Chapters ▾ 2nd Edition

A1.4 Appendix A: Git in Other Environments - Git in Bash

Git in Bash

If you’re a Bash user, you can tap into some of your shell’s features to make your experience with Git a lot friendlier. Git actually ships with plugins for several shells, but it’s not turned on by default.

First, you need to get a copy of the contrib/completion/git-completion.bash file out of the Git source code. Copy it somewhere handy, like your home directory, and add this to your .bashrc:

. ~/git-completion.bash

Once that’s done, change your directory to a Git repository, and type:

$ git chec<tab>

…and Bash will auto-complete to git checkout. This works with all of Git’s subcommands, command-line parameters, and remotes and ref names where appropriate.

It’s also useful to customize your prompt to show information about the current directory’s Git repository. This can be as simple or complex as you want, but there are generally a few key pieces of information that most people want, like the current branch, and the status of the working directory. To add these to your prompt, just copy the contrib/completion/ file from Git’s source repository to your home directory, add something like this to your .bashrc:

. ~/
export PS1='\w$(__git_ps1 " (%s)")\$ '

The \w means print the current working directory, the \$ prints the $ part of the prompt, and __git_ps1 " (%s)" calls the function provided by with a formatting argument. Now your bash prompt will look like this when you’re anywhere inside a Git-controlled project:

Customized `bash` prompt.
Figure 162. Customized bash prompt.

Both of these scripts come with helpful documentation; take a look at the contents of git-completion.bash and for more information.