Is it ok to use the apple version of git or should I install the latest version?

Hi,

I’m very new to using git and I’m currently learning how to use it from the command line on my Mac.

When I type:

git --version

In the terminal, I see that git is already installed.

git version 2.17.2 (Apple Git-113)

My question is should I install the latest version of git from https://git-scm.com or is it ok to use the apple version of git that is already installed?

Thanks in advance.

Well, Git is Git, and it’s not uncommon for users to have multiple versions of Git on their system — e.g. because a Git GUI frontend ships with its own version of Git in its installation folders.

But in terms of system-wide Git, you should only have one “globally” installed versions.

From the official Git download page for mac:

There are several options for installing Git on macOS. Note that any non-source distributions are provided by third parties, and may not be up to date with the latest source release.

The latest official Git release is version 2.32.0, so it seems that the version installed by Apple is lagging behind the official version by quite some MINOR version bumps. That is, if the version you are getting mirrors the latest update made available by Apple (I’m not sure how you update apps that are natively integrated into macOS, but I guess the system should be keeping the up-to-date automatically).

Whether you want/need to be using the latest version of Git, it really depends on you.

If you’re going to install Git from the official website, just ensure that you uninstall the Apple version, to avoid conflicts (i.e. if both are made available on the sys PATH things won’t work nicely).

I’m pretty sure you can always revert to the Apple version if you have a change of heart, by uninstalling the official Git and reinstalling the Apple version from the official Mac channels.

I’ve read somewhere that there have been problems with Git on Mac in the past, due to some Unicode paths normalization not being done correctly, and that Mac users had to enable some special settings to normalize Unicode paths in Git. I’m not sure if this was solved on the Mac OSs, and whether the Apple version of Git is optimized in terms of settings, etc.

In any case, by uninstalling and re-installing Git (any version of Git) you shouldn’t loose any settings, since these are stored in the User folders, and should be left untouched and detected by new installations (unless the Apple version of Git uses custom paths for user settings).

I personally wouldn’t worry too much about experimenting on this, since Git is flexible and settings can easily be changed.

1 Like

Thanks for the reply, very helpful :smiley: I will continue to use the apple version of git I have already installed for now.