How to run git-cola from source on Debian/Ubuntu

Last Updated on 7. January 2022 by Victor Karp

git-cola is a graphical user interface (GUI) for the distributed version control software git. This tutorial explains how to run the most recent version of git-cola from its source files. This is useful if you want to use a version that is newer than the one in the software repositories of your Linux distribution.

Downloading the git-cola source code

The source files for Linux are available on the git-cola download page on the top right. Extract the archive to a location of your choice.

Starting git-cola from source

You can start git-cola by dragging the ‘git-cola’ file from the ‘bin’ folder into a terminal and confirming with Enter. You might see the following error message:

/usr/bin/env: ‘python’: No such file or directory

If that’s the case, make sure that Python 3 is installed by running sudo apt install python3.

Then runsudo apt install python-is-python3. This creates a link that redirects the command ‘python’ to ‘python3’. If you can’t install this package, you can create the link manually instead like this: sudo ln -s /usr/bin/python3 /usr/bin/python.

Creating a shortcut for git-cola or running it from the terminal by typing git-cola

I recommend creating a desktop or application menu shortcut to the git-cola file, so you don’t need the terminal to start it. The steps are different depending on your desktop environment. If you are using Linux Mint Cinnamon, read the Application Shortcuts on Linux Mint Cinnamon tutorial.

If you want to start it via the terminal simply by typing ‘git-cola’ instead, read the tutorial about launching applications from the terminal.

Visit the Linux tutorials main page for more Linux tutorials.

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