Company-wide installation

For company-wide installations, the administrator may install SmartGit on a read-only location or network share or customize the installation process by e.g. using batch files. To set up a custom initial configuration for the users, certain settings files can be prepared and put into a directory named default. For MacOS this default directory must be located in (parallel to the Java directory). For other operating systems, the default directory must be located within SmartGit’s installation directory, and parallel to the lib and bin directories.


On a Linux system where the SmartGit installation directory is


the canonical path to the default directory would be


When a user starts SmartGit for the first time, the following files will be copied from the default directory (on the network share) to the user’s personal SmartGit settings directory (refer to Default Path of SmartGit’s Settings Directory):

  • accelerators.yml
  • credentials.yml
  • hosting-providers.yml
  • preferences.yml
  • repository-grouping.yml
  • tools.yml
  • ui-config.yml
  • ui-state.yml

The license file (only for 10+ user Commercial licenses) can also be placed into the default directory. In the latter case, SmartGit will prefill the License field in the Set Up wizard when a user starts SmartGit for the first time. When upgrading SmartGit, this license file will also be used, so users won’t be prompted with a ‘license expired’ message, but can continue working seamlessly.


Be sure to name the license file license in the default directory without any extension. There are a couple of system properties related to SmartGit’s license management.

To preconfigure only a subset of default options to custom values and leave initialization of other defaults to SmartGit, you may provide reduced versions of the settings .yml files in the default directory.


If you want to preconfigure the used Git executable to C:\path\to\your\preferred\bin\git.exe, you may use following settings.yml file:

  executable: C:\path\to\your\preferred\bin\git.exe

System properties vs. VM options

From a technical perspective, system properties and VM options are the same thing, they are just specified in different files. System properties are specified in in the SmartGit’s Settings Directory, VM options are specified in the smartgit.vmoptions file. From an administrative perspective, it’s recommended to configure all system properties in the smartgit.vmoptions file and leave individual user files untouched.


smartgit.vmoptions is loaded before and thus properties present in smartgit.vmoptions have precedence over the same properties specified in This way, when having a read-only installation of SmartGit you can configure SmartGit in a pretty safe way using smartgit.vmoptions.

Overriding With Defaults

By default, the files from the default directory will only be copied during the initial setup of the user’s SmartGit installation. In certain scenarios, it may be desirable to replace a configuration even after SmartGit has been set up and used by a user. In this case, you can use the VM option smartgit.startup.settingsToReplaceFromDefault to overwrite or patch the specified files in the user’s settings directory. The file names listed for this VM option must contain the target files (like preferences.yml or tools.yml). For each of these files, SmartGit will check the default directory:

  • for .yml files, if there exists a corresponding .yml.patch (for example preferences.yml.patch), the target file will be patched with the contents of the default file
  • otherwise, if there exists a corresponding file (for example preferences.yml), the target file will be replaced

Patching of YML files

Patching of .yml files works according to the following rules:

  • new keys from the default-file will be added
  • existing keys will be replaced by the value from the default-file
  • keys prefixed by - in the default-file will be removed. You can combine - with new values to clear an entire section and then only re-add the specified defaults
  • For lists, the default items will be added first and user items are only kept if they are not equal to a default item. List items that should be removed, need to have a key-value pair of __merge__: delete.


The Tools may be managed by the administrator and updated from time to time. Users should receive these updates regardless whether their SmartGit is already set up or not. To enfore a set of tools, prepare your default/tools.yml and add following line to smartgit.vmoptions:



To allow users to modify already pushed history and (re-)configure the Git executable path but otherwise keep their existing configuration intact, add following line to smartgit.vmoptions:


and prepare default/preferences.yml.patch with a content like:

  allowModificationOfPushedHistory: true
  executable: C:\Program Files\SmartGit\git\bin\git.exe
  executable.absolute: C:\Program Files\SmartGit\git\bin\git.exe

Note the - prefix for git which will ensure to clean up possible obsolete keys from older SmartGit versions and to result in a clean configuration like:

  executable: C:\Program Files\SmartGit\git\bin\git.exe
  executable.absolute: C:\Program Files\SmartGit\git\bin\git.exe

Hide Preferences

When you are providing initial defaults or specify to overwrite defaults, you usually don’t want the user to change these settings in the Preferences. Therefore, you might want to hide certain Preferences pages, using system properties.