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Synchronizing the states of local and remote repositories consists of pulling from and pushing to the remote repositories. SmartGit also has a Synchronize command that combines pulling and pushing.


The Pull command fetches commits from a remote repository, stores them in the remote branches, and optionally 'integrates' (i.e. merges or rebases) them into the local branch.

Use Remote|Pull (or the corresponding toolbar button) to invoke the Pull command. This will open the Pull dialog, where you can specify what SmartGit will do after the commits have been fetched: Merge the local commits with the fetched commits or rebase the local commits onto the fetched commits. In the latter case, you can merge or rebase by hand, as explained in Merge and Rebase, respectively. These options are meaningless, if you select to Fetch Only.

The Pull dialog allows you to set your choice as default for the current repository. More options can be configured in the Repository|Settings.

If a merge or rebase is performed after pulling, it may fail due to conflicting changes. In that case SmartGit will leave the repository in a merging or rebasing state so you can either resolve the conflicts and proceed, or abort the operation. See Merge and Rebase for details.

By default, Git (and hence SmartGit) will only pull new tags, but don't update possibly changed tags from the remote repository. To have tags updated as well, select Update existing and fetch new tags from More Options.


The various Push commands allow you to push (i.e. send) your local commits to one or more remote repositories. SmartGit distinguishes between the following Push commands:

  • Push pushes all commits of the current branch (or the selected branch in the Branches view) to its tracking branches. With this Push command you can push to multiple repositories in a single invocation. SmartGit will detect automatically whether a forced push will be necessary.
  • Push To pushes all commits in the current branch either to its matching branch, or to a ref specified by name. With the Push To command you can only push to one remote repository at a time. If multiple repositories have been set up, the Push To dialog will allow you to select the remote repository to push to. Also, the Push To command always allows to do a forced push, what can be convenient. This is necessary when pushing to a secondary remote repository for which forcing the push may be necessary while it is not when pushing to the primary remote repository (i.e. the one which is considered by SmartGit's forced push detection). You can also invoke Push To on a remote to push (or synchronize) all branches from the selected remote to another remote.
  • Push Commits pushes the selected range of commits from the Journal view, rather than all commits, in the current branch to its tracked remote branch.

If you try to push commits from a new local branch, you will be asked whether to set up tracking for the newly created remote branch. In most cases it is recommended to set up tracking, as it will allow you to receive changes from the remote repository and make use of Git's branch synchronization mechanism (see Branches).

The Push commands listed above can be invoked from several places in SmartGit's main window:

  • Menu and toolbar In the menu, you can invoke the various Pull commands with Remote|Push, Remote|Push To and Remote|Push Commits. The first two may also be available as toolbar buttons, depending on your toolbar configuration. The third command is only enabled if the Outgoing view is focused.
  • Repositories view You can invoke Push in the Repositories view by selecting the open repository and choosing Push from the context menu.
  • Branches view In the context menu of the Branches view, you can invoke Push and Push To on local branches. Additionally, you can invoke Push on tags.
  • Outgoing view To push a range of commits up to a certain commit, select that commit in the Outgoing view and invoke Push Commits from the context menu.


With the Synchronize command, you can push local commits to a remote repository and pull commits from that repository at the same time. This simplifies the common workflow of separately invoking Push and Pull to keep your repository synchronized with the remote repository.

In SmartGit's main window, the Synchronize command can be invoked as follows:

  • from the menu via Remote|Synchronize,
  • with the Synchronize toolbar button,
  • and in the Repositories view via Synchronize in the repository's context menu.

In the preferences you can configure the order of the push and pull commands.

Push, then Pull

If there are both local and remote commits, the invoked push operation fails. The pull operation on the other hand is performed even in case of failure, so that the commits from the remote repository are available in the tracked branch, ready to be merged or rebased. After the remote changes have been applied to the local branch, you may invoke the Synchronize command again.

Pull, then Push

If there are both local and remote commits, the first triggered pull will fetch the remote changes, merge your local changes or rebase your local commits on top of the remote commits and if this was successful, invokes the push. This has the advantage that if there were no conflicts all your local changes are pushed. The disadvantage is that it may push untested changes.

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