Installation and Files

SmartGit stores its settings files per-user. Each major SmartGit version has its own default settings directory, so you can use multiple major versions independent of each other. The location of the settings directory depends on the operating system.

Default Path of SmartGit’s Settings Directory

  • Windows %APPDATA%\syntevo\SmartGit\<major-smartgit-version> (%APPDATA% is the path defined in the environment variable APPDATA)
  • MacOS ~/Library/Preferences/SmartGit/<major-smartgit-version> (the Finder might not show the ~/Libraries directory by default, but you can invoke open ~/Library from a terminal)
  • Linux ${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/smartgit/<major-smartgit-version> (if the environment variable XDG_CONFIG_HOME is not defined, ~/.config is used instead)


You can change the directory where the settings files are stored by changing the property smartgit.settings. This is used by the portable bundle for Windows.

Notable Files in the Settings Directory

  • license stores your SmartGit license key.
  • logs/* contains debug log information, for which logs/log.txt.0 contains the most recent logging. It can be configured via You may remove this file: afterwards, SmartGit will return to its default logging settings.
  • passwords is an encrypted file and stores the passwords used throughout SmartGit. You may remove this file: afterwards, all passwords are lost.
  • repository-cache stores all cached information about repository states, e.g. what local branch is checked out, whether there are incoming or outgoing changes.
  • accelerators.yml stores the accelerators (keyboard shortcuts) configuration. You may remove this file: afterwards, all accelerators will be reset to their defaults.
  • bugtracker.yml stores the configuration for the JIRA integration. You may remove this file: afterwards, all accelerators will be reset to their defaults.
  • credentials.yml stores authentication information (not including the corresponding passwords). You probably do not want to remove this file: afterwards, all credentials (user names, private keys, certificates) will be lost.
  • hosting-providers.yml stores information about configured hosting provider accounts (not including the corresponding passwords). You probably do not want to remove this file: afterwards, all connect details for all hosting provides will be lost.
  • notifications.yml stores information about the state of notifications which show up in the status bar in various cases. You may remove this file: afterwards, various notifications may show up again.
  • preferences.yml stores the application-wide settings (preferences) of SmartGit. You should not remove this file, unless you want to completely reset SmartGit.
  • repositories.yml stores information about known repositories and submodules, e.g. recently used commit messages
  • repository-grouping.yml stores the information about added repositories, their names and repository groups.
  • tools.yml stores external tools which have been configured in the Preferences. You probably do not want to remove this file: afterwards, all you external tools configurations will be lost. But you may like to share this file with other team mates.
  • ui-config.yml stores UI related, more stable settings, e.g. the toolbar configurations. You may remove this file: afterwards, various aspects of the UI will be reset to defaults.
  • ui-state.yml stores UI related, volatile settings, e.g. window sizes and positions or column widths. You may remove this file: afterwards, various aspects of the UI will be reset to defaults.

Resetting certain parts of the configuration to defaults

To reset certain parts of SmartGit’s configuration (“settings”) to the defaults:

  1. locate the appropriate configuration file (*.yml)
  2. Exit SmartGit, using Repository|Exit
  3. Get rid of the file(s)
  4. Start SmartGit again

Synchronizing settings when running multiple SmartGit versions in parallel

A common case where you might be running two SmartGit versions in parallel is when having the latest release installed (“older version”, e.g. 18.2) and you are giving the current preview version a try (“newer version”, e.g. 19.1). Once you are first installing/starting the newer version it will copy over settings from the older version. From that point of time, settings will diverge. You may at any time synchronize the settings of the newer version from the older version by following procedure:

  1. start the older version, invoke Help|About and from Information page and write down the Settings Path (“old settings directory”)
  2. shutdown the older version
  3. start the newer version, invoke Help|About and from Information page and write down the Settings Path (“new settings directory”)
  4. shutdown the newer version
  5. from command line or file manager, make a backup of all files from the new settings directory, then delete all files to finally have an empty directory
  6. copy over all files from the old settings directory to the new settings directory
  7. restart the newer version


It’s not possible to synchronize settings from newer version to older version.

Program Updates

SmartGit stores program updates which have been downloaded automatically through SmartGit itself by default in your home directory/profile. This allows “light weight”, patch-like updates which do not require write access to the actual SmartGit installation directory. As a consequence, your SmartGit installation directory is usually not up-to-date, but it will launch the downloaded updates from the updates directory. Only under specific conditions, SmartGit will detect that an upgrade of the installation directory itself is necessary (“installation update”). Depending on your operating system, the updates cache can be found at:

  • Windows: %APPDATA%\syntevo\SmartGit\updates
  • MacOS: ~/Library/Application Support/SmartGit/updates
  • Linux: ${XDG_DATA_HOME}/.local/share/smartgit/updates


You can manually trigger the update of the installation directory from the About dialog, section Information, -button right beside Version.

If you prefer to keep your SmartGit installation always up-to-date, you can select Update SmartGit application in place in the Preferences, section SmartGit Updates. Note, that updating with this option selected may require administrator privileges.

Technical Details

The root directory of the Updates directory contains sub-directories for every major version. Such a major version directory contains a control file for the latest downloaded build and a current-file which points to the currently used build. Usually, this will be the highest build which shows up in this directory. The control-file only configures which binaries are part of the build by linking to the actual binaries which are stored in the repo-subdirectory and which are shared among all builds.

Each new build has a corresponding, digitally-signed control file which contains information about all required application files with their download location and the expected file content hash. To reduce band-width, application files only will be downloaded if they are not yet locally available. After download, the content will be verified with the hash from the control file.

When starting SmartGit, the bootloader.jar from the installation directory is launched. This uses the control file from the Updates directory to determine which updated SmartGit files to launch that contain the actual application code.


By modifying the control file or any other contents within the Updates directory, you may easily screw up your SmartGit installation. Hence, do not touch these files unless you have good reasons to do so.

JRE Search Order (Windows)

On Windows, the smartgit.exe launcher will search for a suitable JRE in the following order (from top to bottom):

  • Environment variable SMARTGIT_JAVA_HOME
  • Subdirectory jre within SmartGit’s installation directory
  • Environment variable JAVA_HOME
  • Environment variable JDK_HOME
  • Registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\JavaSoft\Java Runtime Environment

Installing/running multiple SmartGit versions in parallel

You can install multiple versions of SmartGit in parallel and you can even run them at the same time. This will be useful if you want to primarily work with the Preview version, but have the latest released version still present as fall back. SmartGit has separate settings areas for different versions, so it’s only an issue of “installation” :

  • On Linux, simply unpack every SmartGit bundle you want to use to a different directory
  • On MacOS, simply unpack every SmartGit DMG you want to use to a different directory
  • On Windows,
    • either use only portables bundles for every SmartGit version you want to work with and unpack them to different directories
    • use exactly one installer bundle for the primary SmartGit version you want to work with and additional portable bundles for the other version(s)