Git Rev News: Edition 78 (August 31st, 2021)

Welcome to the 78th edition of Git Rev News, a digest of all things Git. For our goals, the archives, the way we work, and how to contribute or to subscribe, see the Git Rev News page on

This edition covers what happened during the month of July 2021.



  • Bug report: GIT_CONFIG and

    German Lashevich sent a bug report about an issue when using the GIT_CONFIG environment variable.

    He gave an example where he sets the and config variables to some values in a temporary /tmp/git-test/.gitconfig config file, and then sets GIT_CONFIG to point to this file.

    When he then tried to commit some changes, Git errored out with an “Author identity unknown” error and instructions about how to set the current account’s default identity. He expected that the values of the and variables set in the temporary config file would have been taken into account.

    Peff, alias Jeff King, replied that GIT_CONFIG is a historical wart that isn’t used by all of Git, but only the git config command, and even there git config --file should be used instead.

    He suggested using GIT_CONFIG_GLOBAL or GIT_CONFIG_SYSTEM which are available since v2.32.0. They instruct Git to read a specific file instead of the usual global (usually /etc/gitconfig) or system-level ($HOME/.gitconfig and $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/git/config) config files respectively.

    German thanked Peff saying GIT_CONFIG_GLOBAL was what he needed.

    Junio Hamano, the Git maintainer, replied to Peff that reading the GIT_CONFIG documentation gave a misleading impression as it didn’t say that GIT_CONFIG was only for the git config command.

    Peff agreed with Junio saying that the documentation hadn’t been updated since 2007, when GIT_CONFIG really did impact other commands, and that he was sending a small patch series to improve the situation.

    Taylor Blau and Martin Ågren reviewed the patches and discussed them a bit with Peff and Junio.

    The patch series was later merged into the master branch, and the documentation improvements are now available in the recently released Git 2.33.


Other News


Light reading

Git tools and sites

  • lakeFS is an open source tool that transforms your object storage into a Git-like repository. It enables you to manage your data lake (storing unprocessed data) the way you manage your code. Supports AWS S3, Azure Blob Storage and Google Cloud Storage; works seamlessly with all modern data frameworks such as Spark, Hive, AWS Athena, Presto, etc.
  • CITATION.cff files, which use Citation File Format (CFF), are plain text files with human- and machine-readable citation information for software (and datasets). Code developers can include them in their repositories to let others know how to correctly cite their software. Supported by GitHub, Zenodo and Zotero.

  • GitUI is a blazing fast terminal based GUI for Git written in Rust, meant to work reliably even on large repositories. Similar to tig.


This edition of Git Rev News was curated by Christian Couder <>, Jakub Narębski <>, Markus Jansen <> and Kaartic Sivaraam <> with help from Elijah Newren and Philip Oakley.