When comparing SmartGit vs Fork, the Slant community recommends SmartGit for most people. In the question“What are the best Git clients for Windows?” SmartGit is ranked 1st while Fork is ranked 3rd. The most important reason people chose SmartGit is:
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 `pull`, `push`, `sync`, `commit` and `merge` are always available on top.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
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 Free for non-commercial use
SmartGit can be used free of charge by Open Source developers, teachers and their students, or for hobby, non-paid usage.
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 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 Supports Mercurial & SVN
Apart from Git, SmartGit supports both Mercurial and SVN via a git bridge.
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 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 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 Auto-detects repositories on disk
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 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 Has the most features and most logical layout
Compared to gitk, git gui, SourceTree, GitKraken.
Pro Can rearrange Repository window and Log window views/panels
This allows great layouts as desired.
Pro GPG support
GPG in SmartGit makes for added security.
Pro Auto stash
Greatly improve the user experience when rebasing, etc.
Pro Great filtering options
The file list view can be tweaked and filtered in many ways (e.g. regex can be used).
Pro Syntax coloring for many languages
The built-in compare and conflict solver has syntax coloring with customizable colors.
Pro Can be integrated with Github, Bitbucket, and Atlassian Stash
Using OAuth, you can connect SmartGit with your accounts in Github, 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 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 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 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 Every git command is available through the GUI
Not every, but nearly all.
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 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 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 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 detect issue numbers and links to the issue tracker
Support GitBugTraq file : https://github.com/mstrap/bugtraq
Pro Excellent dark theme
And support for own themes.
Pro Evolution submission program
Pro Supports selecting open issues from JIRA
Allows you to select the desired issue, instead of having to do it manually.
Pro Fast and easy to use
Pro Dark theme support
Pro Comfortable when staging line-by-line changes
This feature is superior to the one that is implemented by SourceTree as it does not reset the file scroll view to the top of the file after each stage.
If you do feature-specific commits after some time of development - it's very important to be able to easily compose the commit from different line-based changes.
Pro Highlights the difference within a line
Pro Comfortable keyboard shortcuts
Pro Merge Conflict Resolution is great
Pro Smart Diff is very handy
Con Proprietary license
Not an open source license.
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 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 External log window
A "Journal" view is available in the main window, though, and focuses on the current branch (incl. remote branch) and one additional ("auxiliary") branch.
Con Currently lacks support for git subtree
It's a useful feature when developing several independent project modules in parallel.
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 Written in Java
Con Perspective views can be limiting
Being able to see everything at a glance is important. Some updates, however, change the perspective views which are rather fixed. It lacks a more open way to add and remove windows to create your own perspectives as these changes between versions can disrupt a nice workflow.
Con Hard to see which repos have uncommitted changes at a glance.
Have to click the repo names one by one to see the uncommitted changes. Remember Sourcetree Mac client having an indicator showing the number of uncommited changes.
Con Still a young client, thus so not as feature rich
This git GUI client is quite young compared to industry old-timers like git-tower 2 or SourceTree. So it's not as feature rich as you'd like. Still a very capable client for a simple day-to-day work.