Git command line for MS-Windows

Git command line for MS-Windows




1 Download and install, or copy the git command line suite for MS-Windows


You can download a git suite for command line processing from and install it. The installed files run on an other computer without installing. That may be important if you have experience with several git installations.

I have installed Git- on a computer running under Windows-XP. I have answered all questions during the install process with the minimal influence to the operation system:

This produces the following files (raw):

 Directory of D:\Programs\Gitcmd
29.08.2016  11:50    <DIR>          .
29.08.2016  11:50    <DIR>          ..
29.08.2016  11:38    <DIR>          bin
29.08.2016  11:38    <DIR>          cmd
29.08.2016  11:38    <DIR>          dev
29.08.2016  11:38    <DIR>          etc
25.08.2016  13:47           151.272 git-bash.exe
25.08.2016  13:47           150.760 git-cmd.exe
09.08.2016  19:02            18.765 LICENSE.txt
29.08.2016  11:38    <DIR>          mingw32
25.08.2016  15:06            77.551 ReleaseNotes.html
29.08.2016  11:38    <DIR>          tmp
29.08.2016  11:38           996.808 unins000.dat
29.08.2016  11:34         1.293.032 unins000.exe
29.08.2016  11:38            22.815 unins000.msg
29.08.2016  11:38    <DIR>          usr
               7 File(s)      2.711.003 bytes
               9 Dir(s)  83.736.236.032 bytes free

I have copied that file tree to a Windows-7-Computer, it runs perfect, without installation.

An older version of GitCmd gives the following files:

 Directory of D:\Programs\Gitcmd_1608
03.05.2015  13:29    <DIR>          .
03.05.2015  13:29    <DIR>          ..
25.08.2016  23:33                20 .bash_history
31.07.2014  19:55    <DIR>          bin
31.07.2014  19:55    <DIR>          cmd
31.07.2014  19:55    <DIR>          doc
31.07.2014  19:55    <DIR>          etc
04.02.2014  17:27               793 Git Bash.lnk
02.06.2013  12:30               708 Git Bash.vbs
31.07.2014  19:55    <DIR>          lib
31.07.2014  19:55    <DIR>          libexec
02.06.2013  12:30            38.203 ReleaseNotes.rtf
31.07.2014  19:56    <DIR>          share
31.07.2014  19:56    <DIR>          ssl
04.02.2014  17:26           566.105 unins000.dat
04.02.2014  17:25         1.243.915 unins000.exe
               6 File(s)      1.849.744 bytes
              10 Dir(s)  83.732.533.248 bytes free

There are some other directories, mingw3w is missing. Nevertheless it produces the adequate results. Both contains

D:\Programs\Gitcmd_1608\bin>dir sh.exe
04.02.2014  17:27           540.672 sh.exe

D:\Programs\Gitcmd\bin>dir sh.exe
25.08.2016  13:47            43.240 sh.exe

There are some changes in the tool suite, but the behaviour for the usage is the same.

2 sh.exe

The D:\Programs\Gitcmd ... \bin\sh.exe is a windows program to run linux shell scripts or linux commands.

2.1 pure run >sh.exe

Without any other action, only invoked from a Windows command line (double click in explorer), it opens a linux-like command window. That shell window gets the environment variables from MS-Windows and sets the path variable (slightly) properly. One can type in some linux commands, here is an example content of the shell window after some commands:

Hartmut(at)lenovo-a6f13ea5 MINGW32 /bin

$ pwd

$ whoami

$ ls / -all
total 4080
drwxr-xr-x 1 hartmut 197121       0 Aug 29 11:50 .
drwxr-xr-x 1 hartmut 197121       0 Aug 29 11:50 ..
-rw-r--r-- 1 hartmut 197121   18765 Aug  9 19:02 LICENSE.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 hartmut 197121   77551 Aug 25 15:06 ReleaseNotes.html
drwxr-xr-x 1 hartmut 197121       0 Aug 29 11:38 bin
drwxr-xr-x 1 hartmut 197121       0 Aug 29 11:38 cmd
drwxr-xr-x 1 hartmut 197121       0 Aug 29 11:38 dev
drwxr-xr-x 1 hartmut 197121       0 Aug 29 11:38 etc
-rwxr-xr-x 1 hartmut 197121  151272 Aug 25 13:47 git-bash.exe
-rwxr-xr-x 1 hartmut 197121  150760 Aug 25 13:47 git-cmd.exe
drwxr-xr-x 1 hartmut 197121       0 Aug 29 11:38 mingw32
dr-xr-xr-x 9 hartmut 197121       0 Aug 29 14:49 proc
drwxr-xr-x 1 hartmut 197121       0 Aug 29 14:49 tmp
-rw-r--r-- 1 hartmut 197121  996808 Aug 29 11:38 unins000.dat
-rwxr-xr-x 1 hartmut 197121 1293032 Aug 29 11:34 unins000.exe
-rw-r--r-- 1 hartmut 197121   22815 Aug 29 11:38 unins000.msg
drwxr-xr-x 1 hartmut 197121       0 Aug 29 11:38 usr

$ echo $PATH
/mingw32/bin:/usr/bin:/c/Dokumente und Einstellungen/Hartmut/bin:/d/Programs/Pyt
ft SQL Server/90/Tools/binn:/d/Progs/Bazaar:/c/Programme/Skype/Phone:/d/Programs


$ echo $HOMEPATH
\Dokumente und Einstellungen\Hartmut

$ echo $HOME
/c/Dokumente und Einstellungen/Hartmut

$ git --version
git version


The environment variables $HOMEDRIVE and $HOMEPATH are set in the windows environment. The $HOME is set newly for this shell with the input of $HOMEDRIVE and $HOMEPATH. The $PATH is set from the given path but enhanced with /mingw32/bin:/usr/bin and change ; to : (Windows separator ; versus Unix separator :).

The root of the linux directory is built internally. The root is the parent directory from the bin\sh.exe invocation. But the bin itself where sh.exe is stored is not member of. Instead usr\bin\ is mounted as bin/ which is in the path. Furthermore /c/ and /d/ are available which is the whole hard disk's content. /c/ and /d/ are not shown with the ls command, but they are available though.

2.2 run sh.exe in a batch file with some environment variables

The HOMEDRIVE and the HOMEPATH environment variable may be other than for windows usage. Therefore they are set before, and then sh.exe is called:

Content of unix_window.bat:

@echo off
set PATH=D:\Programs\Gitcmd\bin;%PATH%
set HOMEPATH=\vishia\HOME
::sh.exe --login -i

The PATH extension and the environment variables may be set in the Windows system environment in this kind already, but if they are set only in this batch, then its changed content is valid only for that session.

The variant with --login -i came from an older git cmd tool suite (from 2010 I think), it has no effect for the newer one.

That batch creates a Unix/Linux shell window to have some experiences with Linux command line invocations.

2.3 run sh.exe in a batch file to execute one linux cmd, especially git with options

Content of unix_cmd.bat:

@echo off
set PATH=D:\Programs\Gitcmd\bin;%PATH%
set HOMEPATH=\vishia\HOME
REM The only one argument of this batch should be given with "" usual,
REM because the argument of the batch is the command with arguments for sh.exe-execution.
REM -x to output the command as they are executed.
REM -c to run the following argument in "" as command, then exit.
REM Write unix_cmd.bat "cmd arg1 'arg2 with spaces' arg3" for arguments with spaces.
echo on
sh.exe -x -c %1

This executes the given command by argument.

If that batch is invoked from another batch for example with a complex git command, one should regard some special rules for batch processing in windows.

Example content of a test-gitlog.bat:

unix_cmd.bat "git log --date=iso -z -b --ignore-space-change --no-textconv '--format=tformat:Commit::%%H %%h %%an %%ad %%+s' org/vishia/util/" >test.txt

The linux cmd should be written as one argument in "...." for the batch. The same rule is valid if sh.exe -c "command" will be invoked.

Note that the character % should be written twice: %% because the batch processing in windows detect that % as expansion switch for environment variables. %% expands to a single %. The same rule is valid if sh.exe was invoked immediately in a batch.

2.4 run sh.exe in a batch file to execute a shell script

Content of unix_script.bat:

@echo off
set PATH=D:\Programs\Gitcmd\bin;%PATH%
set HOMEPATH=\vishia\HOME
REM -x to output the command as they are executed.
echo on
sh.exe -x %1

The sh.exe runs the given path/to/file as a unix shell script and terminates then. The option -x is proper to see which commands are executed in the script. It is adequate echo on in windows. Adequate some echo ... lines should be written in the script.

2.5 The sh.exe executes MS-Windows executables

In a shell script all windows executables can be invoked. Only the internal shell commands are linux-typical. If executables are equal for unix and windows you can use the same linux shell scripts for both platforms, maybe it is lesser effort for maintenance. Nevertheless some options are slightly different.

2.6 Run sh.exe from a Java application

Java provides with the system's class javadoc-java/lang/ProcessBuilder the capability to run a opertion system process with a given executable. That works for MS-Windows, for Linux and all other platforms.

The class srcJava_vishiaBase/org/vishia/cmd/CmdExecuter builds a wrapper surround the java/lang/ProcessBuilder to help deal with input, output, abort, and several additional possibilities. That class is used to run sh.exe respectively git from a Java application: srcJava_vishiaGui/org/vishia/gitGui/GitGui.

 CmdExecuter cmd = new CmdExecuter();
 void initializeCmd() {
   Map<String, String> env = cmd.environment();
   env.put("HOMEPATH", "\\vishia\\HOME");
   env.put("HOMEDRIVE", "D:");
   String sPath = env.get("PATH");
   sPath = "D:\\Programs\\Gitcmd\\bin;" + sPath;
   env.put("PATH", sPath);
 public void revisionsCommit(String sGitDir, String sFile) {
   cmd.setCurrentDir(new File(sGitDir));
   out.assign(out.buffer());   //to reset positions to the changed out.buffer()
   String[] args ={"D:/Programs/Gitcmd/bin/sh.exe", "-x", "-c", "git log --date=iso '--pretty=raw' '" + sFile + "'"};
   int error = cmd.execute(args, null,  out, null);

There are the adequate operations like in the MS-Windows-batches above. Only with Java syntax. The PATH enhancement is valid only for the running cmd, not for the start. Therefore the sh.exe should be invoked with the full path. The special arguments should be taken from a config file, it is TODO yet.

3 git log


It offers a history of all commits, maybe for the whole repository, for some branches or especially for one file.

--pretty=format:%H %an %ad %+s

It seems to be a format in one line-thinking, proper for simply parsing algorithm for example with pearl text processing. Therefore the format flag ,%s, writes the commit message in one line. All line-feed characters are replaces by spaces. That has the disadvantage that the originally commit message are garbled.

In conclusion the printf-like format is not able to use fortunately. I uses the --pretty=raw format and parse it with a well Java parser srcJava_vishiaBase/org/vishia/util/StringPartScan.

It is in progress .... TODO