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Git vs SourceTree: What are the differences?

Git and SourceTree are both version control systems that help developers manage and track changes in their codebases. Here are the key differences between the two.

  1. User Interface: SourceTree provides a graphical user interface (GUI) that makes it easier for users to interact with Git repositories. It offers a visually intuitive way to manage and visualize different branches, commits, and file changes. Git, on the other hand, is primarily a command-line tool and requires users to have a good understanding of command-line operations to use it effectively.

  2. Platform Compatibility: SourceTree is available for both Windows and macOS platforms, making it a more versatile choice for developers. Git, on the other hand, is a cross-platform tool that can be used on various operating systems including Windows, macOS, and Linux.

  3. Integration with Other Tools: SourceTree integrates seamlessly with other popular development tools like JIRA, Bitbucket, and Trello. It provides built-in functionalities to create and manage branches, perform code reviews, and track issues. Git, although it doesn't have direct integrations, can be easily integrated with other tools using plugins and command-line utilities.

  4. Advanced Git Features: While SourceTree offers a user-friendly interface, it may lack some of the advanced features that can be accessed directly through Git commands. Git provides a wide range of powerful functionalities such as rebasing, stashing, and interactive adding, which may not be fully exposed or easily accessed in SourceTree.

  5. Command-Line Flexibility: Git offers a command-line interface that allows users to have more control and flexibility over their version control operations. This can be advantageous for experienced users who prefer to work with Git commands directly, as it allows for more fine-grained control and customization.

  6. Learning Curve: SourceTree, with its graphical interface, provides a smoother learning curve for beginners who are new to version control systems. It abstracts away some of the complexities of Git and makes it easier to understand and use. Git, although initially more challenging for beginners, offers a more comprehensive understanding of version control principles and operations.

In summary, Git is a distributed version control system widely used for tracking changes in source code during software development. SourceTree is a Git client that provides a graphical user interface, enhancing the user experience and simplifying Git operations for developers who prefer a visual representation of their version control workflows.

Decisions about Git and SourceTree

I explored many Git Desktop tools for the Mac and my final decision was to use Fork. What I love about for that it contains three features, I like about a Git Client tool.

It allows * to handle day to day git operations (least important for me as I am cli junkie) * it helps to investigate the history * most important of all, it has a repo manager which many other tools are missing.

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Pros of Git
Pros of SourceTree
  • 1.4K
    Distributed version control system
  • 1.1K
    Efficient branching and merging
  • 959
  • 845
    Open source
  • 726
    Better than svn
  • 368
    Great command-line application
  • 306
  • 291
  • 232
    Easy to use
  • 222
    Does not require server
  • 27
  • 22
    Small & Fast
  • 18
    Feature based workflow
  • 15
    Staging Area
  • 13
    Most wide-spread VSC
  • 11
    Role-based codelines
  • 11
    Disposable Experimentation
  • 7
    Frictionless Context Switching
  • 6
    Data Assurance
  • 5
  • 4
    Just awesome
  • 3
    Github integration
  • 3
    Easy branching and merging
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
    Possible to lose history and commits
  • 1
    Rebase supported natively; reflog; access to plumbing
  • 1
  • 1
    Team Integration
  • 1
    Fast, scalable, distributed revision control system
  • 1
  • 1
    Flexible, easy, Safe, and fast
  • 1
    CLI is great, but the GUI tools are awesome
  • 1
    It's what you do
  • 0
  • 205
    Visual history and branch view
  • 164
    Beautiful UI
  • 134
    Easy repository browsing
  • 87
    Gitflow support
  • 75
    Interactive stage or discard by hunks or lines
  • 22
    Great branch visualization
  • 18
    Ui/ux and user-friendliness
  • 8
    Best Git Client UI/Features
  • 7
    Search commit messages
  • 5
    Available for Windows and macOS
  • 1
    Log only one file
  • 1
    Search file content

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Cons of Git
Cons of SourceTree
  • 16
    Hard to learn
  • 11
    Inconsistent command line interface
  • 9
    Easy to lose uncommitted work
  • 7
    Worst documentation ever possibly made
  • 5
    Awful merge handling
  • 3
    Unexistent preventive security flows
  • 3
    Rebase hell
  • 2
    When --force is disabled, cannot rebase
  • 2
    Ironically even die-hard supporters screw up badly
  • 1
    Doesn't scale for big data
  • 12
    Crashes often
  • 8
    So many bugs
  • 7
    Fetching is slow sometimes
  • 5
    No dark theme (Windows)
  • 5
    Extremely slow
  • 5
    Very unstable
  • 4
    Can't select text in diff (windows)
  • 3
    Freezes quite frequently
  • 3
    Can't scale window from top corners
  • 2
    UI blinking
  • 2
    Windows version worse than mac version
  • 2
    Installs to AppData folder (windows)
  • 2
    Diff makes tab indentation look like spaces
  • 2
    Windows and Mac versions are very different
  • 2
    Diff appears as if space indented even if its tabs
  • 2
    Doesn't have an option for git init
  • 2
    Useless for merge conflict resolution
  • 2
    Doesn't differentiate submodules from parent repos
  • 2
    Requires bitbucket account
  • 1
    Generally hard to like
  • 1
    No reflog support
  • 1
    Bases binary check on filesize
  • 1
    Can't add remotes by right clicking remotes (windows)

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What is Git?

Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.

What is SourceTree?

Use the full capability of Git and Mercurial in the SourceTree desktop app. Manage all your repositories, hosted or local, through SourceTree's simple interface.

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What companies use Git?
What companies use SourceTree?
See which teams inside your own company are using Git or SourceTree.
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Blog Posts

Mar 24 2021 at 12:57PM


Mar 4 2020 at 5:14PM


What are some alternatives to Git and SourceTree?
GitHub is the best place to share code with friends, co-workers, classmates, and complete strangers. Over three million people use GitHub to build amazing things together.
SVN (Subversion)
Subversion exists to be universally recognized and adopted as an open-source, centralized version control system characterized by its reliability as a safe haven for valuable data; the simplicity of its model and usage; and its ability to support the needs of a wide variety of users and projects, from individuals to large-scale enterprise operations.
Bitbucket gives teams one place to plan projects, collaborate on code, test and deploy, all with free private Git repositories. Teams choose Bitbucket because it has a superior Jira integration, built-in CI/CD, & is free for up to 5 users.
Visibility, access control, workflow and code management for Git environments. Flexibility of collaborating on the same codebase and code reviews using any combination of Perforce and Git workflows and tools without compromise.
Mercurial is dedicated to speed and efficiency with a sane user interface. It is written in Python. Mercurial's implementation and data structures are designed to be fast. You can generate diffs between revisions, or jump back in time within seconds.
See all alternatives