Todays trivial git tip

If you're like me, you are using the repository to do your PostgreSQL development, because it's much nicer to work with than CVS.

If you're also like me, you like git diff with it's nice coloring and trailing-whitespace-warnings and such features. But you're a little bit annoyed that your tabs come out as 8-characters, when the PostgreSQL source uses 4-character tabs, making diffs a bit hard to read. But if you just pipe the output to less or something, the coloring goes away.

I finally got around to looking for a way to fix that today. And it took me all of 2 minutes to find it - I really should've done this before. Put the following in your .git/config file:

  pager = less -x4

and it'll show you the diffs with 4-space tabs.

Trivial, yes. But it took me this long to even look at fixing it, so hopefully this can help someone...


While we're on trivial, be sure to add those lines to your ~/.gitconfig for use on all your other non-Pg repos. :)

Posted on Jan 7, 2009 at 17:56 by Selena Deckelmann.

That only works if all your projects actually use 4-char spaces. Since I have a number of projects that don't, I'll just have to pick a default and modify the others. And it's easier to just leave the system-wide default as the defalt...

If you only work on tabs-as-four-spaces-projects, putting it in ~/.gitconfig makes sense :-)

Posted on Jan 7, 2009 at 18:43 by Magnus.

As trivial tips are also easy to misplace, this one is now saved for posterity at

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 at 09:24 by Greg Smith.

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