Simple GIT interface for node.js, bundled with native git natived

Usage no npm install needed!

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Simple Git

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A light weight interface for running git commands in any node.js application.


Easiest through npm: npm install simple-git


Requires git to be installed and that it can be called using the command git.


Include into your app using:

const simpleGit = require('simple-git')(workingDirPath);

where the workingDirPath is optional, defaulting to the current directory.

Use simpleGit by chaining any of its functions together. Each function accepts an optional final argument which will be called when that step has been completed. When it is called it has two arguments - firstly an error object (or null when no error occurred) and secondly the data generated by that call.

API What it does
.add([fileA, ...], handlerFn) adds one or more files to be under source control
.addAnnotatedTag(tagName, tagMessage, handlerFn) adds an annotated tag to the head of the current branch
.addConfig(key, value[, handlerFn]) add a local configuration property
.addRemote(name, repo, handlerFn) adds a new named remote to be tracked as name at the path repo
.addTag(name, handlerFn) adds a lightweight tag to the head of the current branch
.branch([options, ][handlerFn]) gets a list of all branches, calls handlerFn with two arguments, an error object and BranchSummary instance. When supplied, the options can be either an array of arguments supported by the branch command or a standard options object.
.branchLocal([handlerFn]) gets a list of local branches, calls handlerFn with two arguments, an error object and BranchSummary instance
.catFile(options[, handlerFn]) generate cat-file detail, options should be an array of strings as supported arguments to the cat-file command
.checkIgnore([filepath, ...], handlerFn) checks if filepath excluded by .gitignore rules
.checkIsRepo(handlerFn) Determines whether the current working directory is part of a git repository, the handler will be called with standard error object and a boolean response.
.checkout(checkoutWhat, handlerFn) checks out the supplied tag, revision or branch. checkoutWhat can be one or more strings to be used as parameters appended to the git checkout command.
.checkoutBranch(branchName, startPoint, handlerFn) checks out a new branch from the supplied start point
.checkoutLatestTag(handlerFn) convenience method to pull then checkout the latest tag
.checkoutLocalBranch(branchName, handlerFn) checks out a new local branch
.clean(mode [, options [, handlerFn]]) clean the working tree. Mode should be "n" - dry run or "f" - force
.clearQueue() immediately clears the queue of pending tasks (note: any command currently in progress will still call its completion callback)
.clone(repoPath, [localPath, [options]], [handlerFn]) clone a remote repo at repoPath to a local directory at localPath (can be omitted to use the default of a directory with the same name as the repo name) with an optional array of additional arguments to include between git clone and the trailing repo local arguments
.commit(message, handlerFn) commits changes in the current working directory with the supplied message where the message can be either a single string or array of strings to be passed as separate arguments (the git command line interface converts these to be separated by double line breaks)
.commit(message, [fileA, ...], options, handlerFn) commits changes on the named files with the supplied message, when supplied, the optional options object can contain any other parameters to pass to the commit command, setting the value of the property to be a string will add name=value to the command string, setting any other type of value will result in just the key from the object being passed (ie: just name), an example of setting the author is below
.customBinary(gitPath) sets the command to use to reference git, allows for using a git binary not available on the path environment variable
.cwd(workingDirectory) Sets the current working directory for all commands after this step in the chain
.deleteLocalBranch(branchName, handlerFn) deletes a local branch
.diff(options, handlerFn) get the diff of the current repo compared to the last commit with a set of options supplied as a string
.diff(handlerFn) get the diff for all file in the current repo compared to the last commit
.diffSummary(handlerFn) gets a summary of the diff for files in the repo, uses the git diff --stat format to calculate changes. Handler is called with a nullable error object and an instance of the DiffSummary
.diffSummary(options, handlerFn) includes options in the call to diff --stat options and returns a DiffSummary
.env(name, value) Set environment variables to be passed to the spawned child processes, see usage in detail below.
.exec(handlerFn) calls a simple function in the current step
.fetch([options, ] handlerFn) update the local working copy database with changes from the default remote repo and branch, when supplied the options argument can be a standard options object either an array of string commands as supported by the git fetch. On success, the returned data will be an instance of the FetchSummary
.fetch(remote, branch, handlerFn) update the local working copy database with changes from a remote repo
.fetch(handlerFn) update the local working copy database with changes from the default remote repo and branch
.getRemotes([verbose], handlerFn) gets a list of the named remotes, when the verbose option is supplied as true, includes the URLs and purpose of each ref
.init(bare, handlerFn) initialize a repository, optional bare parameter makes intialized repository bare
.listRemote([args], handlerFn) lists remote repositories - there are so many optional arguments in the underlying git ls-remote call, just supply any you want to use as the optional args array of strings eg: git.listRemote(['--heads', '--tags'], console.log.bind(console))
.log([options], handlerFn) list commits between options.from and options.to tags or branch (if not specified will show all history). Additionally you can provide options.file, which is the path to a file in your repository. Then only this file will be considered. options.symmetric allows you to specify whether you want to use symmetric revision range (To be compatible, by default, its value is true). For any other set of options, supply options as an array of strings to be appended to the git log command. To use a custom splitter in the log format, set options.splitter to be the string the log should be split on. Set options.multiLine to true to include a multi-line body in the output format. Options can also be supplied as a standard options object for adding custom properties supported by the git log command.
.mergeFromTo(from, to, [[options,] handlerFn]) merge from one branch to another, when supplied the options should be an array of additional parameters to pass into the git merge command
.merge(options, handlerFn) runs a merge, options can be either an array of arguments supported by the git merge command or an options object. Conflicts during the merge result in an error response, the response type whether it was an error or success will be a MergeSummary instance. When successful, the MergeSummary has all detail from a the PullSummary
.mirror(repoPath, localPath, handlerFn]) clone and mirror the repo to local
.mv(from, to, handlerFn]) rename or move a single file at from to to. On success the handlerFn will be called with a MoveSummary
.mv(from, to, handlerFn]) move all files in the from array to the to directory. On success the handlerFn will be called with a MoveSummary
.outputHandler(handlerFn) attaches a handler that will be called with the name of the command being run and the stdout and stderr readable streams created by the child process running that command
.pull(handlerFn) Pulls all updates from the default tracked repo
.pull(remote, branch, handlerFn) pull all updates from the specified remote branch (eg 'origin'/'master')
.pull(remote, branch, options, handlerFn) Pulls from named remote with any necessary options
.push(remote, branch[, options] handlerFn) pushes to a named remote/branch, supports additional options from the git push command.
.pushTags(remote, handlerFn) pushes tags to a named remote
.raw(args[, handlerFn]) Execute any arbitrary array of commands supported by the underlying git binary. When the git process returns a non-zero signal on exit and it printed something to stderr, the commmand will be treated as an error, otherwise treated as a success.
.rebase([options,] handlerFn) Rebases the repo, options should be supplied as an array of string parameters supported by the git rebase command, or an object of options (see details below for option formats).
.removeRemote(name, handlerFn) removes the named remote
.reset([resetMode,] handlerFn) resets the repository, the optional first argument can either be an array of options supported by the git reset command or one of the string constants mixed, hard, or soft, if omitted the reset will be a soft reset to head, handlerFn: (err)
.revert(commit [, options [, handlerFn]]) reverts one or more commits in the working copy. The commit can be any regular commit-ish value (hash, name or offset such as HEAD~2) or a range of commits (eg: master~5..master~2). When supplied the options argument contain any options accepted by git-revert.
.revparse([options], handlerFn) wraps git rev-parse. Primarily used to convert friendly commit references (ie branch names) to SHA1 hashes. Options should be an array of string options compatible with the git rev-parse
.rm([fileA, ...], handlerFn) removes any number of files from source control
.rmKeepLocal([fileA, ...], handlerFn) removes files from source control but leaves them on disk
.silent(isSilent) sets whether the console should be used for logging errors (defaults to true when the NODE_ENV contains the string prod)
.stash([options, ][ handlerFn]) Stash the working directory, optional first argument can be an array of string arguments or options object to pass to the git stash command.
.stashList([options, ][handlerFn]) Retrieves the stash list, optional first argument can be an object specifying options.splitter to override the default value of ;;;;, alternatively options can be a set of arguments as supported by the git stash list command.
.subModule(args [, handlerFn]) Run a git submodule command with on or more arguments passed in as an args array
.submoduleAdd(repo, path[, handlerFn]) adds a new sub module
.submoduleInit([args, ][handlerFn]) inits sub modules, args should be an array of string arguments to pass to the git submodule init command
.submoduleUpdate([args, ][handlerFn]) updates sub modules, args should be an array of string arguments to pass to the git submodule update command
.tag(args[], handlerFn) Runs any supported git tag commands with arguments passed as an array of strings .
.tags([options, ] handlerFn) list all tags, use the optional options object to set any options allows by the git tag command. Tags will be sorted by semantic version number by default, for git versions 2.7 and above, use the --sort option to set a custom sort.
.show([options], handlerFn) Show various types of objects, for example the file content at a certain commit. options is the single value string or array of string commands you want to run
.status(handlerFn) gets the status of the current repo

How to Specify Options

For .pull or .commit options are included as an object, the keys of which will all be merged as trailing arguments in the command string. When the value of the property in the options object is a string, that name value pair will be included in the command string as name=value. For example:

// results in 'git pull origin master --no-rebase'
git().pull('origin', 'master', {'--no-rebase': null})

// results in 'git pull origin master --rebase=true'
git().pull('origin', 'master', {'--rebase': 'true'})

Release History

Bumped to a new major revision in the 1.x branch, now uses ChildProcess.spawn in place of ChildProcess.exec to add escaping to the arguments passed to each of the tasks.

Deprecated APIs

Use of these APIs is deprecated and should be avoided as support for them will be removed in future release:

.then(func) In versions 1.72 and below, it was possible to add a regular function call to the queue of tasks to be run. As this name clashes with the use of Promises, in version 1.73.0 it is renamed to .exec(fn) and a warning will be logged to stdout if .then is used. From version 2.0 the library will support promises without the need to wrap or use the alternative require require('simple-git/promise').

.log([from, to], handlerFn) list commits between from and to tags or branch, switch to supplying the revisions as an options object instead.

Complex Requests

When no suitable wrapper exists in the interface for creating a request, it is possible to run a command directly using git.raw([...], handler). The array of commands are passed directly to the git binary:

const git = require('simple-git');
const path = '/path/to/repo';

], (err, result) => {

  // err is null unless this command failed
  // result is the raw output of this command



The easiest way to supply a username / password to the remote host is to include it in the URL, for example:

const USER = 'something';
const PASS = 'somewhere';
const REPO = 'github.com/username/private-repo';

const git = require('simple-git/promise');
const remote = `https://${USER}:${PASS}@${REPO}`;

  .then(() => console.log('finished'))
  .catch((err) => console.error('failed: ', err));

Be sure to enable silent mode to prevent fatal errors from being logged to stdout.

Environment Variables

Pass one or more environment variables to the child processes spawned by simple-git with the .env method which supports passing either an object of name=value pairs or setting a single variable at a time:

const GIT_SSH_COMMAND = "ssh -o UserKnownHostsFile=/dev/null -o StrictHostKeyChecking=no";

const git = require('simple-git');

  .status((err, status) => { /*  */ })

const gitP = require('simple-git/promise');

gitP().env({ ...process.env, GIT_SSH_COMMAND })
  .then(status => { })
  .catch(err => {});

Note - when passing environment variables into the child process, these will replace the standard process.env variables, the example above creates a new object based on process.env but with the GIT_SSH_COMMAND property added.


To import with TypeScript:

import * as simplegit from 'simple-git/promise';

const git = simplegit();
git.status().then((status: StatusSummary) => { ... })

Response Object Revisions

| ListLogLine | v1.110.0 | The default format expression used in .log splits ref data out of the message into a property of its own: { message: 'Some commit message (some-branch-name)' } becomes { message: 'Some commit message', refs: 'some-branch-name' } | | ListLogLine | v1.110.0 | The commit body content is now included in the default format expression and can be used to identify the content of merge conflicts eg: { body: '# Conflicts:\n# some-file.txt' } |


Every command returns ENOENT error message

There are a few potential reasons:

  • git isn't available as a binary for the user running the main node process, custom paths to the binary can be used with the .customBinary(...) api option.
  • the working directory passed in to the main simple-git function isn't accessible, check it is read/write accessible by the user running the node process.

Log response properties are out of order

The properties of git.log are fetched using a ; as a delimiter. If your commit messages use the ; character, supply a custom splitter in the options, for example: git.log({ splitter: '|||' })


async await with simple-git/promise:

async function status (workingDir) {
   const git = require('simple-git/promise');
   let statusSummary = null;
   try {
      statusSummary = await git(workingDir).status();
   catch (e) {
      // handle the error
   return statusSummary;

// using the async function
status(__dirname + '/some-repo').then(status => console.log(status));

Initialise a git repo if necessary

const gitP = require('simple-git/promise');
const git = gitP(__dirname);

   .then(isRepo => !isRepo && initialiseRepo(git))
   .then(() => git.fetch());

function initialiseRepo (git) {
   return git.init()
      .then(() => git.addRemote('origin', 'https://some.git.repo'))

Update repo and get a list of tags

require('simple-git')(__dirname + '/some-repo')
     .tags((err, tags) => console.log("Latest available tag: %s", tags.latest));

// update repo and when there are changes, restart the app
     .pull((err, update) => {
        if(update && update.summary.changes) {
           require('child_process').exec('npm restart');

Starting a new repo

     .commit("first commit!")
     .addRemote('origin', 'https://github.com/user/repo.git')
     .push('origin', 'master');

push with -u

     .commit("first commit!")
     .addRemote('origin', 'some-repo-url')
     .push(['-u', 'origin', 'master'], () => console.log('done'));

Piping to the console for long running tasks

     .outputHandler((command, stdout, stderr) => {

Update repo and print messages when there are changes, restart the app

     .exec(() => console.log('Starting pull...'))
     .pull((err, update) => {
        if(update && update.summary.changes) {
           require('child_process').exec('npm restart');
     .exec(() => console.log('pull done.'));

Get a full commits list, and then only between 0.11.0 and 0.12.0 tags

    .log((err, log) => console.log(log))
    .log('0.11.0', '0.12.0', (err, log) => console.log(log));

Set the local configuration for author, then author for an individual commit

    .addConfig('user.name', 'Some One')
    .addConfig('user.email', 'some@one.com')
    .commit('committed as "Some One"', 'file-one')
    .commit('committed as "Another Person"', 'file-two', { '--author': '"Another Person <another@person.com>"' });

Get remote repositories

    .listRemote(['--get-url'], (err, data) => {
        if (!err) {
            console.log('Remote url for repository at ' + __dirname + ':');