Mac OS X Git Clients Roundup

12 September 2010

I have been looking for a Mac OS X Git client, and these are the results of my initial search, I will try and pad out the descriptions of each as I become more familiar with them, and may even put together a feature matrix if I have the time. For now, here are my initial thoughts.


Free download - Still in Beta

Powerful, visually appealing, native OS X Git client. A few stability issues when I used it, but it is still in Beta.



Free download

Basic functions, clean native interface. Had a few stability issues with this application, I didn't feel I could trust it with my actual repositories.




Fast, clean, native OS X interface. This client would probably suffice for 90% of my daily Git use, although I would still have to use the command line occasionally. No built in diff viewer, or visual revision tree.




One of the oldest OS X Git clients, with some really nice features. The History viewer is easy to use, and the best amongst all the clients I have seen. Features again, probably suffice for 90% of my daily Git use. The interface is not the best overall, but it doesn't take long to adapt to it.



Free for non-commercial use - Version 1.5

SmartGit is not a native OS X application, however it largely looks and feels as though it is. This is the most powerful client I have used, and when using it, i never have to fall back on the command line. The stability of SmartGit is very good, i have been testing it for some time, and had no problems at all, and would trust it for my day to day work.




SourceTree is an impressive native Git and Mercurial client. It is feature rich with the best history viewer I have yet seen. It has no side by side built in diff, but integrates easily with all the popular third parties. I found that the interface can sometimes feel crowded, but this is not a big issue.



Free beta - Version 0.9.40

Tower is fairly new and still in beta, but from what i have seen so far, i am very impressed. Although it's still in beta, it out performs all other clients in terms of stability, features and its interface (excluding perhaps SmartGit). There are a couple of areas where I feel Tower falls short of SmartGit. Firstly, there appears to be no way to view the history of a specific file. Secondly, I much prefer a side by side diff viewer like the one packaged with SmartGit, although Tower seamlessly and effortlessly integrates with third party diff and merge tools such as XCode FileMerge, Araxis, and Kaleidoscope. In my opinion, Tower is visually stunning with one exception, I really don't like the application icon.



Free beta - Version 0.3.3 (22)

Just tried this new Git client, which I had high hopes for, but in its current state it's very disappointing. As it stands, the user interface is poor, it has no built in diff, and no branch history, and numerous other basic features are missing. There also seem to be major bugs, for example I couldn't work out how to view any branch other than the current one, or even be able to switch branches!

Git Mac


My favourite so far? it has to be SmartGit, although its not the prettiest, it is intuitive, provides all the features I need on a daily basis, and inspires confidence with its stability I am actually now using Tower as my git client of choice, it's still only in beta which gives me high hopes for the future.

Please let me know if I have missed any clients off the list.



You may want to add SourceTree to your list.



@Buzz, @Tower Added.


It would be really helpful if you could include the versions of the apps you tested. For obvious reasons ;)


@Max - Agreed, ill get on it.


I use brotherbard's fork of gitx. I has many more features than the official release of gitx and I find it to be very stable. I believe you'll find it to be worth a separate review in your roundup.


GitX has by now 195 forks on github... O_o I think that German Laullon is doing a great job in merging a lot of the nice features that have been around in these wide spred forks. He also setup a new autoupdate website. Get his fork "GitX (L)" here:

Sprout Lead Developer

@Max, You may want to checkout GitMac (which is actually called Sprout now) again now that we are out of beta. Also - you can switch branches via the main menu or source list menu. Though there is still no integrated diff, so you may still dislike it. Anyway, thanks for including us in your list - sorry you experienced the bugs that come with early betas. Let us know if there is anything we can do for you at

Chuck Norton

Gity is amazing & very stable now. I've used for 4 large sites now with no problems whatsoever.

Michael Sheaver

This review is very good; however, can I suggest that you do another one, as some of these packages have had major enhancements since your review?


Tower is now (4 Jun 2011) at 1.1.3, and there is no mention of its being free for non-commercial use. If that is the case, you probably should update this page. Are you still using it?


Could I suggest dating the reviews of each client? it would help to know what sort of time frame the review was from. Great reviews overall though


thanks for your work on this, was really useful for me.

Neil Murphy



Fantastic review! you might want to add I personaly use gitbox, but git tower is very tempting. best,

Matthew O'Riordan

Hi Shining Through Great post, thanks for this. I would recommend you include the GitX fork by Laullon as it's very good and a vast improvement on Gitx. Repository at, and product info at