Today we're flipping the public switch on GitHub for our GitButler client code and removing the waiting list entirely. Everyone and anyone can now directly download the GitButler client and access the source code.
What is GitButler?
GitButler is a Git branch management system (with aspirations to be a full featured Git client soon).
We have taken all the pain out of creating, using, switching and cleaning up your Git branches. We allow you to do things that Git itself cannot, most interestingly working on multiple branches at the same time.
With GitButler, you don't need to stash what you're doing and create and switch to a new branch to fix a bug you see. You can simply fix the bug, drag the diff to a new branch lane, commit and push it, all without switching contexts.
You can also do some cool things Git can also do, but much easier with us. Like amend commits, squash commits by dragging and dropping them, undo commits, write commit messages with AI, informing you when a branch is integrated upstream, etc.
Is it Open Source™️?
We've decided for now to use the Functional Source License (FSL) that Sentry has written for some of it's core technologies. The FSL is a mostly permissive non-compete license that converts to MIT after two years. So, it is not technically OSS as it's not under a fully compatible license, but it will eventually be.
Why are we not choosing MIT or AGPL or dual license or something? Well, we're working hard on this and want to make it a business for us and there are some not-nice people around. Not you, other people. All you nice people can still use it for whatever you want. You can fork it, you can build your own builds, you can redistribute it, you can learn from it, you can contribute to it. The only thing you can't do is use it to directly compete with us in bad faith.
We feel like that's a pretty nice compromise to either taking on competitive risk or keeping it closed. Also, after 2 years of us pushing a commit, it converts to MIT anyhow.
Is it Free as in Beer?
You don't have to pay anything for the GitButler client and we intend to keep it that way.
It will work entirely without our servers and our telemetry is opt-out. You can even rip out what you don't like, build it yourself and give us the finger. Totally not a problem.
By default, the client will write your commit data with GitButler as the committer. This is something we thought was an interesting way to spread the word without costing anyone anything.
However, it's very easy to even turn it off if you don't want us to do that. You can become a GitButler Supporter for $5/mo (which comes with schwag and other perks) or you can simply ask us in Discord for the ridiculously named
git config setting we check. (Or, and please don't tell anybody, you can just turn on our Git commit signing because that feature is not possible if we're the committer it turns out.) (Or, look in the source code for how we check it, the options are endless).
If this is all free, how will you stay in business?
We are working on some really cool server-based features and team functionality that we think your company might some day really love to pay us for and will have nice integrations in the client. However, if they suck or are of no interest to you, it won't affect anything unrelated in the client and will always work stand alone.
Follow us on Twitter (I refuse to say X) to hear when we have some of this team stuff to try out. I promise it will be very cool.
Does this mean it's totally stable?
It does not. We're just moving from Alpha (where we were not sure if it would work on anyone's computers but ours) to Beta (where we think it will work on at least many other computers other than ours).
There will be bugs and we would love your feedback to help us make this the best Git client possible.
How will you wrap up this post?
Well, I'll finish by saying that I hope you enjoy using GitButler to manage your branches. Please join us in Discord and complain, ask questions, give us praise, ask questions about Git, whatever you want.
We're excited to have you join our community and try out a tool that we love using.