libgit2 bindings in Ruby

Rugged is a library for accessing libgit2 in Ruby. It gives you the speed and portability of libgit2 with the beauty of the Ruby language.


libgit2 is a pure C implementation of the Git core methods. It's designed to be fast and portable. For more information about libgit2, check out libgit2's website or browse the libgit2 organization on GitHub.


Rugged is a self-contained gem. You can install it by running:

$ gem install rugged

If you're using bundler and want to bundle libgit2 with rugged, you can use the :submodules option:

gem 'rugged', git: 'git://', branch: 'development', submodules: true

To load Rugged, you'll usually want to add something like this:

require 'rugged'


Rugged gives you access to the many parts of a Git repository. You can read and write objects, walk a tree, access the staging area, and lots more. Let's look at each area individually.



The repository is naturally central to Git. Rugged has a Repository class that you can instantiate with a path to open an existing repository :

repo ='path/to/my/repository')# => #<Rugged::Repository:2228536260 {path: "path/to/my/repository/.git/"}>

You can create a new repository with init_at. Add a second parameter :bare to make a bare repository:

Rugged::Repository.init_at('.', :bare)

You can also let Rugged discover the path to the .git directory if you give it a subdirectory."/Users/me/projects/repo/lib/subdir/")# => "/Users/me/projects/repo/.git/"

Once your Repository instantiated (in the following examples, as repo), you can access or modify it.

Accessing a Repository

# Does the given SHA1 exist in this repository?
repo.exists?('07b44cbda23b726e5d54e2ef383495922c024202')# => true

# Boolean repository state values:
repo.bare?# => false

repo.empty?# => true

repo.head_orphan?# => false

repo.head_detached?# => false

# Path accessors
repo.path# => "path/to/my/repository/.git/"

repo.workdir# => "path/to/my/repository/"

# The HEAD of the repository.
ref = repo.head# => #<Rugged::Reference:2228467240 {name: "refs/heads/master", target: "07b44cbda23b726e5d54e2ef383495922c024202"}>

# From the returned ref, you can also access the `name` and `target`: => "refs/heads/master" => "07b44cbda23b726e5d54e2ef383495922c024202"

# Reading an object
object ='a0ae5566e3c8a3bddffab21022056f0b5e03ef07')# => #<Rugged::OdbObject:0x109a64780>

object.len# => 237 => "tree 76f23f186076fc291742816721ea8c3e95567241\nparent 8e3c5c52b8f29da0adc7e8be8a037cbeaea6de6b\nauthor Vicent Mart\303\255 <[email protected]> 1333859005 +0200\ncommitter Vicent Mart\303\255 <[email protected]> 1333859005 +0200\n\nAdd `Repository#blob_at`\n"

object.type# => :commit

Writing to a Repository

There's a few ways to write to a repository. To write directly from your instantiated repository object:

sha = repo.write(content, type)

You can also use the Commit object directly to craft a commit; this is a bit more high-level, so it may be preferable:

oid = repo.write("This is a blob.", :blob)
index =
index.add(:path => "", :oid => oid, :mode => 0100644)

options = {}
options[:tree] = index.write_tree(repo)

options[:author] = { :email => "[email protected]", :name => 'Test Author', :time => }
options[:committer] = { :email => "[email protected]", :name => 'Test Author', :time => }
options[:message] ||= "Making a commit via Rugged!"
options[:parents] = repo.empty? ? [] : [ ].compact
options[:update_ref] = 'HEAD'

Rugged::Commit.create(repo, options)


Object is the main object class - it shouldn't be created directly, but all of these methods should be useful in their derived classes.

obj = repo.lookup(sha)
obj.oid  # object sha
obj.type # One of :commit, :tree, :blob or :tag

robj = obj.read_raw
str  =
int  = robj.len

There are four base object types in Git: blobs, commits, tags, and trees. Each of these object types have a corresponding class within Rugged.

Commit Objects

commit = repo.lookup('a0ae5566e3c8a3bddffab21022056f0b5e03ef07')# => #<Rugged::Commit:2245304380>

commit.message# => "Add `Repository#blob_at`\n"

commit.time# => Sat Apr 07 21:23:25 -0700 2012 => {:email=>"[email protected]", :name=>"Vicent Mart\303\255", :time=>Sun Apr 08 04:23:25 UTC 2012}

commit.tree# => #<Rugged::Tree:2245269740>

commit.parents# => [#<Rugged::Commit:2245264600 {message: "Merge pull request #47 from isaac/remotes\n\nAdd Rugged::Repository#remotes", tree: #<Rugged::Tree:2245264240 {oid: 6a2aee58a41fa007d07aa55565e2231f9b39b4a9}>]

You can also write new objects to the database this way:

author = {:email=>"[email protected]", :time=>, :name=>"Vicent Mart\303\255"}

    :author => author,
    :message => "Hello world\n\n",
    :committer => author,
    :parents => ["2cb831a8aea28b2c1b9c63385585b864e4d3bad1"],
    :tree => some_tree,
    :update_ref => "HEAD") #=> "f148106ca58764adc93ad4e2d6b1d168422b9796"

Tag Objects

tag  = repo.lookup(tag_sha)

object =
sha    =
str    = tag.target_type # :commit, :tag, :blob
str    =        # "v1.0"
str    = tag.message
person = tag.tagger

Tree Objects

tree = repo.lookup('779fbb1e17e666832773a9825875300ea736c2da')# => #<Rugged::Tree:2245194360>

# number of tree entries

tree[0]           # or...
tree.first        # or...
tree.get_entry(0)# => {:type=>:blob, :oid=>"99e7edb53db9355f10c6f2dfaa5a183f205d93bf", :filemode=>33188, :name=>".gitignore"}

The tree object is an Enumerable, so you can also do stuff like this:

tree.each { |e| puts e[:oid] }
tree.sort { |a, b| a[:oid] <=> b[:oid] }.map { |e| e[:name] }.join(':')

And there are some Rugged-specific methods, too:

tree.each_tree { |entry| puts entry[:name] }  # list subdirs
tree.each_blob { |entry| puts entry[:name] }  # list only files

You can also write trees with the TreeBuilder:

oid = repo.write("This is a blob.", :blob)
builder =
builder << { :type => :blob, :name => "", :oid => oid, :filemode => 0100644 }

options = {}
options[:tree] = builder.write(repo)

options[:author] = { :email => "[email protected]", :name => 'Test Author', :time => }
options[:committer] = { :email => "[email protected]", :name => 'Test Author', :time => }
options[:message] ||= "Making a commit via Rugged!"
options[:parents] = repo.empty? ? [] : [ ].compact
options[:update_ref] = 'HEAD'

Rugged::Commit.create(repo, options)

Commit Walker

Rugged::Walker is a class designed to help you traverse a set of commits over a repository.

You first push head SHAs onto the walker, and then call next to get a list of the reachable commit objects one at a time. You can also hide() commits if you are not interested in anything beneath them (useful in situations like when you're running something like git log master ^origin/master).

walker =
walker.sorting(Rugged::SORT_TOPO | Rugged::SORT_REVERSE) # optional
walker.each { |c| puts c.inspect }

Index ("staging") area

We can inspect and manipulate the Git Index as well. To work with the index inside an existing repository, instantiate it by using the Repository.index method instead of manually opening the Index by its path.

index =

# Re-read the index file from disk.

# Count up index entries.
count = index.count

# The collection of index entries.

# Iterating over index entries.
index.each { |i| puts i.inspect }

# Get a particular entry in the index.

# Unstage.

# Stage. Also updates existing entry if there is one.

# Stage. Create ientry from file in path, updates the index.


The Rugged::Reference class allows you to list, create and delete packed and loose refs.

ref = repo.head # or...
ref = Rugged::Reference.lookup(repo, "refs/heads/master")

sha =
str = ref.type   # :direct
str =   # "refs/heads/master"

You can also easily get an array of references:

repo.refs.each do |ref|

Or use a pattern (regex):

repo.refs(/tags/).each do |ref|

It is also easy to create, update, rename or delete a reference:

ref = Rugged::Reference.create(repo, "refs/heads/unit_test", some_commit_sha)




Finally, you can access the reflog for any branch:

ref = Rugged::Reference.lookup(repo, "refs/heads/master")
entry = ref.log.first
sha   = entry[:id_old]
sha   = entry[:id_new]
str   = entry[:message]
prsn  = entry[:committer]


Rugged::Branch will help you with all of your branch-related needs.

Iterate over all branches:

Rugged::Branch.each_name(repo).sort# => ["master", "origin/HEAD", "origin/master", "origin/packed"]

Rugged::Branch.each_name(repo, :local).sort# => ["master"]

Rugged::Branch.each_name(repo, :remote).sort# => ["origin/HEAD", "origin/master", "origin/packed"]

Look up branches and get attributes:

branch = Rugged::Branch.lookup(repo, "master") # => 'master'
branch.canonical_name # => 'refs/heads/master'

Look up the oid for the tip of a branch:

Rugged::Branch.lookup(repo, "master").tip.oid# => "36060c58702ed4c2a40832c51758d5344201d89a"

Creation and deletion:

branch = repo.create_branch("test_branch")

Config files

It's also easy to read and manipulate the Git config file data with Rugged.

# Read values

# Set values
repo.config[''] = true

# Delete values

General methods

Rugged also includes a general library for handling basic Git operations. One of these is converting a raw sha (20 bytes) into a readable hex sha (40 characters).

# => "\277\336Y\315\320\337\254\035\211(\024\366j\225d\032\275\212\037\257"

=> "bfde59cdd0dfac1d892814f66a95641abd8a1faf"


Fork libgit2/rugged on GitHub, make it awesomer (preferably in a branch named for the topic), send a pull request.


Simply clone and install:

$ git clone
$ cd rugged
$ bundle install
$ rake compile
$ rake test



MIT. See LICENSE file.