GitKraken vs Git Extensions

GitKraken vs Git Extensions

Sometimes, choosing the right tools to solve challenging problems is just as important as knowing how to solve them in the first place. Developer tools should meet complex and growing needs of individuals and teams, and of course this applies to Git tools. 

If you’re not already using a Git client to help you visualize and manage your repositories, you may want to consider some of the associated benefits of tools like GitKraken Client, which offers predictive merge conflict detection and resolution, the ability to group and clone multiple repos at once, pull request management, and much more. 

If you’re evaluating which Git client to use between GitKraken Client and Git Extensions, you’re in the right place. This article will guide you through the main differences between GitKraken vs Git Extensions to help you make a decision on which Git GUI is right for you.

Compare Git Extensions vs GitKraken Client

Features GitKraken Git Extensions
Basic Git productivity features
1 license for Windows, Mac, & Linux installation
Connect to any Git repo including GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket & Azure DevOps
Visual commit graph
1-click undo/redo
Command palette
Drag-and-drop to push and pull changes
Predictive merge conflict alerts
Merge conflict tool
In-app pull request management
Built-in text editor
Interactive rebase
Git hooks support
Git flow integration
Connect repos to Jira, Trello, GitKraken Boards, GitHub Issues & GitLab Issues
Team collaboration features
Flexible license management
Multiple profile support
Guaranteed support for paid customers

GitKraken Client is the only tool of its kind to offer a Git-enhanced terminal and GUI, giving developers the freedom to work exactly how they want.

Support for Mac and Linux

GitKraken Client ✅ | Git Extensions ❌

GitKraken Client currently supports natively executing the app with all popular OS systems including: Windows, MacOS, and a variety of Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Debian, or RHEL, just to name a few.

Git Extensions on the other hand is not natively supported on MacOS or Linux systems, and maintenance of the platform is currently only focused on Windows OS. If you want to run Git Extensions on your Mac or Linux, you will need to use Mono and you won’t be able to run the latest version of the software (only v2.5 or older is supported for Mac/Linux through Mono).

User Interface Elements

GitKraken Client 👍 | Git Extensions 👎

The team at GitKraken Client is heavily invested in creating a user interface for Git that is both powerful enough for advanced users and intuitive enough for complete beginners. The beautiful design is only a cherry on top of an already robust and feature-rich Git client.

The thoughtfully designed commit graph in GitKraken Client gives you a clear idea of your Git repository structure at a glance: branches, commits, authors, commit messages, date/time, remote repositories, tags, issues, team member activity, and more is neatly organized into a simple UI. This enables developers to easily access the features they need, and hide them when they don’t.

Users can interact with their repositories through the top toolbar, drag & drop actions, typing Git commands through the command palette, and can even work from the terminal using the commit graph as a point of reference with the GitKraken CLI.

If you’re collaborating on a project, avatars act as visual markers that let you know who committed changes and when. Icons on branch labels show which remotes and PRs they belong to. And if you need more information related to a specific commit, you can simply click on the commit from the graph to display a detailed view of commit details, such as the Git commit message, from the right panel.

freeCodeCamp repo displayed via GitKraken Client

Git Extensions also provides users with a commit graph view and a customizable vertically-split panel containing details and views for the selected commit such as commit message, diff or blame.

Git Extensions UI

The UI in Git Extensions is a bit cluttered and overwhelming, with some users reporting it “getting in the way of their workflow” due to the big amount of information shown at any moment in time.

Connecting to Hosted Git Repositories

GitKraken Client 👍 | Git Extensions 👎

Git Extensions requires users to manually generate an SSH key using a tool like PuTTy, which allows you to save the key to a text file on your system, in order to connect to hosted repositories on GitHub. This also requires you to manually add the public key to your GitHub profile.

GitKraken Client makes this process easy and fast by allowing you to connect your GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, and Azure DevOps accounts with the click of a button. You can easily generate a private-public key that will be automatically linked to your account directly from GitKraken Client. 

The Azure DevOps integration with GitKraken Client

Not only is GitKraken Client compatible with all of the most popular hosted version control systems as mentioned before, the Git client is also compatible with self-hosted and Enterprise hosting services such as GitHub Enterprise, GitLab Self-Hosted, Bitbucket Server, and Azure DevOps.

While Git Extensions also allows you to clone and work with hosted repositories, the setup process is much harder for beginners and more tedious. 

Manage Multiple Profiles

GitKraken Client ✅ | Git Extensions ❌

If you have personal projects associated with non-work Git repos, you can easily separate them from your work repositories in GitKraken Client by creating multiple profiles. This can also be beneficial for developers and teams who have multiple accounts on one hosting service. 

Managing different profiles in GitKraken Client

Individual profiles store different app preferences and Git config settings, which makes it easier to switch context and control how the Git client works with you, and not vice versa.

Git Extensions, on the other hand, does not offer the ability to create multiple profiles.

Command Palette

GitKraken Client ✅ | Git Extensions ❌

GitKraken Client provides developers with a simple, yet powerful way to quickly perform Git commands with the Command Palette.

Users can simply start typing to perform commands like opening a repo, viewing file history, opening GitKraken settings, and much more.

The Command Palette in GitKraken Client

Git Extensions does not offer a command palette.

Workspaces for Team Repo Management

GitKraken Client ✅ | Git Extensions ❌

If you work on a team or coordinate with people on a daily basis, GitKraken Client offers users the ability to create Workspaces. This feature enables users to group repos together and take actions across multiple repositories at the same time.

Grouping repositories in GitKraken Client enables a smoother onboarding process for teams.  When a new team member joins, they can easily access all of the repositories they will need to work on from the same location – pretty handy! 

Workspaces also provide the ability to clone or fetch changes from all or multiple repositories at once, further enhancing your team’s workflow productivity.

Workspaces in GitKraken Client for managing multiple repositories

Keep track of pull requests across all of the repositories within a specified Workspace, filtering those assigned to you or automatically tagging any that are “at risk” due to inactivity. 

While designed for teams, Workspaces can be used by solo developers as well as a way to streamline repo management and organization. 

By comparison, Git Extensions doesn’t offer a feature to group and share multiple repos.

GitKraken Client is constantly designing and implementing more features for team collaboration, like Workspaces for grouping and sharing multiple repos at the same time.

Teams View and Collaboration Tools

GitKraken Client ✅ | Git Extensions ❌

GitKraken Client offers a range of team-based collaboration tools and features that organizations can use to help maximize productivity and improve communication. 

If you have set up a team in GitKraken Client, you will see a TEAMS view alongside the commit graph. Here, you will find valuable information about what repositories and files team members are working on. 

When two team members are working on the same file at the same time, GitKraken Client will display a warning icon in the Teams view. This enables you to stay on top of potential merge conflicts and avoid problems before they happen. 

Teams View in GitKraken Client

Issue Tracking Integrations

GitKraken Client 👍 | Git Extensions 👎

GitKraken Client provides developers, project managers and team leads with the ability to work efficiently across platforms through integrations with the most popular issue trackers: Jira, GitLab Issues, and GitHub Issues.

After setting up an issue tracking integration with GitKraken Client, you will be able to see a preview of your issues from the left panel. By clicking into an issue, you can then edit, add assignees, add comments, and more, all without leaving the client. 

Hover over an issue from the left panel in GitKraken Client to preview the issue details

Additionally, new issues can be created directly within GitKraken Client, where they will be synced with the issue tracker in real-time, helping teams reduce time on documentation and making life easier for developers.

When working with a specific issue, GitKraken Client provides the option to create a new branch from that issue, so you can get straight to work on tasks needing your immediate attention.

Click into an issue to access options to edit the title, description, status, and assignees.

Git Extensions is very limited in this area, only providing the option to show Jira commit hints through a plugin.

Git-Enhanced Terminal

GitKraken Client ✅ | Git Extensions ❌

Developers that prefer using the command line over a GUI have the ability to use the terminal in GitKraken Client to perform Git actions. 

GitKraken Client adds to the traditional CLI experience with a keyboard-first, Git-enhanced terminal experience. Autosuggest and autocomplete commands and syntax tooltips help increase workflow speed, and remove the need to memorize complicated Git commands

autocomplete Git commands in the GitKraken CLI

In addition to the Git commands you’re already familiar with, developers using GitKraken Client can access a range of features through the gk commands, giving you access to different views alongside the terminal, including: commit graph, diff, blame and history views.

Using gk commands in GitKraken Client

By comparison, Git Extensions does not offer a terminal interface, and developers who wish to use the CLI for Git commands but exit the application.

Git Merge Conflict Resolution

GitKraken Client 👍 | Git Extensions 👎

GitKraken Client provides developers with the ability to solve the merge conflict without having to move external tools, directly within a specialized view inside the app. The application will alert you when a merge conflict is detected, and will guide you through the steps to resolve the problem.

GitKraken Client will alert you when a merge conflict is detected

When a conflict is detected, you can click on the affected file from the right panel to open the merge conflict view in GitKraken Client. From here, you can decide which chunks of code or files you want to keep. There is even an output view a the bottom so you can see exactly how your changes will affect the file.

The merge conflict tool in GitKraken Client

If you still prefer to use external tools for your workflow, you can still configure a different default merge conflict tool within GitKraken Client by navigating to PreferencesGeneral and choosing between the different options available: kdiff3, araxis, p4merge…just to name a few.

Git Extensions also allows you to configure external tools to view file diffs and solve merge conflicts. You can choose from popular solutions like: kdiff3, diffmerge, tortoisediff, etc. The tool also provides users the ability to choose between changes within the application’s merge conflict dialog box.

The merge conflict tool in Git Extensions

1-click Undo & Redo

GitKraken Client 👍 | Git Extensions 👎

Mistakes happen; it’s a reality of life. Luckily, if you’re using GitKraken Client, mistakes in Git are far less risky thanks to the undo/redo shortcuts easily accessible within the GUI.

The Undo button in GitKraken Client

As for the actions that users can undo/redo, the list covers all major Git actions such as: checkout, commit, discard, delete branch, remove remote, and reset branch to commit.

Git Extensions, on the other hand, only allows users to undo their last commit.

Git Extensions vs GitKraken Client

We love what the open-source community of Git Extensions is developing with their project. However, if you’re a developer looking for the absolute best user experience when it comes to working with Git and you’re conscious about how constantly moving across different apps affects your speed and performance, it’s time to give GitKraken Client a try.

If you’re part of a team looking to collaborate across different repositories, keep track of bugs and epics through issue trackers like Jira, or have granular views of what their teammates are doing, you will also strongly benefit from GitKraken Client’s team-oriented features.

When it comes to advanced features for team collaboration, GitKraken Client just can’t be beat. But don’t take our word for it; get started supercharging your Git workflow right now.

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