Gitcmd-2016.html: Old meanwhile invalid document from 2016

1. Basics: Execution of git via command line

The vishiaGitGui is of course not a full git suite, it is only a graphical wrapper around the command line git tooling.

1.1. Installation of git suite (command line)

The installation of git command line should be done via the internet page:

for MS-Windows, or adequate for Linux. But the GitGui is yet tested and used only in MS-Windows.

For Windows the installation should be stored in the original Windows programs location (C:\Program Files\git). Installation on another location does not run because of some complicated usages of this path inside the files.

Follow that documentation. The version Git-2.25.0-64-bit.exe which is used here as install file contains respectively creates a directory c:\Program Files\git\mingw64. This is as Only the

set PATH=c:\Program Files\git\mingw64;%PATH%

should be enhanced using the git suite. It may be done in the installation automatically. But follow the next chapter.

1.2. Execution of git commands from a console

The following test are done with the version Git-2.25.0-64-bit.exe as install file. The installation may enhance the system’s PATH with c:\Program Files\git\mingw64.

1.2.1. Bascic: What should be written in the System’s PATH / Calling specific tools using a simple batch file in windows

The following is not mainstream thinking, but think by yourself.

If you have different tools on your PC, and any tool enhances your system path, the system path will get very long. If you have the same command.exe in different tool, unexpectedly the faulty may be called, and you are searching the bug. Especially, if you have different versions from the same tool sometimes in use, or you have different tools from the same tool group but from different vendors, then also this situation can be occur. This is especially using mingw64 for git, using another minGW suite for example gcc compiling and alternatively using Cygwin. All this tools have similar executables with the same name. It is conflicting.

That’s why the better approach is:

  • Prevent enhancement of the system’s PATH by several tools (uncheck a box while installation) or cleanup the system’s PATH after installation, delete all what is only for special tools. (Test your system after that, and save the originally PATH!).

  • Create a special directory where some 'system' batch files are stored, and add this in the PATH as first (!) entry (manually). For my system I have C:\programs\batch for such. All batches in this directory are found firstly. You can decide by yourself what this is (the names).

  • Call specific batches to call a complex tools. See example for git in the next sub chapter. This batches can firstly enhance the PATH variable locally for the necessary stuff. Secondly you can call the tool with the proper absolute path, so that the tool should not be necessarily in the PATH.

You should familiar with the concept of the PATH, using environment variables and with command line calling. This is a knowledge which is stable since more as 50 years (comes from UNIX) used on all recent operation systems, also was known in DOS. But this knowledge is often 'hidden' for normal users. So in newer versions of MS-Windows-10 the access to the system’s path is only possible searching 'enhanced system settings', not as before with the normal system settings.

The important information is: Environment variables, changed in a script (batch, shell) even the PATH are valid for the script only and for all called sub scripts and programs (In Linux export should be use to define or change environment variables. On windows it is so anyway). The changing of the environment does not impact the system.

1.2.2. Changing the PATH in installation of Git

Also similar accordingly to the above presented thinking, the Git installation asks whether

  • Should the PATH be enhanced to mingw ?

  • Should the PATH be enhanced to git cmd ?

  • Should the PATH not be enhanced ?

You can decide. But also after installation you can change the PATH in the Window’s "Enhanced System Control - __Environment".

Due to the chapter above, you should not enhance the PATH. See also following:

1.2.3. Command environment for git

The first goal to use git is often calling console commands. That is supported by the git command installation with two tools. But here consequently the calling batch is shown:

REM git-wincmd.bat
 "C:\Program Files\git\git-cmd.exe"

The batch does no more as call this git-cmd.exe with the absolute path. git-cmd.exe creates an own process, and opens a MS-Windows command shell. The PATH is automatically enhanced to C:\Program Files\git\cmd which contains some git adaptions to MS-Windows, for example also git-gui.exe which is a Tcl-Tk based GUI as part of the git suite.

REM git-window_A.bat
"C:\Program Files\git\git-bash.exe"

This is the counterpart, Linux (Unix) oriented. Opens a command shell for git commands in linux style which understand all Linux cmds defined in minge64.

This program enhances and converts the PATH, so the PATH variable is set with:

>echo $PATH
/d/users/myname/bin:/mingw64/bin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin:/mingw64/bin:/usr/bin:/c/Programs/Batch:/c/Program Files (x86)/C...

Hence, it is not necessary to set the PATH before call also to C:\Program Files\git\mingw65\bin. It is automatically done by this tool.

It is interesting, that all environment variables are presented in upper case, though they may be written in lower case or camel case in the MS-Windows system environment. MS-Windows does not distinguish the case also in commands and also in environment variable names. So in MS-Windows it is not necessary to care to the case. Other than in the Linux emulation and also in the original Linux. Hence one writing style is determined, it is the upper case one.

On the given installation using Git-2.25.0-64-bit.exe this command execution seems to be a little bit faulty. Firstly the PATH enhancement contains twice the /bin:/mingw64/bin. Secondly a Windows-Command Window opens (also known as "DOS-Box", additional to the mingw shell window. See next, it seems to be better.

REM git-window.bat
set HOMEPATH="path/to/special/home"
"C:\Program Files\git\bin\sh.exe"

This is the better version of a compatible version of a Linux oriented shell, similar as above. But it is observed that this call does not create a non necessary additional Windows- command window, seems to be consequently. It seems to be the consequently Linux shell without overhead.

This sh.exe invocation prepares the given Windows PATH to:

/mingw64/bin:/usr/bin:/c/Users/hartmut/bin:/c/Program Files.....

The /mingw64/bin:/usr/bin:/c/Users/hartmut/bin is added automatically, all other parts of the PATH are converted to the UNIX style, backslash to slash and the drives are letters /C/ instead C:\ etc.

The /c/Users/hartmut/bin is appropriate to the found HOMEPATH and HOMEDRIVE environment variable in Windows. It is supposed that the user may also have binaries, but it is not used here. But you may change this both variables, because they are also available in the UNIX environment:

echo $HOME

presents it. You can have another location for the home drive as in windows, your decision.

In this shell you can execute some git commands.

To have a proper environment on all locations on your harddisk, you can use exactly this batch file:

  • Go to any location on your hard disk, maybe with Windows-Explorer, but better using the Total Commander.

  • execute on this position git-window.bat, maybe with a batch there.

You can also have the vice-versa approach:

  • open the git-window.bat from the desktop, maybe with your preferred location determined in the desctop icon.

  • Use cd ../dst afterwards.

1.3. Execution of exact one git command in a batch file

To execute one git command or any other UNIX-like command you can use:

"C:\Program Files\git\bin\sh.exe" -c "command with arguments"

The command itself is the 3th argument and should be written in "" as a whole. If you need quoted argument you should use the 'arg` quotation, for example:

"C:\Program Files\git\bin\sh.exe" -c "command with `second arguments'"

The additional option -x can be used as "echo" of the command.

Now you can call git commands or other available Linux commands in mingw64 in a batch file. Or also start a shell script, which is also a Linux command.

For Double Click on a shell script in Windows it is a little bit more complex, see next chapter

1.4. Execution of a UNIX shell script

It is a proper idea to write scripts also in MS-Windows as shell scripts. Because:

  • You may have the same scripting also on a Linux machine, maintain only one script for both

  • May be you suppose that the script language of a UNIX shell is better than Microsoft’s batch files also regarding some power shell approaches. That’s the view of some experts.

  • May be you need experience in Linux shell scripts by the way, and you want to focus on it.

All in all, it may be a good idea to use shell scripts also in Windows.

To execute it, you can use also the Git Command suite, as well as a full MinGW installation or also Cygwin. Both can offer for example gcc compilation also.

To run a shell script you should only call as above described:

"C:\Program Files\git\bin\sh.exe" -c path/to/

To execute exact that via double click from Windows, the “path/to/” is given with backslash and C:\ drive. That is false. To correct it you can have the following script (as template to copy):

REM git_script.bat found on the path:
@echo off

REM sh.exe may need an special home directory:

REM possible other working dir
if not "" == "%2" cd "%2"

REM -x to output the command as they are executed.
REM %1 contains the whole path, with backslash, sh.exe needs slash
REM Preparation of the scriptpath, change backslash to slash,
echo on
sh.exe -c %SCRIPTPATH%

REM to view problems let it open till key pressed.

Now you can join this script with "Open with" and "always" on the extension .sh with the absolute path of this script. Hence a double click on a *.sh file executes the shell script. Simple, ready.

1.5. Execution of a git command or a shell script from Java

This is the first base to wrap git commands in a GUI, as also in the vishiaGitGui

Generally the execution of a command line is wrapped in a Java process invocation. It means the git command is executed in a isolated process on Windows. The outputs are redirected to String Buffers and then evaluated. This command line execution generally independent of the git/Linux question is executed using the java.lang.Process approach wrapped with

In the vishiaGitGui is is executed in an extra Thread:

It means, the commands can be run a longer time (maybe a few seconds). If the git command is finished, it is evaluated and changes the content of the GUI.

You see the reaction time by a gray field for the executed command, see chapter [exec].

But there are a little bit pitfalls. The first is:

  • Lower and upper case writing for environment variables:

It is possible to change the environment variables for the java.lang.Process. But basically this is a container, a specific Map<String, String> with key and value, and of course the keys are stored as given. If you change the PATH value and write it back, then you may have to PATH and Path`values if it is written on OS-Level in MS-Windoes as `Path. Then, the called C:/Program Files/git/sh.exe takes the first found one, and nothing does work.

Because of this effect the has gotten a specific function getEnvIgnoreCase(key, value) and also prefixEnvIgnoreCase(key, value). This opeartions searches the first occurence of the environment variable ignoring the case, remove it and replace the given environment variable with the given writing style. So a double is prevented. It should be used especially and only for Java on MS-Windoews. Not that changing of the environment is only effective for the callel level not for the Operation System.

  • The second, not pitfall but maybe necessity is, that the invocation of the here described "C:/Program Files/git/sh.exe" -c may be varied. The Java application should not be reprogrammed if the git environment may be changed.

Hence this command is given either as command line argument for the GUI or as setting of a variable.

The vishiaGitGui should be called with

For that the vishiaGitGui has one command line argument:

-gitsh "C:/Program Files/git/sh.exe -x -c"

This is the pattern to execute git commands.