Normally you can just do "make" followed by "make install", and that
will install the git programs in your own ~/bin/ directory. If you want
to do a global install, you can do
$ make prefix=/usr all doc info ;# as yourself
# make prefix=/usr install install-doc install-html install-info ;# as root
(or prefix=/usr/local, of course). Just like any program suite
that uses $prefix, the built results have some paths encoded,
which are derived from $prefix, so "make all; make prefix=/usr
install" would not work.
The beginning of the Makefile documents many variables that affect the way
git is built. You can override them either from the command line, or in a
Alternatively you can use autoconf generated ./configure script to
set up install paths (via config.mak.autogen), so you can write instead
$ make configure ;# as yourself
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr ;# as yourself
$ make all doc ;# as yourself
# make install install-doc install-html;# as root
If you're willing to trade off (much) longer build time for a later
faster git you can also do a profile feedback build with
$ make profile-all
# make prefix=... install
This will run the complete test suite as training workload and then
rebuild git with the generated profile feedback. This results in a git
which is a few percent faster on CPU intensive workloads. This
may be a good tradeoff for distribution packagers.
Note that the profile feedback build stage currently generates
a lot of additional compiler warnings.
Issues of note:
- Ancient versions of GNU Interactive Tools (pre-4.9.2) installed a
program "git", whose name conflicts with this program. But with
version 4.9.2, after long hiatus without active maintenance (since
around 1997), it changed its name to gnuit and the name conflict is no
longer a problem.
NOTE: When compiled with backward compatibility option, the GNU
Interactive Tools package still can install "git", but you can build it
with --disable-transition option to avoid this.
- You can use git after building but without installing if you want
to test drive it. Simply run git found in bin-wrappers directory
in the build directory, or prepend that directory to your $PATH.
This however is less efficient than running an installed git, as
you always need an extra fork+exec to run any git subcommand.
It is still possible to use git without installing by setting a few
environment variables, which was the way this was done
traditionally. But using git found in bin-wrappers directory in
the build directory is far simpler. As a historical reference, the
old way went like this:
export GIT_EXEC_PATH PATH GITPERLLIB
- Git is reasonably self-sufficient, but does depend on a few external
programs and libraries. Git can be used without most of them by adding
the approriate "NO_<LIBRARY>=YesPlease" to the make command line or
- "zlib", the compression library. Git won't build without it.
- "ssh" is used to push and pull over the net.
- A POSIX-compliant shell is required to run many scripts needed
for everyday use (e.g. "bisect", "pull").
- "Perl" version 5.8 or later is needed to use some of the
features (e.g. preparing a partial commit using "git add -i/-p",
interacting with svn repositories with "git svn"). If you can
live without these, use NO_PERL.
- "openssl" library is used by git-imap-send to use IMAP over SSL.
If you don't need it, use NO_OPENSSL.
By default, git uses OpenSSL for SHA1 but it will use it's own
library (inspired by Mozilla's) with either NO_OPENSSL or
BLK_SHA1. Also included is a version optimized for PowerPC
- "libcurl" library is used by git-http-fetch and git-fetch. You
might also want the "curl" executable for debugging purposes.
If you do not use http:// or https:// repositories, you do not
have to have them (use NO_CURL).
- "expat" library; git-http-push uses it for remote lock
management over DAV. Similar to "curl" above, this is optional
- "wish", the Tcl/Tk windowing shell is used in gitk to show the
history graphically, and in git-gui. If you don't want gitk or
git-gui, you can use NO_TCLTK.
- A gettext library is used by default for localizing Git. The
primary target is GNU libintl, but the Solaris gettext
implementation also works.
We need a gettext.h on the system for C code, gettext.sh (or
Solaris gettext(1)) for shell scripts, and libintl-perl for Perl
Set NO_GETTEXT to disable localization support and make Git only
use English. Under autoconf the configure script will do this
automatically if it can't find libintl on the system.
- Some platform specific issues are dealt with Makefile rules,
but depending on your specific installation, you may not
have all the libraries/tools needed, or you may have
necessary libraries at unusual locations. Please look at the
top of the Makefile to see what can be adjusted for your needs.
You can place local settings in config.mak and the Makefile
will include them. Note that config.mak is not distributed;
the name is reserved for local settings.
- To build and install documentation suite, you need to have
the asciidoc/xmlto toolchain. Because not many people are
inclined to install the tools, the default build target
("make all") does _not_ build them.
"make doc" builds documentation in man and html formats; there are
also "make man", "make html" and "make info". Note that "make html"
requires asciidoc, but not xmlto. "make man" (and thus make doc)
"make install-doc" installs documentation in man format only; there
are also "make install-man", "make install-html" and "make
Building and installing the info file additionally requires
makeinfo and docbook2X. Version 0.8.3 is known to work.
Building and installing the pdf file additionally requires
dblatex. Version 0.2.7 with asciidoc >= 8.2.7 is known to work.
The documentation is written for AsciiDoc 7, but by default
uses some compatibility wrappers to work on AsciiDoc 8. If you have
AsciiDoc 7, try "make ASCIIDOC7=YesPlease".
There are also "make quick-install-doc", "make quick-install-man"
and "make quick-install-html" which install preformatted man pages
and html documentation. To use these build targets, you need to
clone two separate git-htmldocs and git-manpages repositories next
to the clone of git itself.
It has been reported that docbook-xsl version 1.72 and 1.73 are
buggy; 1.72 misformats manual pages for callouts, and 1.73 needs
the patch in contrib/patches/docbook-xsl-manpages-charmap.patch
Users attempting to build the documentation on Cygwin may need to ensure
that the /etc/xml/catalog file looks something like this:
<!DOCTYPE catalog PUBLIC
"-//OASIS//DTD Entity Resolution XML Catalog V1.0//EN"
uriStartString = "http://docbook.sourceforge.net/release/xsl/current"
rewritePrefix = "/usr/share/sgml/docbook/xsl-stylesheets"
This can be achieved with the following two xmlcatalog commands:
xmlcatalog --noout \
--add rewriteURI \
xmlcatalog --noout \
--add rewriteURI \