Free - GPL v2
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro The most powerful way to use git
Using CLI gives access to every single git function available.
Pro Gives a better understanding of how git functions
By using the git from the command line, it's possible to learn how it functions and how to get the desired result.
Pro Available in Homebrew
brew install git
Pro It's the same across all the platforms
Pro Fast and straightforward
There's no additional layer of abstraction.
Pro Best community support
Since most devs invoke git via CLI there's a higher chance of getting an answer to a CLI based git problem than a GUI-based.
Pro Even a visual representation of various branches and how they're merged is possible
To visualize history:
git log --graph
You can customize it and/or integrate it into automated workflows. It has support for plugins, additional subcommands, and event hooks to perform automated tasks such as updating a bug database or kicking off tests.
Additionally, because it is a simple command line program, it is easy to create shell aliases, write scripts that invoke it, or integrate it into a text editor.
Pro Gives you full control over what is happening
Any GUI would just use command-line in the background, so by using command-line you are in control.
Con Difficult to overview complex project histories
Con Hard to solve complex conflicts
Con Recalling is more difficult than recognizing
Although there's autocompletion for commands, it still requires recalling at least the beginning of a command while all that's required using a GUI is recognizing the desired outcome.
Con Steeper barrier to entry as compared to a GUI solution
Since you have to learn all the different commands and you don't have the visual help that a GUI app gives you, it has a rather steep learning curve.
Con Easy to use improperly
Newer users (not necessarily new developers) can make mistakes more easily which can be time-consuming or costly to fix.
Con Hardest part of the learning curve is the ambiguity of some terms (us/them)
When merging (e.g. git checkout master && git merge my-branch), us refers to master, them is the branch you're merging in. When rebasing (eg git checkout my-branch && git rebase master), us refers to master, them refers to your current working branch. This seems counter-intuitive at first, making it harder to use the CLI to some, but after a while you kind of understand why the terminology is used in this way, and you get used to it.
Con Is a badly designed API
Git has awesome architecture but a bad CLI. The meanings of many commands overlap and contradict each other depending on the arguments passed. e.g. Just some: When
checkout is used with file path arguments it is a mutative action, changing the working tree but without those arguments it is for passive navigation.
reset is just like the mutative behaviour of
checkout except it does it for all files.
branch requires a flag to create a new branch but
tag doesn't to do the same with a tag.