Git --distributed-is-the-new-centralized
Topics ▾ Version ▾ git-help last updated in 2.11.0


git help [-a|--all|-i|--info|-m|--man|-w|--web] [COMMAND]


With no options and no COMMAND given, the synopsis of the git command and a list of the most commonly used Git commands are printed on the standard output.

If the option --all or -a is given, then all available commands are printed on the standard output.

If a Git subcommand is named, a manual page for that subcommand is brought up. The man program is used by default for this purpose, but this can be overridden by other options or configuration variables.

Note that git --help ... is identical to git help ... because the former is internally converted into the latter.



Prints all the available commands on the standard output. This option supersedes any other option.


Display manual page for the command in the info format. The info program will be used for that purpose.


Display manual page for the command in the man format. This option may be used to override a value set in the help.format configuration variable.

By default the man program will be used to display the manual page, but the man.viewer configuration variable may be used to choose other display programs (see below).


Display manual page for the command in the web (HTML) format. A web browser will be used for that purpose.

The web browser can be specified using the configuration variable help.browser, or web.browser if the former is not set. If none of these config variables is set, the git web--browse helper script (called by git help) will pick a suitable default. See git-web--browse(1) for more information about this.



If no command line option is passed, the help.format configuration variable will be checked. The following values are supported for this variable; they make git help behave as their corresponding command line option:

  • "man" corresponds to -m|--man,

  • "info" corresponds to -i|--info,

  • "web" or "html" correspond to -w|--web.

help.browser, web.browser and browser..path

The help.browser, web.browser and browser.<tool>.path will also be checked if the web format is chosen (either by command line option or configuration variable). See -w|--web in the OPTIONS section above and git-web--browse(1).


The man.viewer config variable will be checked if the man format is chosen. The following values are currently supported:

  • "man": use the man program as usual,

  • "woman": use emacsclient to launch the "woman" mode in emacs (this only works starting with emacsclient versions 22),

  • "konqueror": use kfmclient to open the man page in a new konqueror tab (see Note about konqueror below).

Values for other tools can be used if there is a corresponding man.<tool>.cmd configuration entry (see below).

Multiple values may be given to the man.viewer configuration variable. Their corresponding programs will be tried in the order listed in the configuration file.

For example, this configuration:

		viewer = konqueror
		viewer = woman

will try to use konqueror first. But this may fail (for example if DISPLAY is not set) and in that case emacs' woman mode will be tried.

If everything fails, or if no viewer is configured, the viewer specified in the GIT_MAN_VIEWER environment variable will be tried. If that fails too, the man program will be tried anyway.


You can explicitly provide a full path to your preferred man viewer by setting the configuration variable man.<tool>.path. For example, you can configure the absolute path to konqueror by setting man.konqueror.path. Otherwise, git help assumes the tool is available in PATH.


When the man viewer, specified by the man.viewer configuration variables, is not among the supported ones, then the corresponding man.<tool>.cmd configuration variable will be looked up. If this variable exists then the specified tool will be treated as a custom command and a shell eval will be used to run the command with the man page passed as arguments.

Note about konqueror

When konqueror is specified in the man.viewer configuration variable, we launch kfmclient to try to open the man page on an already opened konqueror in a new tab if possible.

For consistency, we also try such a trick if man.konqueror.path is set to something like A_PATH_TO/konqueror. That means we will try to launch A_PATH_TO/kfmclient instead.

If you really want to use konqueror, then you can use something like the following:

		viewer = konq

	[man "konq"]
		cmd = A_PATH_TO/konqueror

Note about git config --global

Note that all these configuration variables should probably be set using the --global flag, for example like this:

$ git config --global help.format web
$ git config --global web.browser firefox

as they are probably more user specific than repository specific. See git-config(1) for more information about this.


Part of the git(1) suite