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Git version control with Eclipse (EGit) - Tutorial

Lars Vogel

Version 3.8

Git with Eclipse (EGit)

This tutorial describes the usage of EGit; an Eclipse plug-in to use the distributed version control system Git. This tutorial is based on Eclipse 4.4 (Luna).

Table of Contents

1. Completely new to Git?
2. What is Git for Eclipse (EGit)?
3. Command line Git
4. Installation of Git support into Eclipse
5. Setting up Git in Eclipse
5.1. Eclipse preference settings for Git
5.2. Exercise: Enter your user and email
6. More configuration settings in Eclipse Git
6.1. Default clone location
6.2. The Eclipse workspace and Git repositories
6.3. Activating the Git toolbar
7. Configure files and directories to ignore
7.1. Ignoring files and directories with a .gitignore file
7.2. Global (cross-repository) .gitignore settings
7.3. Local per-repository ignore rules
8. Git Repositories view
8.1. Working with your Git repositories
8.2. Content area
8.3. Open a commit
8.4. Commands available in the Commit Viewer
9. Package and Project Explorer integration
10. Git staging view and Git commit dialog
10.1. Using the Git Staging view
10.2. Using the Git commit dialog
11. Using the History view
11.1. Purpose of the history view
11.2. See changes
11.3. The History view filters
11.4. Additional filter and search
11.5. Showing details of a commit
12. Exercise: Working with a Git repository in Eclipse
12.1. Target: Using Eclipse Git for a local repository
12.2. Create a new Git repository via Eclipse
12.3. Create .gitignore file
12.4. Creating an Eclipse project
12.5. Put project under version control
12.6. Using the Git Staging view for the initial commit
12.7. Using the Git Staging view for committing changes
12.8. Commit more files
12.9. Validating
13. Clone an existing repository
14. Performing Git operations in Eclipse
14.1. Pull, push and fetch
14.2. Basic team operations
14.3. Team operations available on the project
14.4. Amending a commit
15. Branching in Eclipse
16. Starting a merge operation in Eclipse
16.1. Merge
16.2. Solving merge conflicts
17. Using rebase in Eclipse
18. Git reset and Git reflog
18.1. git reset
18.2. Finding "invisible" commits with the Reflog view
19. Using git cherry-pick
20. Creating patches
21. Blame annotations
22. Stash via the Git repository view
23. Git repository for multiple projects
23.1. Workspace and projects
23.2. Create a new project inside an existing Git repository
23.3. Add a project to an existing Git repository
24. Exercise: Create Git repository for multiple projects
25. Interactive rebase in Eclipse
26. Using Eclipse Git with GitHub
26.1. Clone project
26.2. Push changes
27. Eclipse support for SSH based authentication
28. Eclipse integration with GitHub
28.1. The Eclipse Mylyn plug-in
28.2. GitHub issue integration
28.3. Manage pull requests in Eclipse
28.4. Import projects directly from GitHub
28.5. More infos about the GitHub Mylyn integration
29. Writing good commit messages
29.1. Importance of Git commit messages
29.2. Guidelines for useful commit messages
29.3. Example message
29.4. Good and bad example for a Git history
30. Contributing to EGit - Getting the source code
31. Git series
32. Get the Book
33. About this website
34. Links and Literature
34.1. EGit Resources
34.2. vogella GmbH training and consulting support

Get the book Eclipse IDE book

1. Completely new to Git?

In case you are completely new to the Git version control system you might want to read more about its concepts. For a detailed description of the Git concepts and different options please see the corresponding Git book from Lars Vogel or the Git online tutorial.

2. What is Git for Eclipse (EGit)?

The Eclipse IDE has excellent support for the Git version control system. This support is developed via a set of plug-ins (software component) from the EGit project.

The EGit functionality is based on the JGit library. JGit is a library which implements the Git functionality in Java.

3. Command line Git

This tutorial describes the usage of EGit. If you want to learn about the usage of the Git command line, you can use the Git Tutorial as a reference.

This tutorial also explains the basic Git terminology, e.g., what is a commit, branch, etc.

4. Installation of Git support into Eclipse

The Eclipse Git team provider plug-in can be installed into every Eclipse IDE installation. Usually the latest Eclipse Git version supports the last two official Eclipse releases.

Most Eclipse IDE downloads from contain support for Git in their default configuration. In this case no additional installation is required.

If the Git functionality is missing in your Eclipse IDE installation, you can install it via the Eclipse installation manager. Start this manager via the HelpInstall new Software menu entry by using the following update site URL: 

The dialog to install the Eclipse Git team provider is depicted in the following screenshot.

Installing EGit

5. Setting up Git in Eclipse

5.1. Eclipse preference settings for Git

The Git functionality in the Eclipse IDE uses the same configuration files as the Git command line tools, i.e., if you have configured your Git setup via Eclipse or via the command line, both will be using the same setup.

To use Git you must configure your full name and email address. This information is used to fill the author and committer information of commits you create.

The Git configuration settings can be adjusted via the Eclipse preference setting. Select WindowPreferencesTeamGitConfiguration to see the current configuration and to change it.

You can add entries to your Git configuration by pressing the Add Entries button on the Git Configuration preference page.

Configuration of EGit

5.2. Exercise: Enter your user and email

Using the information from Section 5.1, “Eclipse preference settings for Git” add your full name and email setting to your user settings if this is not yet configured.

Use the as key and your full name as value. Repeat the procedure for your email address via the key.


A common setting for Git repositories is setting the branch.autosetuprebase parameter to always. This setting avoids merge commits if you pull from a remote repository and have divergent changes and instead rebases your local branch on the remote branch it tracks.

After this exercise, the configuration should look similar to the following screenshot.

Configuration of EGit user and email defaults

6. More configuration settings in Eclipse Git

6.1. Default clone location

You can also configure the default folder for storing Git repositories in Eclipse via the WindowPreferencesGitTeamDefault Repository Folder entry.

EGit default repository folder


You can also use Eclipse configuration variables to define this path, e.g., if you want to store repositories in the folder "git" under the Eclipse workspace you may use ${workspace_loc}/git.

6.2. The Eclipse workspace and Git repositories

It is good practise to place your Git repositories outside the Eclipse workspace. This separates your Git repository from any additional meta-data which Eclipse might create.

6.3. Activating the Git toolbar

To simplify access to the common Git operations you can activate the Git toolbar. For this select WindowCustomize perspective... and check the command groups Git and Git Navigation Actions in the Command Groups Availability tab.

Git toolbar buttons

Afterwards you can configure which Git operations should be available via the Tool Bar Visibility tab.

Git toolbar buttons

7. Configure files and directories to ignore

7.1. Ignoring files and directories with a .gitignore file

Git can be configured to ignore certain files and directories for repository operations. This is configured via one or several .gitignore files. Typically, this file is located at the root of your Git repository but it can also be located in sub-directories. In the second case the defined rules are only valid for the sub-directory and below.

You can use certain wildcards in this file. * matches several characters. More patterns are possible and described under the following URL: gitignore manpage

For example, the following .gitignore file tells Git to ignore the bin and target directories and all files ending with a ~.

# ignore all bin directories
# matches "bin" in any subfolder

# ignore all target directories

# ignore all files ending with ~

You can create the .gitignore file in the root directory of the working tree to make it specific for the Git repository.


The .gitignore file tells Git to ignore the specified files in Git commands. You can still add ignored files to the staging area of the Git repository by using the --force parameter, i.e. with the git add --force [paths] command.

This is useful if you want to add, for example, auto-generated binaries, but you need to have a fine control about the version which is added and want to exclude them from the normal workflow.

It is good practice to commit the local .gitignore file into the Git repository so that everyone who clones this repository have it.

7.2. Global (cross-repository) .gitignore settings

You can also setup a global .gitignore file valid for all Git repositories via the core.excludesfile setting. The setup of this setting is demonstrated in the following code snippet.

# Create a ~/.gitignore in your user directory
cd ~/
touch .gitignore

# Exclude bin and .metadata directories
echo "bin" >> .gitignore
echo ".metadata" >> .gitignore
echo "*~" >> .gitignore
echo "target/" >> .gitignore
# for Mac
echo ".DS_Store" >> .gitignore
echo "._*" >> .gitignore

# Configure Git to use this file
# as global .gitignore

git config --global core.excludesfile ~/.gitignore 

The global .gitignore file is only locally available.

7.3. Local per-repository ignore rules

You can also create local per-repository rules by editing the .git/info/exclude file in your repository. These rules are not committed with the repository so they are not shared with others.

This allows you to exclude, for example, locally generated files.

8. Git Repositories view

8.1. Working with your Git repositories

Eclipse Git has a Git repositories view which allow you to browse your repositories, add or initialize local repositories or clone remote repositories, checkout projects, manage your branches and much more.

The toolbar entries allow you to add an existing local Git repository to the view, clone a Git repository and to create a new Git repository.

Git repository toolbar

8.2. Content area

The content area shows the existing Git repositories and the important data of each repository. The following screenshot shows an example Git repository.

Git repository view

A right-click (context menu) on an element in the Git repositories view allows you to perform related Git operations. For example if you right-click on a branch you can checkout the branch or delete it.

Git repository view context menu

8.3. Open a commit

If you are in the Git repositories view you can open a commit via the main Eclipse menu. To do this select the NavigateOpen Git Commit menu entry.

Open Git Commit dialog

Open Git Commit dialog

8.4. Commands available in the Commit Viewer

If you open a commit you can create a tag or branch from it. You can also revert it, cherry pick it or check it out. You can also reveal it in the history view.

Possible operation from a Git commit

9. Package and Project Explorer integration

The Package Explorer view shows indicators on the files to show their status. The most important icon decorators are depicted in the following screenshot.

Icon decorator

The file name describes the state of the file from the following table:

Table 1. Git label decorations

State Description
tracked File is committed to the Git repository and has not changed.
untracked File is neither staged nor committed.
ignored File is flagged to be ignored by Git operations.
dirty File has changed since the last commit.
staged Changes in the file will be included in the next commit.
partially-staged The resource has changes which are added to the index and additional unstaged changes in the working tree
added Staged but not yet committed, i.e. snapshot of this file has been stored in the git database. This status is the same as the staged status, but the file wasn't under Git version control before.
removed The resource is staged for removal from the Git repository.
conflict A merge conflict exists for the file.

A combination of the staged and dirty status means: some parts of the changed file have been staged while some are still unstaged. This can happen if you stage a file and then again modify the file before creating the next commit. You can also change the staged parts using the compare editor opened by double clicking files in the staging view.

On a project level the explorer view adds the information which Git repository is used to the project name. It also adds the number of commits that are different between local and remote tracking branch. This way you can quickly see if your local branch is ahead or behind the remote branch it is tracking.

Git icon decorator in the Package Explorer

10. Git staging view and Git commit dialog

10.1. Using the Git Staging view

Eclipse gives you several options to stage and commit your changes. The Git Staging view provides a convenient compact overview on all changes you have done compared to the current HEAD revision.

The Git Staging view is non-modal, you can switch between different repositories or even restart Eclipse without loosing a commit message and it allows incremental staging for changes.

Open the Git Staging view via the WindowShow ViewOther...GitGit Staging menu.

In this view you select all files which have changed and drag them into the Staged Changes area. To commit the staged changes you write a descriptive commit message and press the Commit button which is highlighted in the following screenshot.

Git Staging View - Commit

Perform these actions for your initial changes. Afterwards the first version of your Java project is under version control. If you don't experience any hardware error your data is now safely stored in your local Git repository and you can always restore your Eclipse project to this initial point.

10.2. Using the Git commit dialog

You can also commit changes with the Git commit dialog. For this right-click on a resource and select TeamCommit from the context menu.

The dialog allows you to add changed and new files to the staging area and commit the changes.

Adding a file via the EGit commit dialog


The commit dialog does not allow committing the removal of a file, since the commit dialog ignores the Git index.

11. Using the History view

11.1. Purpose of the history view

The History view allows you to analyze the history of your Git repository and to see to which commits the branches and tags points.

This view is depicted in the following screenshot.

History view of changes

11.2. See changes

To see the history of a resource, select your project, a file or a folder, right-click on it and select the Show in History context menu entry. Alternative you can use the Alt+Shift+W shortcut and select the History entry.

You can also configure the History view to display the history of the current selection. Select the highlighted button in the following screenshot for that.

Tracking active selection

If you select a commit you see the commit message and the involved files.

History View

Via right-click on an individual file you can compare this file with its ancestor (the commit before that) or with the current version in the workspace.


If the "compare mode" toggle is selected from the view menu of the History view you can also double click a file to compare it to the previous version.

Compare mode

11.3. The History view filters

The toolbar of the History view allows you to customize which commits are displayed. By default, the History view filters the history based on the current selection and shows only the active branch.

If you work with several branches, e.g., because you are using Gerrit for code reviews, you typically want to see all branch information and remove the filter based on the resource.

The History view allows you to filter based on resources. See the tooltips of the toolbar for the meaning of the different filter options. In order to see all commits click the highlighted buttons with the Show all changes in this repository and Show all branches and tags tooltips.

Toolbar settings in history view

11.4. Additional filter and search

Commits which are not reachable from any branch, tag or symbolic link, e.g., HEAD are not displayed in the History This selection is highlighted in the following screenshot.

Filter options for Git history view

You can also search for commits based on committer, author, ID or comment.

Search in the Git history view


The Git Search available in the SearchSearch menu is much more powerful and consumes less memory since it doesn't need to also display the history.

Git search

11.5. Showing details of a commit

If you want to see more details about a commit, right-click it and select the Open in Commit Viewer entry.

Commit Viewer

Commit Viewer

12. Exercise: Working with a Git repository in Eclipse

12.1. Target: Using Eclipse Git for a local repository

The following section explains how to create a local Git repository for one project with Eclipse. This allows you to keep track of your changes in the project and allows you to revert to another state at a later point in time.

12.2. Create a new Git repository via Eclipse

Open the Git Repositories view and select the Create a new Git repository and add it to this view option.

Git init with Eclipse Git

Select a new directory outside of your workspace. By convention this directory should be a subdirectory in the git folder of the users home directory.

Git init with Eclipse Git

If you press the Finish button this dialog creates the directory and adds a reference to the new Git repository to the Git Repositories view.

Git init with Eclipse Git

12.3. Create .gitignore file

You want to configure Git to ignore the generated bin folder with the class files. Create for this purpose a .gitignore file in your Git repository with the following content.


All files and directories which apply to the pattern described in this file will be ignored by Git. In this example all files in the bin are be ignored.

You can also create a local .gitignore file by right-clicking on a resource (file or folder) and by selecting the TeamIgnore context menu entry. Excluding individual files can be time consuming. Preferably you define a pattern in your .gitignore file in the root directory of the repository.


You can also configure Eclipse to automatically ignore derived resources, e.g., class files via the WindowPreferencesTeamGitProjectsAutomatically ignore derived resources .. setting.

12.4. Creating an Eclipse project

Create a new Java project called com.vogella.git.first in Eclipse. Create the com.vogella.git.first package and the following class.

package com.vogella.git.first;

public class GitTest {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    System.out.println("Git is fun");

12.5. Put project under version control

To put your new project under version control with Git, right-click on your project, select TeamShare ProjectGit.

Depending on your installation you may have to select that you want to use Git as a version control system.

Git repository creation wizard - Step 1

On the next dialog select your existing Git repository from the drop-down list and press the Finish button.

Git repository creation wizard - Step 1

This moves the project to your Git repository. The Git repository is in this case directly stored in the specified folder in a .git folder. The following screenshot shows the generated directory structure. The .git directory contains the Git repository, the other directories contain the files of the working tree.

Git repository creation result

12.6. Using the Git Staging view for the initial commit

Using the Git Staging view to drag all files into the Staged Changes area, write a meaningful commit message and press the commit button.

Initial commit

12.7. Using the Git Staging view for committing changes

Change the System.out.println message in your GitTest class.

package com.vogella.git.first;

public class GitTest {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    System.out.println("Git is cool");

Also create a new file called

In this example you should commit the changes of the GitTest class but not add and commit the file to the Git repository.

Using the Git Staging view drag only the GitTest class into the Staged Changes area, write a meaningful commit message and press the commit button.

Git Staging View - Add to staging area

This change is now also stored in your local Git repository. The file is neither staged nor committed to the Git repository.

12.8. Commit more files

Commit the file. By now you should know that you have to stage the file and commit it.

12.9. Validating

Use the History view as described in Section 11, “Using the History view” to review your commit history. Review which files were included in your individual commits.

13. Clone an existing repository

Eclipse allows you to clone an existing Git repository and to import existing projects from this repository into your Eclipse workspace by using a wizard.

Select FileImportGitProject from Git.

Importing projects via EGit

Select URI in the next dialog.

URI selected in EGit

Enter the URL to your Git repository. Git supports several protocols, e.g. git://, ssh:// and https://. You only have to paste the URL to the first line of the dialog, the rest will be filled out automatically.


Some proxy servers block the git:// and ssh:// protocols. If you face issues, please try to use the https:// or http:// protocol.

For example the following URI can be used to clone the example projects of the Eclipse 4 application development book: git://

The above links uses the git protocol, alternatively you can also use the http protocol:

URI entered in the dialog

After pressing the Next button the system will allow you to import the existing branches. You should select at least master as this is typically the main development branch.

URI entered in the dialog

The next dialog allows you to specify where the repository should be copied to and which local branch should be created initially.

Define target directory for Git repository

After the Git repository is cloned, EGit opens an additional import dialog which allows importing the Eclipse projects from the Git repository.

Importing projects

Once this dialog is completed, you have checked out (cloned) the projects into a local Git repository and you can use Git operation on these projects.

14. Performing Git operations in Eclipse

14.1. Pull, push and fetch

You can use the Git Repositories view to pull, push and fetch to remote repositories. Right click on your repository and select the appropriated operation.

Pull push and fetch dialog

14.2. Basic team operations

Once you have placed a project under version control you can start using team operations on your project. The team operations are available via right-click on your project or file.

Context menu


The Team menu is also available from the context menu of an opened editor.

The most important operations are described in the following list. Select:

  • TeamAdd to index, to add the selected resource(s) to the Git index

  • TeamCommit, to open the commit dialog to create a new commit

  • TeamCreate Patch..., to create a patch

  • TeamApply Patch..., to apply a patch to your file system

  • TeamIgnore, to add a file to the .gitignore file

  • TeamShow in History, to display the history of the selected resources(s)

14.3. Team operations available on the project

If you select a project you can use additional team operations from the context menu.

Context menu

  • TeamPull to pull in changes from your remote Git repository

  • TeamFetch to fetch the current state from the remote repository

  • TeamSwitch To to checkout existing or create new branches

  • TeamPush to push changes to your remote Git repository

  • TeamTag to create and manage tags.

14.4. Amending a commit

Git amend allows adjusting the last commit. For example you can change the commit message or add another modification.

The Git Staging view allows you to perform the Git amend command via the highlighted button in the following screenshot.

Git amend in the Git Staging view

15. Branching in Eclipse

Right-click your project and select TeamBranch to create new branches or to switch between existing branches.

You can also switch branches in the History view or the Git repositories view.

16. Starting a merge operation in Eclipse

16.1. Merge

Eclipse supports merging of branches to add the changes committed on one branch into another branch.

Checkout the branch into which you want to merge the changes into and select your project and TeamMerge to start the merge dialog.

Team Merge menu

Team Merge menu

16.2. Solving merge conflicts

If during a Git operation, two changes are conflicting, you have to solve these conflicts manually. Eclipse Git highlights the affected files in the Package Explorer or Project Explorer view.

Eclipse Git supports the resolution of these merge conflicts. To trigger this via the explorer views, right-click on a file with merge conflicts and select TeamMerge Tool.

You can also use the Git staging view to find the conflicting files. In large projects this is usually faster than navigating the Package Explorer or Project Explorer view.

This opens a dialog, asking you which merge mode you would like to use. The easiest way to see the conflicting changes is to use the Use HEAD (the last local version) of conflicting files as merge mode. This way you see the original changes on the left side and the conflicting and non-conflicting changes on the right side.

Selecting the merge model

You can manually edit the text on the left side or use the Copy current change from right to left button to copy the changes from right to left.

Seeing merge conflicts

Copy changes from right to left

Once you have manually merged the changes, select TeamAdd from the context menu of the resource to mark the conflicts as resolved and commit the merge commit via TeamCommit.

17. Using rebase in Eclipse

The Git Repositories view allows you to rebase your currently checkout branch onto another branch. Right-click on a repository node and select Rebase as depicted in the following screenshot.

Rebase in EGit

In the following dialog you can select the branch onto which you want to rebase.

Rebase in EGit, selecting the branch for rebase


You can also select the branch to rebase onto from the Branches node of the tree directly.

If the rebase was successful a dialog is shown. You have to resolve rebase conflicts if they occur. After resolving them, select RebaseContinue.

If you want to skip the conflicting commit and continue with the rebase operation use RebaseSkip.

To cancel the rebase operation select RebaseAbort.

18. Git reset and Git reflog

18.1. git reset

The History view allows you to reset your current branch to a commit. Right-click on a certain commit and select Reset and the reset mode you would like to use.

Reset in EGit

18.2. Finding "invisible" commits with the Reflog view

Commits are not visible in the Git history if they can't be reached from a branch or tag. This might happen during a reset, commit amend or rebase operation. By default, such invisible commits are removed after two weeks by the Git system.

The Git Reflog view keeps track of the movements of the HEAD pointer and the movements of each branch. This view allows you to find a commit again, e.g., if you used the git reset --hard command to remove certain commits.

19. Using git cherry-pick

In the History view, you can cherry-pick a commit via the context menu.

A combination of git reset and git cherry-pick allows you to move the changes done in a commit to anther branch. Assume you have a bad commit which you would like to remove from the history of branch followed by a good commit. This situation is depicted in the following screenshot.

Situation before the cherry pick

For this you would make a hard reset on the commit of origin/master.

Situation before the cherry pick

Afterwards you can cherry-pick the good commit.

Situation before the cherry pick

Situation before the cherry pick

This results in a history without the bad commit.


You can do the same with interactive rebase. See Section 25, “Interactive rebase in Eclipse”.

20. Creating patches

To create a patch for a set of changes with Eclipse Git, select the resources for which you want to create a patch in the Package Explorer view, right click and select TeamCreate Patch.

Create Patch via EGit menu path

Create Patch via Eclipse Git

The resulting file can be used to get applied to another Git repository, via TeamApply Patch. You can also apply the patch on a system where Git isn't installed at all, i.e., you don't need a Git repository to apply a patch.

21. Blame annotations

The Git tooling in Eclipse allows displaying annotations to see which line was last changed by whom and which commit. To enable this, right-click on your file and select TeamShow Annotations.

Afterwards you can place the mouse on the left side of the editor and a popup dialog shows the commit information and the change applied by the shown commit.

Blame annotations in EGit


To ignore whitespace changes in the Git blame annotations in Eclipse, select WindowPreferencesTeamGit and select Ignore whitespace changes.

22. Stash via the Git repository view

The git stash command is available in the Git repositories view. Right-click on your Git repository and select Stash Changes.

Stash changes in EGit

Stash changes in EGit

Stash changes in EGit

23. Git repository for multiple projects

23.1. Workspace and projects

Eclipse allows working with projects that are not included in the root folder of the workspace.

Using this functionality your projects can be stored in the working tree of a Git repository.

23.2. Create a new project inside an existing Git repository

To put several Eclipse projects into the same Git repository you create a new (or reuse an existing) Git repository outside your workspace.


Even though you could also create the Git repository inside your workspace, it is good practice to put the Git repository outside of the Eclipse workspace. This avoids that workspace data is included into your Git repository.

A simple way of adding a project to a Git repository is to specify the file location in the New Project wizard as depicted in the following screenshot.

Create project in Git repository

If you add the Git repository to your Git repositories view, you can perform the Git team operations on the files of this repository.

23.3. Add a project to an existing Git repository

To add a new Eclipse project to an existing Git repository, select the project, right-click on it and select TeamShareGit and select the existing Git repository.

Adding a project to an existing Git repository

The Eclipse Git functionality moves the projects to the repository and imports the project automatically into your workspace.

24. Exercise: Create Git repository for multiple projects

Create two Java projects called com.vogella.egit.multi.java1 and com.vogella.egit.multi.java2.

Create at least one Java class in each project.

Afterwards select both projects, right-click on them and select TeamShare Project...Git. Eclipse may ask you which version control system you want to use, e.g. CVS or Git. Select, of course, the Git entry.

Now create a new Git repository outside your workspace as described in Section 12.5, “Put project under version control” and include both projects into this repository.

Both projects committed to new Git repository in Eclipse

If you performed this step you created a new Git repository and both projects have been moved to this new repository.

Now perform your initial commit for all files in the projects.

Both projects committed to new Git repository in Eclipse

25. Interactive rebase in Eclipse

Eclipse supports the interactive rebase via the History view.

To reword a commit, right-click on it in the History view and select ModifyReword to change the commit message.

Reword a commit message in Eclipse

You can squash several commits by selecting them in the History view and by using the ModifySquash menu entry from the context menu.

Squash a commit

The above options are simplified ways to do an interactive rebase.

To start the full interactive rebase open the History view and click Rebase Interactive on the context menu of the commit preceding the oldest commit you want to rewrite. Often this is the one origin/master points to.

Interactive Rebase EGit

This opens the Git Interactive Rebase view. It shows the rebase plan populated with the commits to be modified in topological order in the sequence they will be processed. The initial action for all commits is "Pick".

Interactive Rebase EGit

Use this view to finalize the rebase plan. For example you can reorder commits with the arrow buttons and select the rebase action you want to apply to the commit. The following screenshot demonstrates a possible selection.

Interactive Rebase EGit

When the rebase plan is finalized, click the Start button to start the interactive rebase command. Eclipse Git processes the plan. It stops at all commits with an action which needs user feedback, for example the reword action which requires entering the new commit message. The dialog for changing the commit message is depicted in the following screenshot.

Interactive Rebase EGit

Here is the result of the rebase operation displayed in the History view.

Interactive Rebase EGit


If something goes wrong during the rebase operation you can select Abort in order to stop the rebase operation and roll back to the starting point.

26. Using Eclipse Git with GitHub

26.1. Clone project

Copy the URL from GitHub and select in Eclipse from the menu the FileImportGitProjects from Git

Eclipse fills out most of the fields based on the URL in the clipboard. Enter your user and password to be able to push to GitHub. Alternative you can also use an SSH key. You can configure Eclipse to know your SSH via the Window PreferencesGeneralNetwork ConnectionSSH2 preference setting. This setting is depicted in the following screenshot.

SSH settings

26.2. Push changes

After you made changes and committed them to your local repository, you can select TeamPush to upstream on the project folder, to push your changes to your GitHub. This requires write access to the GitHub repository.

27. Eclipse support for SSH based authentication

The Eclipse IDE allows you to create an SSH key pair for SSH based communication via WindowPreferencesGeneralNetwork ConnectionSSH2.

Generating a SSH key via the Eclipse IDE

28. Eclipse integration with GitHub

28.1. The Eclipse Mylyn plug-in

Eclipse Mylyn provides task integration for GitHub issues, GitHub pull and Gist (short text snippets) into the Eclipse IDE.

There is a GitHub connector for Mylyn available, please see GitHub Mylyn User Guide for details.

You install it via HelpInstall new Software and the update site of your release.

Install Mylyn GitHub connector

28.2. GitHub issue integration

You can integrate your GitHub issues into Eclipse via FileImport...TaskGitHub Task Repositories and by following the wizard.

Importing tasks into Eclipse

28.3. Manage pull requests in Eclipse

You can integrate your pull requests at GitHub into Eclipse by creating a new query from the Task List view. This is demonstrated via the following screenshots.

Integrating Gitpull requests into Eclipse

Integrating Gitpull requests into Eclipse

Integrating Gitpull requests into Eclipse

Integrating Gitpull requests into Eclipse

Integrating Gitpull requests into Eclipse


Unfortunately the GitHub connect does currently not support that you merge the pull request.

28.4. Import projects directly from GitHub

You can also import now directly projects from GitHub repositories.

Importing projects from GitHub into EclipseF

28.5. More infos about the GitHub Mylyn integration

For a detailed description of the Mylyn and EGit integration please see the following webpage. 

29. Writing good commit messages

29.1. Importance of Git commit messages

A commit adds a new version to the repository. This version is described by a commit message.

The commit message describes the changes recorded in a commit and helps the user to understand the history of the files contained in a Git repository.

A commit message should therefore be descriptive and informative without repeating the code changes.

29.2. Guidelines for useful commit messages

A commit message should have a header and a body. The header should be less than 50 characters and the body should wrap its text at 72 so that the commit message is displayed well on the command line or in graphical tools displaying the history. The body should be separated from the header by an empty line.

The body should mainly describe the reason why the change was made. The changes in the file can be reviewed with the help of Git.

The commit message should be in present tense, e.g., "Adds better error handling" instead of "Added better error handling".

The last paragraph can also contain metadata as key-value pairs, also referred to as the commit message footer. This metadata can be used to trigger a certain behavior. For example the Gerrit code review system uses the Change-Id key followed by a change-id, which does not change across different versions of the same code review. This changed id is used to identify to which review the message belongs.

The commit message footer can also have e.g., 'Signed-off-by' and may be used to link to a bug tracking system, e.g., 'Bug: 1234'.

29.3. Example message

The following can serve as an example for a commit message.

Short summary (less than 50 characters)

Detailed explanation, if required, line break at around 72 characters
more stuff to describe...

Fixes: bug #8009
Change-Id: I26b5f96ccb7b2293dc9b7a5cba0760294afba9fd 

29.4. Good and bad example for a Git history

The following listing shows the output of the git log --oneline command of a Git repository with bad commit messages. The first value in each line is the shortened SHA-1, the second the commit message. This history is not useful.

21a8456 update
29f4219 update
016c696 update
29bc541 update
740a130 initial commit 

The next listing shows the history of another Git repository in which better commit messages have been used. This history already gives a good overview about the activities.

7455823 Bug 391086 - Search and filter the model editor tree.
9a84a8a Bug 404207 - Missing DynamicMenuContribution in child selector
952e014 Bug 404187 - Spelling error in Toolbar/Add child
71eeea9 Bug 402875 - Importing model elements from legacy RCP
123672c Bug 403679 - New Application wizard is missing dependencies
97cdb9a Bug 388635 - Creates an id for handlers 

The above example also adds the corresponding bug number to the commit message. Some teams (like the Eclipse platform team) use this approach, others prefer to add the bug number to the commit messages.

30. Contributing to EGit - Getting the source code

EGit is self-hosted on git:// See EGit contributor guide for a description how to work with the EGit and JGit source.

31. Git series

This tutorial is part of a series about the Git version control system. See the other tutorials for more information.

32. Get the Book

This tutorial is part of a book available as paper print and electronic form for your Kindle.

33. About this website

34. Links and Literature

34.1. EGit Resources

EGit User Guide

EGit contributor guide

34.2. vogella GmbH training and consulting support

The vogella company provides comprehensive training and education services from experts in the areas of Eclipse RCP, Android, Git, Java, Gradle and Spring. We offer both public and inhouse training. Whichever course you decide to take, you are guaranteed to experience what many before you refer to as “The best IT class I have ever attended”. The vogella company offers expert consulting services, development support and coaching. Our customers range from Fortune 100 corporations to individual developers.