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GitKraken vs SmartGit

The GitKraken Git GUI was one of the first software products of its kind to hit the market in August 2014, built by Axosoft developers who were on a mission to find a Git GUI that didn’t suck. One that could quickly show who was doing what, to which file, on any project; one that could help expedite individual workflows and improve team collaboration; one that visually blew the minds of everyone who interacted with it. 🤯

We let our developers loose to build the greatest Git GUI the digital world had ever seen. Despite the entrance of new competition in years since GitKraken’s initial release, our speed, performance, and functionality (not to mention our mascot, Keif), continue to satisfy and delight our growing user base of millions of developers around the world. 

But don’t take our word for it. We’re so confident in our product that we’re willing to lay it all out on the table and tell you how we compare to the competition. In this article, we will be focusing on how the GitKraken Git GUI stacks up to SmartGit. 

Compare SmartGit vs GitKraken

Features GitKraken SmartGit
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

“Just tried @GitKraken for the first time (instead of SmartGit) — the ability to stage individual “hunks” of a diff is really handy.” – @MoldyMagnet

Resolving Merge Conflicts  

Not only does GitKraken clearly notify you of a conflict, our merge conflict tool is by far one of our most popular features. 

Merge conflicts in Git can be notoriously intimidating, but they’re a breeze with GitKraken. Imagine you’re working with two branches that propose conflicting changes to the same line in the same file. Upon attempting to perform a merge, GitKraken will detect the conflict and alert you that it needs your help. 

GitKraken then shows you a list of the conflicted files. Clicking on a file will open the merge tool, which displays the conflicting changes side-by-side along with an output view at the bottom.

Each conflict section has a checkbox and, if checked, will be added to the Output section at the bottom. You can then use your mouse to select other lines to add to the output by clicking the + icon. Use the up and down arrows to navigate between conflicts. 

Once you have resolved the conflicted files, you may proceed with the merge and return to your regularly scheduled workflow.  

We recently made our merge conflict tool even better with perf improvements to scrolling, output, line editing, and conflict line selection. Our merge tool now uses the Monaco editor, allowing users to search independently within the three conflict windows. We’ve also added the auto-complete capability to the output editor. 

Fast Global Search 

GitKraken ✅ | SmartGit ❌

SmartGit lacks fast global search. We know this is an important feature for developers using Git; there have even been requests from SmartGit users to implement something like the GitKraken Fuzzy Finder in their software. 

I would like to request a ‘fast global search’ function similar to the ‘fuzzy finder’ in the GitKraken Client. This provides instantaneous access to searching commits, accessing client commands, and initiating Git operations in a single operation.

SmartGit User Christopher Kline

In GitKraken, our Fuzzy Finder is a great way to quickly access our application’s actions and features. You can open repositories, search commits, view file history, open settings, and much more. 

GitKraken review on Slant.co “Best Git Clients for Windows”

Open the Fuzzy Finder with the keyboard shortcut Cmd/Ctrl + P and start typing to accomplish a variety of actions. You can view the list of supported commands in our Fuzzy Finder documentation

Our Fuzzy Finder is yet another example of how GitKraken helps expedite your productivity as a developer. 


GitKraken 👍 | SmartGit 👎

Not only is GitKraken’s pricing model more straightforward, our product is less expensive than SmartGit. SmartGit licenses start at $59 a year for individual licenses, compared to GitKraken at $29 year. Side note: GitKraken is FREE if you’re working with public repos. Shout out to our open source peeps! 

A $49 investment with GitKraken gets users a Pro license for one year, boasting all the bells and whistles our Git client offers. SmartGit’s cheapest offering, at $59 a year, comes without numerous features, including their distributed review add-ons for fast code reviewing. To get all of SmartGit’s core features, you’re looking at just under $90 a year for an individual license.

Undo Button 

GitKraken ✅ | SmartGit ❌

SmartGit has no undo button. Our Undo button is straight magic. ✨ Keif wishes he had a Kraken Coin for every time a user has told us how the Undo button saved their butt after performing a merge incorrectly. 

Let’s say you’re working in the command line, hit the enter key, and suddenly, you experience a panic surge as you realize you’ve just made a grave mistake. Cue cold sweats and shortness of breath. 

Now let’s play that same situation back using GitKraken. Make a mistake? Simply click the Undo button in the top toolbar of your UI and get back to your workflow. Go ahead, embrace your inner Dr. Strange.

The Undo button allows users to undo the following actions in GitKraken: 

  • Checkout
  • Commit
  • Discard 
  • Delete branch
  • Remove remote
  • Reset branch to a commit 

Furthermore, GitKraken also has a Redo button if you ever get click-happy and undo something by mistake. We got you. 😅

Pull Request Templates 

GitKraken 👍 | SmartGit 👎

The basic version of SmartGit does not support pull request templates, an element of team coding that has become an accepted industry best practice. GitKraken supports PR templates from GitHub, GitLab, and Azure DevOps. SmartGit does, however, have a “Distributed Review” system as an add-on product, with an additional cost, which supports PRs that do not have message templates. This system does not support pull requests from GitHub, GitLab, or Azure DevOps. 

As a developer, you have a responsibility to not only fix issues and implement new features, but to also clearly communicate your work to product owners, team members, or other collaborators who are reviewing the code. 

Through our PR integration, GitKraken gives users the ability to provide concise descriptions of their submitted code through pre-formatted templates, ensuring consistency regardless of who on your team is submitting the request. 

Better yet, GitKraken issue boards recently got a new feature allowing users to link Glo cards with GitHub pull requests! Users can track the status of a PR and automate moving a card into a new column on their Glo board based on whether the pull request has been opened, closed, or merged. 

Furthermore, you can associate a Glo card when creating a pull request in GitKraken by searching for the card in the PR template form. The card link will display in your pull request description in GitHub as the title of the card. 

Issue Tracking Integrations 

GitKraken 👍 | SmartGit 👎

Speed up your workflow even further by managing your issues without leaving your coding environment. GitKraken is the only Git GUI on the market that offers enhanced integrations with the most-used issue tracking tools.  

GitKraken integrates with the following issue trackers: 

Users who utilize one of the above tools to manage their issues can accomplish the following actions directly from GitKraken: view, filter, and edit issues/cards, create branches tied to issues/cards, and create new issues/cards.

While SmartGit does offer a less-robust issue integration with Jira, it does not offer integrations for other issue tracking tools.

Azure DevOps Integration

GitKraken ✅ | SmartGit ❌

SmartGit doesn’t integrate with Azure DevOps, unlike GitKraken, which integrates with  GitHubBitbucketGitLab, and Azure DevOps hosted and self-hosted services. 

GitKraken users can quickly connect to Azure DevOps through our app. After the authentication process, users can expect the following benefits: 

  • Close repos from your Azure DevOps repository list
  • Add remotes for your Azure DevOps repos
  • Create and view pull requests
  • Automatically generate an SSH key pair and copy it to Azure DevOps
  • And more…

The Best Cross-Platform Git GUI 

At the end of the day, the tools you choose to use depend on your personal preferences and workflows, but the masses have spoken. GitKraken is the most popular Git GUI used across Windows, Mac, and Linux. 

Hear it from our customers, listen to why students love learning with GitKraken, or read our reviews on SlantG2Crowd, and Product Hunt

It’s super intuitive for git beginners and still has all the advanced functionality that you need when things might get messy. The cool thing is: GitKraken actually helps you to keep your git workflow clean by visually displaying it.

Product Hunt

GitKraken is the only Git client that has (and I’ve tried many) such a nice interface and also allows you to apply different themes, I prefer the dark one but you can also choose a light one. Even the Kraken logo is beautiful.

– Ryan W, G2 Crowd

Are you ready to release the Kraken? 

Are you convinced yet? Join millions of other software developers and engineers worldwide in maximizing the productivity of your workflow with GitKraken, the fastest and highest-functioning GUI on the market. 

GitKraken offers more features than SmartGit, like 1-click undo/redo, and protection from mistakes – and at a better price no less! 

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