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Learn Git fast and well - by visualizing the inner graph of your Git repositories

Project description


Learn (or teach) Git fast and well - by visualizing the inner graph of your Git repositories


Git is a fast, scalable, distributed revision control system with an unusually rich command set that provides both high-level operations and full access to internals.

As wonderful as it may be, there is a downside coming with this "unusually rich command set", a kind of anxiety that affects beginners in particular and can be summed up in one question:

"What the hell is going to happen to my repository if I launch this Git command ?"

A good way to overcome this difficulty is to experiment. This is made easy thanks to Git lightness and the fact it is immediately up and running in any directory with git init.

Git-graph is a Git plugin, written in Python, that displays your Git repository inner content as a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG). This structured visual representation of Git internal data demystifies the impact of each Git command and considerably improves the learning curve.


From PyPI

To install Git-graph from PyPI:

  1. You first need to install Graphviz and check that the dot binary is correctly set in you system's path.
  2. Then run:
    pip install git-graph

From GitHub

To install Git-graph from GitHub:

  1. You first need to install Graphviz and check that the dot binary is correctly set in you system's path.
  2. Then run:
    git clone
  3. Finally, inside the newly created git-graph folder, run (with Python 3 and setuptools):
    python install


As a Git plugin

Git-graph is a Git plugin that is run from a Git repository with the command:

git graph

Running git graph from a Git repository will:

  1. scan your .git folder
  2. build and save a graph representation of the .git folder internals as text (.dot) and image (PDF by default) in a .gitGraph folder
  3. popup a window that displays the image of your graph

A color code helps in distinguishing in the graph the different kinds of object Git is using in its implementation:

Object kind Letter Representation Object kind Letter Representation
blob b blob remote branch r remote_branch
tree t tree remote head d remote_head
commit c commit remote server s remote_server
local branch l local_branch annotated tag a annotated_tag
local head h local_head tag g tag
upstream link u upstream

By default all nodes are displayed in the output graph when running git graph. It is possible to only display a user selection of object kinds using the -n or --nodes option and picking the letters corresponding to your choice.
For instance to only display blobs, trees and commits:

git graph -n btc

By default Git-graph considers it is launched from a Git repository. It is possible to indicate the path to another Git repository with the -p or --path option:

git graph -p examples/demo

The default output format is PDF. Other output graphics formats (either vector or raster) can be set with the -f or --format option:
(the full list of possible formats can be found on the Graphviz documentation website)

git graph -f svg

Finally it is possible to prevent the graph image from poping up once constructed, with the -c or --conceal option:

git graph -c

As a Python program

python git_graph/ -p examples/demo -n btc -f svg


./git_graph/ -p examples/demo -n btc -f svg

As a Python module

import git_graph.dot_graph as dg
dg.DotGraph('../examples/demo', nodes='btc').persist(form='svg', conceal=True)

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