GitPython Quick Start Tutorial

Welcome to the GitPython Quickstart Guide! Designed for developers seeking a practical and interactive learning experience, this concise resource offers step-by-step code snippets to swiftly initialize/clone repositories, perform essential Git operations, and explore GitPython’s capabilities. Get ready to dive in, experiment, and unleash the power of GitPython in your projects!


There are a few ways to create a git.Repo object

Initialize a new git Repo

# $ git init <path/to/dir>

from git import Repo

repo = Repo.init(path_to_dir)

Existing local git Repo

repo = Repo(path_to_dir)

Clone from URL

For the rest of this tutorial we will use a clone from

# $ git clone <url> <local_dir>

repo_url = ""

repo = Repo.clone_from(repo_url, local_dir)

Trees & Blobs

Latest Commit Tree

tree = repo.head.commit.tree

Any Commit Tree

prev_commits = list(repo.iter_commits(all=True, max_count=10))  # Last 10 commits from all branches.
tree = prev_commits[0].tree

Display level 1 Contents

files_and_dirs = [(entry,, entry.type) for entry in tree]

# Output
# [(< git.Tree "SHA1-HEX_HASH" >, 'Downloads', 'tree'),
#  (< git.Tree "SHA1-HEX_HASH" >, 'dir1', 'tree'),
#  (< git.Blob "SHA1-HEX_HASH" >, 'file4.txt', 'blob')]

Recurse through the Tree

def print_files_from_git(root, level=0):
    for entry in root:
        print(f'{"-" * 4 * level}| {entry.path}, {entry.type}')
        if entry.type == "tree":
            print_files_from_git(entry, level + 1)


# Output
# | Downloads, tree
# ----| Downloads / file3.txt, blob
# | dir1, tree
# ----| dir1 / file1.txt, blob
# ----| dir1 / file2.txt, blob
# | file4.txt, blob


Add file to staging area

# We must make a change to a file so that we can add the update to git

update_file = "dir1/file2.txt"  # we'll use local_dir/dir1/file2.txt
with open(f"{local_dir}/{update_file}", "a") as f:
    f.write("\nUpdate version 2")

Now lets add the updated file to git

# $ git add <file>
add_file = [update_file]  # relative path from git root
repo.index.add(add_file)  # notice the add function requires a list of paths

Notice the add method requires a list as a parameter

Warning: If you experience any trouble with this, try to invoke git instead via repo.git.add(path)


# $ git commit -m <message>
repo.index.commit("Update to file2")

List of commits associated with a file

# $ git log <file>

# Relative path from git root
repo.iter_commits(all=True, max_count=10, paths=update_file)  # Gets the last 10 commits from all branches.

# Outputs: <generator object Commit._iter_from_process_or_stream at 0x7fb66c186cf0>

Notice this returns a generator object

commits_for_file_generator = repo.iter_commits(all=True, max_count=10, paths=update_file)
commits_for_file = list(commits_for_file_generator)

# Outputs: [<git.Commit "SHA1-HEX_HASH-2">,
# <git.Commit "SHA1-HEX-HASH-1">]

returns list of Commit objects

Printing text files

Lets print the latest version of <local_dir>/dir1/file2.txt

print_file = "dir1/file2.txt"
tree[print_file]  # The head commit tree.

# Output <git.Blob "SHA1-HEX-HASH">
blob = tree[print_file]

# Output
# File 2 version 1
# Update version 2

Previous version of <local_dir>/dir1/file2.txt

commits_for_file = list(repo.iter_commits(all=True, paths=print_file))
tree = commits_for_file[-1].tree  # Gets the first commit tree.
blob = tree[print_file]


# Output
# File 2 version 1


  • Untracked files

    Lets create a new file

    f = open(f"{local_dir}/untracked.txt", "w")  # Creates an empty file.
    # Output: ['untracked.txt']
  • Modified files

    # Let's modify one of our tracked files.
    with open(f"{local_dir}/Downloads/file3.txt", "w") as f:
        f.write("file3 version 2")  # Overwrite file 3.
    repo.index.diff(None)  # Compares staging area to working directory.
    # Output: [<git.diff.Diff object at 0x7fb66c076e50>,
    # <git.diff.Diff object at 0x7fb66c076ca0>]

    returns a list of Diff objects

    diffs = repo.index.diff(None)
    for d in diffs:
    # Output
    # Downloads/file3.txt


Compare staging area to head commit

diffs = repo.index.diff(repo.head.commit)
for d in diffs:

# Output

# Let's add untracked.txt.
diffs = repo.index.diff(repo.head.commit)
for d in diffs:

# Output
# untracked.txt

Compare commit to commit

first_commit = list(repo.iter_commits(all=True))[-1]
diffs = repo.head.commit.diff(first_commit)
for d in diffs:

# Output
# dir1/file2.txt

More Resources

Remember, this is just the beginning! There’s a lot more you can achieve with GitPython in your development workflow. To explore further possibilities and discover advanced features, check out the full GitPython tutorial and the API Reference. Happy coding!