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License: BSD 3-clause "New" or "Revised" License
Tags: Development    
Latest version: v3.2.2

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As you might have guessed from its name, githud is a heads up display for the command line that will show git information. The focus is on information and performance.

If you are as crazy as I am about your prompt, you might want to check my somewhat related project envstatus

[Example] See [Prompt explained](docs/PROMPT_EXPLAINED.md) for a detailled element by element description of what you see

Note: this example is taken from the iTerm2 OSX terminal, with custom colors from the Solarized Dark theme

Why githud?

I was really psyched a few months ago (mid-2015) by git-radar. Git-radar does the exact same thing as githud, but is implemented in shell. While I had a great time using it for a while, I realized that on my particular setup, git-radar was introducing a visible delay (>200ms, too long for me) in the displaying of my prompt.

At that time, I was looking for an exercise to implement in Haskell, so that's how I created githud


Whichever way you install githud, don't forget to complete the Setup

Mac OSX with brew

(Maintained on each release)

  • link my tap
brew tap gbataille/homebrew-gba
  • install githud
brew install githud

Binary packages on linux

Looking for contributor to provide a recipe (in github actions form?)

With cabal and Nix

(Used in the development process, therefore it is maintained and up-to-date)

A Nix config is maintained in compatibility with the cabal file. So to be sure to use a compatible ghc version, and corresponding libraries, just

cabal v2-install

With Stack

(Not maintained. Dev happens using Nix + Cabal. Don't hesitate to contribute)

Stack is a haskell package manager. 1 command install can be found here

githud is available on hackage, but some dependencies have to be explicited. You need to add the following to the extra-deps in your stack.yml file

- daemons-0.3.0
- network-

then you can run

stack install githud

With Cabal

(Not maintained. Dev happens using Nix + Cabal. Don't hesitate to contribute)

githud is available on hackage. Therefore just get it as usual

cabal v2-install exe:githud

You can then update your path to include your installation directory (typically ~/.cabal/bin) or copy the installed executable to a common location like /usr/local/bin


If you simply call the githud executable, you'll get a short status of your repository. It's meant to be called each time you display your prompt. Therefore you want to put it in your PS1 env variable.

Shells have some fancy way of managing prompt when you do things like autocompletion and the like. For that it needs to know the size of the prompt. Special characters used to express the color of the prompt need to be surrounded by special markup for them not to be counted.

GitHUD knows how to handle this. All you have to do is to run the program with a parameter depending on your shell of choice and those special characters will be used in the output


githud bash

For example, in my .bashrc file, with the executable at /usr/local/bin/githud, I have a prompt definition that looks like that:

export PS1="\[\033[0;37m\][\A]\[\033[0m\] \[\033[0;36m\]\u\[\033[0m\]
\W\[\033[0;32m\]\$(/usr/local/bin/githud bash)\[\033[0m\]\$ "

(it has a lot more things into it, including the current directory, the hour, and a prompt '$' terminating character)


githud zsh

Note: Those special characters %{ %} are only interpreted and hidden when zsh renders a prompt. If you simply call githud with this parameter 'zsh' from the command line, you'll see them in the output!

Putting it together in my .zshrc, I have the following PROMPT variable with the executable at /usr/local/bin/githud

export PROMPT='%F{white}%T%F{cyan} %n%{$reset_color%} $(/usr/local/bin/githud zsh) $'

(it has a lot more things into it, including the current directory, the current user, the hour, and a prompt '$' terminating character)


Add this code to your config.fish file.

function fish_prompt
  set_color white
  echo -n [(date "+%H:%M")]
  set_color cyan
  echo -n (whoami):
  set_color yellow
  echo -n (prompt_pwd)
  set_color $fish_color_cwd
  echo -n (/usr/local/bin/githud)
  set_color normal
  echo -n "> "


Proposed by @Thermatix

githud tmux

Putting it together in my .tmux.conf, I have the following status-right variable with

set -g status-right '#{pane_current_command} #(~/.zsh/bin/githud_status "#{pane_current_path}")'

which necessitates a small script ~/.zsh/bin/githud_status

#!/usr/local/bin/zsh -f
cd $1 && /usr/local/bin/githud zsh

and the executable at /usr/local/bin/githud


Proposed by @Thermatix

You can get a raw text output (no special formatting) by calling

githud none


The prompt format is nicely configurable. The defaults give you the look and feel from the screenshot above, with a terminal configured with the Solarized Dark theme colors.

To change those colors, or the markers used in the prompt:

  • Copy the .githudrc file from this repository into your home directory. Then, from your home directory wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/gbataille/gitHUD/master/.githudrc
  • Edit the file by uncommenting some fields and changing their values (instructions are enclosed in the file)

You can control which section of the output are shown (if you want to mask some) with the configuration keys starting with "show_part_"

The fetcher daemon

githud includes a companion daemon called githudd. This daemon will start the first time githud is invoked and will run forever.

This daemon will simply execute a git fetch periodically in the last git repository in which githud was executed. In the standard installation where you use githud in your prompt, this means that the daemon executes git fetch in the last git repository visited.

The .githudrc configuration file can contain the following configuration for the daemon (default values given here)

# Whether githud will launch the background daemon
# How long does the daemon sleep between cycles
# Path where the githudd pid file will be stored. Needs to exist and be accessible by the current
# user
# Path where the githudd lock file will be stored. Needs to exist and be accessible by the current
# user
# Path where the githudd socket file will be stored. Needs to exist and be accessible by the current
# user
# Path where the githudd stdout/stderr capture logfile will be store.
# Githudd logs can be verbose. They are here for debugging only. It is not advised that you
# activate them
# Use the value /dev/null to disable the logs

To stop the daemon, you can simply do

pkill githudd

Note that due to instability, the daemon is currently disabled by default

The health of the githudd daemon is indicated by a red hearth (broken when unhealthy) at the start of the prompt (only when the daemon is activated)

Understanding the githud prompt

See [Prompt explained](docs/PROMPT_EXPLAINED.md)


  • githud is fast (on my system, about twice as fast as git-radar, with exec times below 100ms)
  • githud is easily maintainable through proper test coverage

The only downside compared to git-radar is that you need to compile it on your platform, as opposed to being just shell.

On Mac, it's now easy since I packaged it as a brew bottle. For Linux, I'm waiting for contributions to put it in RPM or DEB packages :)


So of course, I wanted to check that whatever I was doing was useful. So I did a couple of benchmarks with the Haskell Criterion library. It's based on my system and does not guarantee any performances but it gives you an idea of the improvements. Here goes:

  • git-radar - full shell implementation
  • githud-syncIO - with normal IOs done one at a time
  • githud-asyncIO - with IOs programmed asynchronously for better performance.


[Here](./bench/bench.html) you can find the details

For information: I ran that on a Macbook Pro 13", 2014, fully boosted, running with iTerm 2, tmux, oh-my-zsh, inside a git repo with quite some information to parse


Well, my thanks to git-radar for the great idea, and to guibou for the code reviews