SmartGit is very handy at viewing diffs, logs, history and deleting/staging working copy files.
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Pro Free for non-commercial use (with some restrictions)
SmartGit can be used free of charge by Open Source developers, teachers and their students, or for hobby, non-paid usage. However, some features are only available with paid versions, like JIRA/GitHub Entreprise/Bitbucket integration, distributed review, DeepGit.
Pro Easy to use
The clean and intuitive UI makes SmartGit very easy even for people with no prior experience with Git, even after reading just a bit on how Git works and what the main commands are.
Pro Uncluttered UI
SmartGit has a rather clean and uncluttered user interface. All the most useful tools and information are displayed at all times or are otherwise just a couple of clicks away.
All repositories are displayed in the sidebar and through a tabbed interface you can view various info about a specific repository (files, branches, branch graph, etc). The most used git commands like
merge are always available on top.
Pro Great overview of the project/repository's log
SmartGit's log viewer displays the full commit history in a clean UI. This can be filtered to only show commits matching a certain criterion (e.g. branch).
Pro Smart embedded difference viewer
When the changes affect only a few characters in a line of code, the embedded difference viewers in the majority of competitors (such as SourceTree) show the whole line as removed and re-added. SmartGit highlights the characters that have been removed / added, so they are easier to read.
Pro Supports GitFlow
GitFlow provides a consistent development process by defining a strict branching model that is great for managing large projects. SmartGit allows for setting up and integrating into repos that follow this model.
Pro Can be integrated with Github, GitLab, Bitbucket, and Atlassian Stash
Using OAuth, you can connect SmartGit with your accounts in Github, GitLab, Bitbucket, or Stash and access the remote repositories there. You can then clone, fork, commit or push to your remote repositories from inside SmartGit. You can also view and manage pull requests for your open source projects from SmartGit.
Pro Auto stash
If normal Git commands would abort because of local modifications, SmartGit can stash them and apply later after the command ran successfully, e.g. a rebase.
Pro Has the most features and most logical layout
Compared to gitk, git gui, SourceTree, GitKraken.
Pro Syntax coloring for many languages
The built-in compare and conflict solver has syntax coloring with customizable colors.
Pro Allows rearranging views
If screen space is limited, one can stack some views onto another. 2 layouts are available - "Main" and "Review" - with independent view positions.
Pro Auto-detects repositories on disk
You don't have to search all the repositories when trying out SmartGit the 1st time, but it finds all of them magically.
Pro Log with fine-grained display of branches
There is no option of just showing the current branch or all branches, but you can select very fine-grained what branches/forks should be displayed.
Pro Extendable with external tools
External tools (which have a command line support) can be integrated to be used to open/view files, for diff or as conflict solvers. E.g. editors like Notepad++ or VS Code, p4merge to diff images or kdiff3 as diff view/conflict solver.
Pro Great filtering options
The file list view can be tweaked and filtered in many ways (e.g. regex can be used).
Pro Supports Mercurial & SVN
Apart from Git, SmartGit supports both Mercurial and SVN via a git bridge.
Pro Log: ability to see dangling commits and stash commits
Rebased, but not yet garbage-collected commits can be easily made accessible again, e.g. after a reset hard.
Pro The best multi-repository support
Can make a repo group containing multiple repos; it acts as a meta repo.
Can submit selected files from multiple repos in a repo group in one commit action; uses the same commit message in all the repo commits.
Pro Great support
Support responds quickly and they genuinely try to help you! If it's a bug, it will often be fixed within days.
Pro Can edit file in workspace or index directly from the compare view
This is very useful when reviewing files before committing and finding a needed quick tweak.
Pro Journal dedicated for current branch history
Showing commits from the current branch, its remote branch and one auxiliary branch. Independent of the that, there is a log window available that allows to view all (other) commits.
Pro Every git command is available through the GUI
Not every, but nearly all.
Pro Portable version for Windows is available
SmartGit also has a portable bundle that can be downloaded and can be run from external devices (such as a flash drive for example) or to test-drive without leaving traces on the machine after removing.
Pro Ability to follow only first parent in the Log window
This is extremely useful in histories with a lot of merges. You can focus on the changes on the main branch and expand into a merged branch with a single click when you need to.
Pro Can detect issue numbers and links to the issue tracker
Supports GitBugTraq file.
Pro Can rearrange Repository window and Log window views/panels
This allows great layouts as desired.
Pro Best submodule workflow on the market
You can easily update submodules from the containing repo, unlike other GUIs that require you to open each repo separately. Saves a lot of time when working on a monorepo managed using submodules.
Pro Supports selecting open issues from JIRA
Allows you to select the desired issue, instead of having to do it manually.
Pro GPG support
GPG in SmartGit makes for added security.
Pro Excellent dark theme
And support for own themes.
Pro Offers life-time updates
One payment, get updates for all future versions.
Pro Evolution submission program
Pro UX design is synergy with how a developer actually works
It may look confusing at first, but once you know each part, you love how useful they are.
Pro Git squash
Git squash is a pain on CLI, and most Git clients allow some king of squash during Rebase only. I really like the Ctrl+J shortcup to simply squash commits.
Con Very expensive and no multi-user licences
91 EUR per year per person for the base version is more expensive than top development IDEs, and is exaggerated.
No multi-user and no site licence either, which makes the licence management a pain.
Con Proprietary license
Not an open source license.
Con Unintuitive UI
At first glance, the sub windows are poorly organized. For example, there isn't an easy way to navigate the files in the repository. It's drastically differently designed than other popular source control clients.
Con Absolute git beginners will find it very complicated
If you're just starting out with git, SmartGit might feel overwhelming as it does not dumb-down the complexities of git but exposes everything.
Con Diff display doesn't show long lines well
If changes are made in very long lines, the diff display is hard to navigate.
Con Currently lacks support for git subtree
It's a useful feature when developing several independent project modules in parallel.
Con font size too small and cannot be changed
Con Requires non-beginner level of GIT to appreciate fully
Con Free version doesn't support Gitlab Community Edition
It requires paid commercial version.
Con Some git functionality has been renamed
In order to preserve the same interface across Git and Mercurial, some naming compromises have been made so that the various VCS it supports are all consistent with each other.
Con It can be slow and resource hungry
It was written in Java, which is known for being a resource hog, and it can be slow on some machines, as well as prone to errors if developers are not very experienced.