#git #clean

bin+lib git-bonsai

Command-line tool to clean the branches of your git garden

5 unstable releases

0.3.0 Nov 13, 2022
0.2.2 Jul 22, 2022
0.2.1 May 25, 2021
0.2.0 Mar 29, 2021
0.1.0 Mar 22, 2020

#463 in Development tools


960 lines

Git Bonsai

Git Bonsai is a command-line tool to help you tend the branches of your git garden.


Just run git bonsai in a git repository checkout.

What does it do?

Git Bonsai does the following:

  1. Fetches remote changes.

  2. Iterates on all your local tracking branches and update them to their remote counterparts.

  3. Lists branches which can be safely deleted and lets you select the ones to delete.

Is it safe?

Git Bonsai takes several precautions to ensure it does not delete anything precious:

  1. It refuses to run if there are any uncommitted changes. This includes unknown files.

  2. It always prompt you before deleting any branch, and explains why this branch is safe to remove.

  3. It refuses to delete a branch if it is not contained in another branch.

  4. Git Bonsai never touches the remote repository.


Here is an example repository:

$ git log --oneline --all --graph

* b87566d (duplicate2, duplicate1) Create duplicate1
*   e02d47e (HEAD -> master) Merging topic1
| *   020b54c (topic1) Merging topic1-1
| |\
| | * cd060dc (topic1-1) Create topic1-1
| |/
| * f356524 Create topic1
| * 85a9880 (topic2) Create topic2
* 0f209d0 Init

(You can create this repository with the create-demo-repository script)

topic1 and topic1-1 branches can be safely deleted. topic2 cannot. One of duplicate1 and duplicate2 can also be deleted, but not both.

Let's run Git Bonsai:

$ git bonsai
Info: Fetching changes
These branches point to the same commit, but no other branch contains this
commit, so you can delete all of them but one.

Select branches to delete:
> [x] duplicate1
  [x] duplicate2

I press Space to uncheck duplicate1, then Enter to continue.

Info: Deleting duplicate2
Select branches to delete:
> [x] topic1, contained in:
      - master
      - duplicate1

  [x] topic1-1, contained in:
      - topic1
      - duplicate1
      - master

Looks good to me, so I press Enter.

Info: Deleting topic1
Info: Deleting topic1-1

Let's look at the repository now:

$ git log --oneline --all --graph

* 0dfd179 (duplicate1) Create duplicate1
*   5d06a2d (HEAD -> master) Merging topic1
| *   6a3b1de Merging topic1-1
| |\
| | * 7671947 Create topic1-1
| |/
| * c328fee Create topic1
| * 1616d9e (topic2) Create topic2
* 71913d9 Init


Stable version

The easiest way to install is to download an archive from the release page, unpack it and copy the git-bonsai binary in a directory in $PATH.

Git snapshots

Snapshots from the master branch are available from builds.agateau.com/git-bonsai.


Protected branches

Git Bonsai considers branches called main and master as protected. You can add other protected branches using git config --add git-bonsai protected-branches <branch-name>.

Building it

Git Bonsai is written in Rust. To build it, install Rust and then run:

cargo install git-bonsai


If you define the GB_DEBUG environment variable, Git Bonsai will print all the git commands it runs.

Why yet another git cleaning tool?

I created Git Bonsai because I wanted a tool like this but also as a way to learn Rust. There definitely are similar tools, probably more capable, and the Rust code probably needs work, pull requests are welcome!


~110K SLoC