Installing a version control system (SmartGit)

I’ve been taking a computer programming course and finally decided I’d like to have some sort of version control so that I can revert to older versions of the programs I’m writing in case I totally jack something up.

I selected SmartGit from the Git website’s list of Linux version with a graphical user interface (GUI).

Downloaded SmartGit and moved the tarball gzip to my Home directory and upacked/extracted the files by double-clicking.

Ironically, since I selected SmartGit based on it having a GUI, after unpacking the file in my Home directory, I couldn’t figure out how to start/install the program (no GUI for that, I guess!). So, I took a look at the readme.txt file in the SmartGit folder. Here’s what it reads:


SmartGit itself does not need to be installed; just unpack it to your preferred
location and launch the bin/ script. It might be necessary to define
the SMARTGIT_JAVA_HOME environment variable pointing to the used Java home.

Well, this doesn’t seem like the best start for selecting a program that should make using easier, due to the existence of a GUI. I guess I’ll have to launch it the “old fashioned” way…

Change to the directory containing the script:
$cd /smartgithg-6_0_5/bin

Launch SmartGit:

SmartGit launched and here are the steps that I went through to get it configured:

1.See Git Executable location – Didn’t change anything.

Setup SmartGit-Hg _031

2.Select SSH Client – Didn’t change anything.

Setup SmartGit-Hg _032

3. Enter username/e-mail – Didn’t enter anything here.

Setup SmartGit-Hg _033

4a. Select a hosting provider for online repositories – I already have a GitHub account, so I selected that.

Setup SmartGit-Hg _034

4b. Selected GitHub…

Setup SmartGit-Hg _035

4c. Generated a GitHub API token on the GitHub website…

Authorized applications - Mozilla Firefox_037

4d. Continued API token stuff…

New personal access token - Mozilla Firefox_038

5.SmartGit detected “existing” local Git repositories – Not sure how/why these get detected as Git repositories, since I haven’t used them as such.

Setup SmartGit-Hg _039

6.New or existing repository – Selected to create a new repository.

Welcome to SmartGit-Hg _040

7.Weird message – I just hit “Initialize”

Add or Create Repository _041

Now, I want to make an alias so that I can launch the program without having to remember the location all the time. So, going back to my post on creating aliases in the .bash_aliases file, I’ll add the following to the .bash_aliases file so that I can easily launch SmartGit without having to remember where it is on my system:

alias smartgit=’/home/samb/smargithg-6_0_5/bin/’

Now, to launch SmartGit, all I have to type into Terminal is this:


Very nice!

1 thought on “Installing a version control system (SmartGit)

  1. Syntevo also provides a Debian package that you can likely install from. That said, I installed the app the same way that you did. I don’t much care for Java apps but I do like having a full-featured Git client for a change…

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