an informed decision. GitKraken is the best Git client for Windows, Mac & Linux! Streamline your Git workflow by connecting GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket or Azure DevOps repos & integrate with Jira, Trello, GitHub or GitLab issues. GitHub Desktop is a macOS desktop client designed to help you connect to your GitHub account and manage your repositories, and other related activities, in a more intuitive and streamlined manner. For your convenience, GitHub Desktop comes with a setup assistant that will help you input your GitHub. V2rayU,基于v2ray核心的mac版客户端,用于科学上网,使用swift编写,支持vmess,shadowsocks,socks5等服务协议,支持订阅, 支持二维码,剪贴板导入,手动配置,二维码分享等 - yanue/V2rayU. If you wish to push & pull to other remotes, we suggest that you use the command line client. GitHub for Mac is optimized to work with GitHub remotes — but if you wish to use a non-GitHub remote, it will work just fine. Set the remote manually in the settings tab and everything else should work as expected. I have tested the latest Version 1.

There is an updated version of this post for OS X 10.9. While the steps below should still work, I recommend checking out the new guide if you are running 10.9!

There are already plenty of guides that explain the particular steps of getting Git and Github going on your mac in detail. However, I had difficulty finding one that explained every step required in order with simple enough instructions for Terminal novices to follow along with autonomously.

So I decided to write one myself.


I enjoy helping people become more efficient and productive, particularly when it comes to their computers and mobile devices. At a recent job, the staff design team was beginning a period of close collaboration with the front-end development team in the interest of achieving the best possible product in the shortest period of time.

However, there was a slight “problem.” The project’s codebase was exclusively managed via Git repositories on Github. Most of the designers had never worked with Git, let alone ever configured it on their workstations.

Most of the designers had some knowledge of the technologies that went into the codebase, particularly presentation layer tech like HTML and CSS. Some even knew programming languages like Javascript, PHP, and Ruby.

In an effort to unleash this previously untapped resource for a round of intense polishing and bug-fixing, I took it upon myself to write a step-by-step guide that any member of our studio could follow and be up and running with developer tools, Git, connected to Github, and ready to work on the project codebase.

This then is a slightly abbreviated1 version of the guide I distributed out to the team. Ultimately just a few days after releasing it, nearly everyone in the office — including design, production, management, and even a few devs setting up new machines — was able to at least view the latest code on their workstations.

Aside from the fact that my guide helped others quickly get through the arduous process of installation and configuration, I was happy to have it as a quick reference for myself when setting up new machines of my own. Enjoy!

Getting started

Github For Mac Client

This tutorial assumes you’re using a Mac running at least OS X 10.7. If you are unsure of what OS you have, go up to the top left of your screen, click the Apple menu, and select “About This Mac.”

You’ll also need to ensure that your user account on your computer has admin privileges and that you know your account’s password.

Install the Command Line Tools for OS X

Xcode is a nearly 4GB developer suite Apple offers for free from the Mac App Store. However, for the purposes of getting Git and Github setup, you’ll only need a specific set of command line tools2 which fortunately take up much less space.

If you don’t mind the 4GB, by all means go for Xcode. Otherwise, you’ll have to go to and register an Apple Developer account in order to download these tools.

Once you’ve registered, they can be found at by clicking on “View downloads” and finding the appropriate command line tools for your version of OS X in the list.

  1. If you are on OS X 10.7.x, download The 10.7 Command Line Tools. If you are on OS X 10.8.x, download The 10.8 Command Line Tools.
  2. When your download finishes, go ahead and open the DMG.
  3. Run the Command Line Tools installer.

A note about the Terminal

The Terminal application comes pre-installed with OS X, and can be found in the Applications -> Utilities folder. You can also quickly access it using Spotlight.

The terminal has a variety of uses, but for the purposes of this tutorial we’ll be using a syntax/command set called Bash. Terminal is already configured to use this syntax.

When you enter a command and press return/enter, often times the terminal will execute it and complete the task immediately.

Sometimes it will log information in the window while it’s working, but other times you might feel like it isn’t doing anything at all.

Some of the commands later in this tutorial can take a few seconds (or minutes) to complete, so don’t type anything into the terminal window or close the terminal window until you see it present you with a fresh prompt ending in yourusername$.

For the purposes of this tutorial, commands that I intend for you to type will be preceded with $, but don’t include that symbol when you enter the commands. It’s purely meant as an indicator and reference to the $ that appears in your terminal prompt.

Lines that contain comments/notes from me to will be preceded with # and will be dimmed. Don’t type these either.

Make sure to press return after typing a command before you enter the next one.

Installing Git

“Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.”

We need to install Git onto your computer. It won’t have an icon in your dock, but it can be used by the Terminal (and other applications, more on that later).

OS X comes with a fairly old version of Git pre-installed, so we’ll want to make sure that your terminal is using a more updated version.

One specific reason you’ll want to have a newer version of Git than the one that ships with OS X is to take advantage of a nice authentication feature that allows you to seamlessly interact with Github.

  1. Download the latest stable release of Git. It should start downloading a DMG which for some reason will include the words “Snow Leopard” in the file name…don’t worry, it works with Lion and Mountain Lion just fine.

  2. When it’s done downloading, open the DMG and run the package installer.

    Note: If you are using OS X 10.8 and haven’t already modified your security settings to allow the installation of third-party applications, you’ll need to make that adjustment3 before OS X lets you install these tools.

  3. Once the installer has finished, open the Terminal app and type git --version followed by the return key. Note that there are two dashes, not one.

  4. The terminal should report back with your currently installed Git version.

    If it reports a Git version that matches the version number marked on the DMG you downloaded (as of writing, this would be proceed to Configuring Git identification, otherwise you’ll need to execute the following:

Configuring Git identification

Now let’s configure your Git installation so other folks who might be working on projects with you know who’s doing all of the great work coming from your computer.

Setup Github

GitHub is a web-based hosting service for software development projects that use the Git revision control system.

Go to and create a free account if you haven’t already.

Github Keychain Helper

To save time in the future, we’ll install a utility that will allow your computer to authenticate with Github automatically instead of having to enter your username/password during each session.

First, check if the helper is installed by typing git credential-osxkeychain into the terminal.

If the helper is installed, the terminal will give you instructions on how to use it:

If see the above message, you are now able to access Git repositories using the HTTPS method. There’s a very good chance that this is the only method you will need to access repositories and you can move on to my final notes.

If you don’t have the keychain helper already installed, you’ll see this instead:

To install the keychain helper, execute the following commands:

Once again, if the helper has been installed successfully, the terminal will give you instructions on how to use it:

If see the above message, you are now able to access Git repositories using the HTTPS method. There’s a very good chance that this is the only method you will need to access repositories and you can move on to my final notes.

If you don’t see the above message, you hit a snag along the way. Try going through the keychain helper install steps again.

Otherwise, if you have a specific reason that you need to access Git repositories using SSH, proceed to SSH Keys.

SSH Keys (optional step)

“SSH uses public-key cryptography to authenticate the remote computer and allow it to authenticate the user, if necessary. There are several ways to use SSH; one is to use automatically generated public-private key pairs to simply encrypt a network connection, and then use password authentication to log on.”

An SSH key basically lets your computer uniquely identify itself when it connects to servers. If Github is aware of the key your computer is using, you won’t have to enter your Github username/password every time you connect.

Check for pre-existing SSH keys on your computer

Let’s see if your computer has one or more keys already installed:

If you get the response “No such file or directory”, skip to Generate a new SSH Key.

Otherwise, you’ll need to backup and remove your existing SSH keys.

Backup and remove your existing SSH keys.
Generate a new SSH key

Now we’ll create a new SSH key to use with Github.

When it asks you to enter a file name in which to save the key, just press return/enter (leave the prompt blank).

You will then be asked to enter a passphrase and confirm it. Don’t make this blank, and don’t make it an easily guessable. This prevents someone from easily acquiring and using your SSH key to impersonate you. Don’t worry, you won’t have to enter this key much (if at all) after initial setup.

Press return after each time you’ve entered your selected passphrase. You won’t see the characters or bullets, the cursor will stay in the same spot as if you aren’t typing.

If you make an error entering your password one of the times, just press return and it will prompt you to try again.

Once you’ve successfully set your passphrase, the terminal will report that your key has been saved and will present you with some sweet ASCII art.

Add your SSH key to Github

In order for your computer to access Github without you having to enter your username/password all the time, Github needs to know the contents of the SSH key you just generated.

Now we’ll add your key to Github:

  1. Visit your account settings.
  2. Click Add SSH key.
  3. Enter a descriptive title for the computer you’re currently on, e.g. “Work iMac” into the Title field.
  4. Paste your key into the Key field (it has already been copied to your clipboard).
  5. Click Add Key.
  6. Enter your Github password.

Now let’s test that it all worked.


Your Mac is now up and running with both Git and Github. I intend to write another post about some of the commonly used commands I always find myself looking up syntax for, as well as those that members on the team had to learn in order to effectively take part in the production process.

Recommended tools

Text Editors

If you’re just getting your feet wet with writing code, you’ll want to look into a text editor that is purpose built for that task.

My hardcore colleagues wouldn’t leave me alone if I didn’t also mention command-line editors like Vim and Emacs, but I’d recommend one of the previously listed apps for getting started.

I don’t recommend using TextEdit as it doesn’t offer syntax highlighting, and I’m personally not fond of Dreamweaver for writing code as I feel it allows its WYSIWYG mode to be used as a crutch. That said, Dreamweaver’s predecessor4 in Adobe’s product lineup was what I learned to write HTML on, so there’s that.

However with the explosion of online code teaching platforms out there (and Firebug/DOM inspector tools), I don’t see the need to use a WYSIWYG editor anymore.

Git GUI Tools

When I first started dabbling with Git, I used the popular Tower app to manage my repositories. It has a fantastic interface and offers most of the features of the command line app.

However when we began this endeavor at my past job, the development team and I wanted to ensure that all persons with access to the codebase thought about what the actions they were going to take, and deliberately execute commands.

GUI tools are great, but they can sometimes allow disastrous things to happen with the push of a button. Additionally they can abstract away the syntax of the language/protocol they are built upon, and as a result leave users dependent on the GUI rather than knowledgeable about the underlying technology.

If you must use a GUI tool, by all means do. However in the circumstances I mentioned, it wasn’t an option we wanted to offer.

Terminal Configuration

I’ve been enjoying iTerm2 for a few small perks it offers, mainly the ability to have perfect representation of the Solarized Dark theme.


If there are any steps/instructions I’ve written that have been outdated by newer information/technology, are simply wrong, or could be explained better please feel free to contact me on Twitter where I’m @burnedpixel.

  1. The stack for this project was very complicated and resulted in us using Vagrant and VirtualBox to literally get virtual instances of the dev environment going on each workstation.↩

  2. I had hosted the appropriate DMGs for the 10.7 and 10.8 tools on a local fileserver to speed up this step. Unfortunately the general public will have to go to Apple’s developer site, sign up for a free account, and download the tools from there.↩

  3. Security settings adjustment to install Git:

    • Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences
    • Click Security & Privacy
    • Click the lock icon in the bottom left and enter your account password
    • Select “Anywhere” for the “Allow applications downloaded from” setting
    • Close System Preferences
  4. While I may have been exposed to making web pages by software like Claris Home Page and Microsoft FrontPage, I really learned to write HTML by hand from a software suite called GoLive Cyberstudio. In what has now become a familiar process, Adobe bought GoLive out so they could integrate Cyberstudio into their product lineup. In what has now also become familiar, Cyberstudio (simply rebranded as GoLive) rarely got any updates and lived a deprecated existence until it’s death nearly 10 years later.↩


8min Read

Almost every development and software projects, commercial or personal, are now using Git for version control. In this article, we will explain what Git is at a glance and recommend the best Git GUI clients for various platforms.

  • Git Clients for Linux
  • Git Clients for Windows
  • Git Clients for Mac
  • Cross-platform Git Clients

What Is Git?

Git is a popular open-source version control system among developers. Originally, it was designed for collaborative projects between developers. Git is mostly used to store content and code in repositories.

The system also provides an environment where the code can be changed, with the revisions saved for future use. The repositories are stored in a remote server but are locally saved in every team member’s computers.

Git can be accessed and managed using command line tools. But if you’re new to Git, then you might want to start with something more manageable.

Graphical User Interface (GUI) clients are tools that provide alternative visualization for Git.

Check our in-depth explanation on Git if you need more information. To know about the best Git GUI clients for platforms such as Linux, Windows, and Mac, keep on scrolling.

Git Clients for Linux

Looking for Git GUI clients that work on Linux and choosing the one that is compatible for you can be time-consuming. To make it much easier, we’ve listed some for you:

1. QGit

QGit is a free Git GUI for Linux that can graphically show different branches and allows you to see patch content and changes in files. With this tool, you can view archive trees, file histories, revisions, and diffs.

You’re also able to compare files, and visually change modified content using QGit. Applying or formatting patch series from selected commits, and moving commits between two QGit instances are also possible.

You can use the same semantic of Git commits to create new patches and implement common StGit commands. Scripts and commands sequences can be connected to a custom action.

2. Gitg

The user interface of Gitg is straightforward to use. It can open existing Git repositories saved in your computer. You can download the software for free, and it has a GPLv2 license. Remote repositories can also be viewed using Gitg.

Gitg enables you to perform common Git operations, browse commits, and preview files. You can see commit messages, untracked and unstaged commits through the commit view.

The downside of this tool is that large files tend to load slower, and it doesn’t show a project’s history.

3. Git Force

Git Force is a visual front-end tool for Git that runs on Linux as well as Windows, and it’s free to download. This software will help beginners as the interface is intuitive with a drag and drop feature, and it can be used solely without calling a command line Git tool.

You can create multiple Git repositories and branches, managing them all using Git Force. The tool is able to support one or more remote repositories and can quickly scan local ones.

The work you do in a git repository will be picked up by Git Force on the first refresh. However, it only works on most common Git commands, and because of that, it doesn’t keep any detailed state information.

Git Clients for Windows

There are also Git GUI clients that work well on Windows platforms. We’ve picked the top ones for you:

1. Sourcetree

Sourcetree is a free Git GUI client and can work on both Windows or Mac. This tool is simple to use yet powerful, making it perfect for both beginners and advanced users. The clean and elegant interface makes it effortless and enjoyable to navigate through.

It’s a fully featured GUI that makes your Git projects efficient and easier. It can support large Git files and visualize it with detailed branching diagrams, making it easy for you and your team members to see the progress.

The local commit search allows you to find file changes, commits, and branches while the remote repo manager lets you search and clone remote repositories within Sourcetree. You can also get clear and clean commits with the interactive rebase tool.

2. GitHub

If your remote repository is at GitHub, then this tool will be the most useful for you. The software is basically an extension of your work-flow in GitHub. By simply login in using your GitHub account, you can start working on your repositories.

GitHub Desktop is a free and open source Git GUI client. It has an intuitive interface that allows you to manage code without you needing to type commands. You can make new or add local repositories and perform Git operations with ease.

Creating branches and switching to existing ones isn’t a hassle, so is merging code with the master branch. Furthermore, you can track your changes with GitHub Desktop.

3. Tortoise Git

This open source and free software is a Windows shell interface for Git. It can be used in a commercial environment and be developed to your own version as well. Tortoise Git can be used with other development tools and any type of files.

It supports regular tasks like commit, creating branches and tags, showing logs, and so on. The tool is straightforward to use as commands are accessible straight from Windows Explorer. The dialogs are descriptive, and you’re able to move files by dragging them.

There are tools such as TortoiseGitMerge that help resolve conflicts and lets you see the changes you made to your files. It has a spell checker to log messages and auto-completion for keywords and paths. It’s also available in 30 different languages.

Git Clients for Mac

For Mac users, no need to worry as there are developers who’ve created Git GUI clients that run on Mac. A few of the recommended ones are:

1. GitUp

GitUp is a Git GUI client specifically for Mac users. It’s free to download, open source, and comes with GitUpKit – a toolkit that lets you build Git apps. The tool is easy to use and allows you to see your branches and merges clearly.

If you’re new to Git, GitUp offers a safe environment for you to learn and experiment. The interface is clutter-free, and it has a Live Map feature that lets you see your project’s progress without refreshing. Plus the Undo and Snapshot features enable you to change and record your steps.

Speed is one of the best things when it comes to GitUp. Not only it can load 40,000 commits in less than a second, but you can also instantly search for commits, branches, and tags in the repository. Git operations can’t get any quicker either since the tool is fully featured.

2. GitBox

This GIt GUI client has claimed that working with Git commands and operations can be easy as checking your mail. Well, it’s true since the tool allows you to commit, pull, and push code changes with one click.

With GitBox, you can automatically retrieve new commit from your server, avoiding merge commits and conflicts. You can also search for commits in the repository history by author or description.

Adding and undoing commands such as branch reset, cherry picking, and rebase is pretty straightforward as well when using GitBox.

You can download the software for free, and it’s also available on the Mac App Store with a license for $14.99. If you’re a student, you can get a 50% discount by scanning your student ID.

3. GitX-dev

GitX-dev is a free Git client for Mac, designed and created to be a first-class, maintainable tool for active developers. The tool is specialized for software developers, and it’s full-featured for most Git work-flows.

You can browse your repository history and view a nicely arranged diff of any revision. Plus you will also be able to see a complete tree of the revisions.

You can copy files by dragging them out of the tree and dropping them into your system or preview them with QuickLook.

Changes can be searched based on the author or subject. GitX-dev supports large repositories and all parameters of git-rev-list as well.

Cross-platform Git Clients

If you’re looking for Git clients that are all-rounders that can run in Linux, Windows, or Mac platforms, we’ve compiled a list below:

1. GitKraken

GitKraken is not only reliable, efficient, visually nice and stylish to use, but it also makes git operations understandable and enjoyable. Its interface is intuitive as it allows users to quickly perform basic actions, and has a drag and drop feature.

What is more, you can easily fix mistakes with one click.

The tool has a built-in code editor where you can start a new project and edit the files directly in GitKraken. Plus it lets you track your tasks as it can sync with GitHub in real time, organize tasks in the calendar view, and mention team members to notify them about updates. Best imac to buy 2020.


The software is free for non-commercial use. But there are GitKraken Pro and Enterprise for business owners to use as well. Each cost $4.08/month and $8.25/month respectively.

2. SmartGit

Just like its name, this powerful Git GUI client has a smart interface that looks and works the same across different platforms.

It has a single-view feature where you can see your index, working tree, and commands all in the Log window.

The tool lets you compare or merge files and edit them side-by-side. It can resolve merge conflicts by using the Conflict Solver. SmartGit also provides SSH client, an improved rebase performance and Git-Flow that allows you to configure branches without additional tools.

It integrates with popular Git platforms such as GitHub and BitBucket, making collaborative pull requests and code reviews easier.

Github For Mac Client Software

The software is free to download. For commercial use, you can purchase a SmartGit license in a single payment ‒ $129 for a year to $319 for a lifetime or subscribe monthly for $8.99.

3. Git Cola

Git Cola is a simple yet powerful Git client that was developed using Python, and it’s free to use. The interface is made of multiple tools that you can hide and rearrange to your needs. The four panes of the interface allow you to view separate aspects of your project.

It also has Git-Dag, a Dag visualizer for commits and branches and the list of keyboard shortcuts is useful for an efficient and quicker work-flow.

Moreover, Git Cola will remember your work layout and restore it back to how it was the next time it’s launched.

Other than supporting custom GUI settings, the tool has language settings as well. Since Git Cola is open source, the tool is easy to maintain and update.

4. Aurees

Aurees is a multi-platform Git client that is simple and fast to use, plus free to download. Its interface is intuitive and clean. The tool aims to provide a smooth environment for users to view, edit, and publish Git files.

You need to log in to your GitHub account to use it.

Aurees shows commit and merging changes in side by side windows, making it effortless for you to trace back and resolve conflicts quickly. Tags are color coded so that you can navigate through the repo with ease.

With Aurees you can get an idea of which team member make what changes as it allows you to explore all documents. You can also indent merge commits to see line numbers or differences when comparing documents.


Git has become a necessity when it comes to managing collaborative development projects. However, it also has a high learning curve. Therefore, to make it easier for newcomers, developers have created Git Graphical User Interface clients for various platforms.

Let’s look back at the list once more,

Linux Git Clients:

  • QGit ‒ hassle-free Git GUI for Linux and it doesn’t cost a dime.
  • Gitg ‒ you can view your repositories and it allows you to do common Git operations.
  • Git Force ‒ beginners in Git can make use of this tool as it has an intuitive interface and it’s free to download.

Github Mac Client

Windows Git Clients:

Mac Git Client

  • Sourcetree ‒ great for newcomers and experts in Git. A powerful tool, yet free and simple.
  • GitHub for Windows ‒ a Git GUI where you can work on your project, visualize and track the workflow of your GitHub repositories.
  • Tortoise Git ‒ an open source and free Git GUI for Windows, straightforward to use and can be used with other development tools.

Mac Git Clients:

  • GitUp ‒ a safe environment to learn Git and experiment with. It’s also free, fast and easy to use.
  • GitBox ‒ free for non-profit use and makes working with Git as easy as checking the mail.
  • Git-Xdev ‒ designed to be a top and maintainable Git GUI. It’s free and full-featured for most workflows.

Github For Mac Client Download

Multi-Platform Git Clients:

Github For Mac Client Permissions

  • Git Kraken ‒ has a free version, reliable, makes Git understandable, and visually appealing.
  • SmartGit ‒ the interface is smart looking indeed and easy to use, free to download for non-commercial use.
  • Git Cola ‒ a free, simple yet powerful Git client that makes work-flows quick and efficient.
  • Aurees ‒ an easy to use free Git GUI client that enables users to work on Git operations effortlessly.

Git Bash Windows

Enjoy going through the list and have fun checking them out. Good luck in finding the right Git GUI client for your project!

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