SourceTree for Windows 2.0: New UI, faster performance, and Microsoft Git Virtual File System support

By on April 27, 2017

It’s an exciting time to be a Windows developer using SourceTree. We’ve seen steady adoption of SourceTree for Windows and today more than half our users come from Windows – impressive for a tool that used to be Mac only! Since launching the 2.0 beta in January and acting on the feedback we’ve received since, we’re excited to announce that SourceTree for Windows 2.0 is now generally available.

Alongside refreshing the UI with a new and improved design, we’ve also listened to all the feedback you’ve provided and focused on making SourceTree for Windows 2.0 the fastest version yet. And that’s not all, as we’re proud to announce support for Microsoft’s Git Virtual File System, making the process of working with unusually large repositories easier than ever before.


Improved user experience and modern look and feel

The first major change you’ll see in SourceTree is the new design. We gathered a lot of feedback around the user experience so not only have we updated SourceTree with a modern look and feel, we’ve also overhauled tabs to improve your repository browsing experience, with a specific focus on finding and cloning your remote repositories. We’ve added more vibrant colors, improved workflow for common operations, and we’ve increased performance by refactoring the bookmarks sidebar. Look out for a separate blog that explains the design in more detail.


Blazing fast performance

Many of you have voiced your concerns about the performance of SourceTree on Windows and we heard you loud and clear. By adding a hybrid LibGit2 handler under the hood for most git operations we were able to improve performance in some cases by almost 2x. Here are the performance tests we ran comparing 2.0 to 1.10 – the results speak for themselves:

And by all means don’t take our word for it, give 2.0 a try and see for yourself just how much faster performance is in this new release!


Support for Git Virtual File System

For all the great things about Git, a common complaint is how difficult it can be to work with large repositories. Git Large File Storage (LFS) helps alleviate these issues when your repository contains large files, but doesn’t help when you have lots of files or content in your repository. To help with this Microsoft announced Git Virtual File System (GVFS) at Git Merge this year, which “virtualizes the file system beneath your repo and makes it appear as though all the files in your repo are present, but in reality only downloads a file the first time it is opened.” So for those working on large repositories that typically deal with a small section of the codebase, using GVFS means you only download what you need rather than the entire repository. This in turn results in faster performance for common operations like checkout and status and improves the experience of using Git as a whole.

With GVFS support in 2.0 you can now utilize SourceTree with Git repositories that have GVFS enabled (e.g. Visual Studio Team Services), enabling you to combine a beautifully simple UI alongside a great technology that makes handling large repositories easier than ever. We’re excited to support GVFS in 2.0, and the same sentiment is shared by Microsoft:

“We’re excited that GVFS is supported in a widely used git client like SourceTree, and we love the new look and feel in 2.0.”

Jeremy Epling, Principal Program Manager on Microsoft TFS & Visual Studio Team Services


Get started today

We’re proud to continue supporting all of the Windows developers out there using SourceTree, and we hope you’re as excited as we are about all the great new features and improvements in SourceTree for Windows 2.0. Upgrade or download it today and tell us what you think!

Using SourceTree 1.9 or earlier?
We implemented a change in the way we roll out updates (announced here) late last year, so if you’re using SourceTree for Windows 1.9 or earlier you will not see auto updates for 2.0. Please download 2.0 directly from our website instead.



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OAuth Support and SSH Key Generation

By on February 10, 2017

Connect to your Bitbucket or GitHub accounts securely and with ease in the latest versions of SourceTree for Windows and Mac. These versions of SourceTree fully support OAuth 2.0. Users with Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) enabled can connect to both services via OAuth and be guided through the standard two-factor login flow. Navigate to the Account Management screen to update your already connected accounts from Basic to OAuth today!





Also, gone are the days of manually creating and storing SSH keys via command line. Released in version 2.4 for Mac, SourceTree automates the whole process with a single click of a button. Whenever you edit an existing account or add a new one you’ll notice a new “Generate Key” button on the Account Details screen. Click that button and we’ll take care of the rest.


Download the latest versions of SourceTree for Mac and Windows and take advantage of these new features (and various bug fixes/enhancements) today!



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SourceTree for Windows 2.0 is now in beta

By on January 27, 2017


We’ve added a ton of new features and improvements in this release:

Tabs and Header

We implemented a new tab-centric design to increase vertical space and to give readability to the the repository you’re currently working in. The new header design gives you an additional 20px vertically, while the removal of the bookmarks sidebar gives you 250px horizontally.


Before (left) and after

The New Tab….Tab

The repository browser now lives in the New Tab. The old sidebar crammed repository names and had a confusing relationship to your remote repositories. Now you have a dedicated experience for both in a full window. This approach also frees up more space to focus on code once you’re in a repository.



SourceTree for Windows 2.0 is screaming fast. We improved performance by adding a hybrid LibGit2 handler for most git operations. In many cases, performance for most operations increased by almost 2x. Look how fast reading stashes are with LibGit2!



Many primary feature workflows have been rethought and improved. Compare the steps needed for creating a remote repo in the current version of SourceTree, vs the new workflow. In 2.0, creating a remote repository and managing your remote accounts is front-and-center rather than living 2-3 menus or pop-up dialogs deep.



Before (left) and after


Animations, more vibrant colors, improved contrast, and per-monitor DPI support are just a few of the improvements we’ve made. Note the removal of the Windows 2000 era pinstripes, vivid colors, and branch label readability improvements. We’ve improved contrast in many areas by tweaking our use of gray colors, and added accents to window dialogs and notifications.


 Before (left) and after

Per-monitor DPI support

On systems that support per-monitor DPI settings (Windows 10 Anniversary), SourceTree will automatically adjust icons and text to be crisp and pixel perfect when the window is moved between monitors. SourceTree will still use high-DPI icons and scale properly even if your OS doesn’t support per-monitor DPI and you still have a high-DPI monitor or laptop.


 Before (left) and after



Readability has been improved on the sidebar, with more spacing between text and increased vertical spacing.


Before (left) and after

Additionally, the ahead/behind indicator will now float on the right-side of the sidebar, and will be visible even if there’s a scroll-bar in either direction.


Before (left) and after


Download the beta and check out all the new improvements today!


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Fixing a tricky SourceTree memory leak

By on December 13, 2016

There have been a few reports of memory leaks in recent versions of SourceTree for Windows. We understand these kinds of issues can adversely affect the SourceTree experience and are important to identify and address. Memory leaks can be tough to handle, and is compounded with applications written using a managed language (like SourceTree) as lifetime tracking of objects tend to be fairly complex. Here’s one such memory leak that we fixed in 1.9.9 for Windows that we released last week.

Identifying the leaky object

How does a memory leak appear? Most of the time it’s a fairly simple case of “I created some objects, and when I was done using those objects something was still referencing them”. In this case, identifying what was leaking in SourceTree was an easy task:


Hint: the sidebar isn’t showing more than 100 items and there’s only a single SidebarNode for each item…

Determining the cause

Most of the time the cause of a leak is easy to spot:

However, the real difficulty isn’t figuring out if you have a leak – the challenge lies in figuring out what’s causing it to happen. In this case, I suspected that our UI library that quickly draws the sidebar was doing something wrong, and that it might be holding onto objects that it shouldn’t. After looking at the memory dump it was clear that assumption was correct:


That’s more than 4x the correct number of nodes. Okay, so now we know that it involves the SidebarNode and the TreeNode objects. The TreeNode holds a reference to the object it’s showing to the user, so something must be keeping a reference of it around, which is keeping our massive count of SidebarNodes around too.


After taking a peek into the the TreeNode class, there were a few issues (oops):

To make sure these two things were actually causing the leak, we created a simple demo app was created that added and removed items in the tree thousands of times. Creating a small test app made it much easier to track where the nodes were created, and why they didn’t get cleaned up properly. It also ensures we can test this again in the future to prevent regressions. After running the tests, it appeared that the leak was fixed. As mentioned earlier this fix has been rolled out in 1.9.9 for Windows, and should address the memory issues we were seeing. Check it out for yourself!


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SourceTree for Windows 1.9.9 released

By on December 5, 2016

We’ve been hard at work squashing bugs, fixing crashes, patching and upgrading parts of SourceTree for Windows in version 1.9.9. Remember that annoying memory leak in the TreeView? Patched. Want support for Git LFS 1.5.2? We’ve added that. Feel free to check that Spell Checker checkbox too – we’ve provided safeguards to protect against Windows’ own spellchecker performance issues. Performance when switching tabs have been improved too. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We want to give a big shout out to members of our Beta community. Your participation helps us identify and fix the biggest pain points; thank you! And if you’re interested in joining the beta program you can do so here.

Download today to get these improvements.


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Adding staged updates to SourceTree

By on November 16, 2016

When it comes to rolling out new software updates, the SourceTree team is always looking to deliver a better experience to users with minimal disruption. In the past we announced a beta program for SourceTree, detailed how we deliver releases, and now we’re modifying how we roll updates out to users. By progressively rolling out updates we aim to deliver new features and functionality to users in a more robust fashion.

What’s the plan?

Where we used to roll a new update to all users on day one, we’re now progressively rolling out updates to users. This staged approach offers the SourceTree team granularity during a release, allowing us to scrutinize each update for bugs and showstoppers before it hits critical mass.

The general flow of a build through our release pipeline is common across both Windows and Mac platforms. The below diagram – using our upcoming 2.4 macOS release as an example – outlines our process and describes the granularity of our new staged rollout in more detail.


Once a release leaves beta it’s progressively rolled out to groups of users over a period of a few weeks, with time in-between for fixes to be implemented where necessary.

Group Percentage available Available exclusively for
1 5% 2 days
2 15% 2 days
3 25% 3 days
4 50% 3 days
5 75% 1 day
6 100% 1 day


How did we implement it?

The implementation is slightly different for Windows and macOS platforms, but aim to achieve the same goals:


Having implemented Squirrel.Windows for SourceTree’s beta program, we’ve decided to move GA releases from AdvancedInstaller to Squirrel as well. Why Squirrel? We were attracted by its focus on simplicity and felt it aligned well with our goal of improving the installation process for users:

Windows apps should be as fast and as easy to install and update as apps like Google Chrome. From an app developer’s side, it should be really straightforward to create an installer for my app, and publish updates to it, without having to jump through insane hoops.

We’ve found it very easy to integrate Squirrel with our FAKE-based build process and CI. The resulting installer is much smaller, quicker to run, has a cleaner footprint, and comes with the added bonus of removing the requirement for Admin rights to install. Overall we felt the user install experience is much improved.

For progressive rollouts, Squirrel comes with built-in staged rollout functionality. SourceTree generates a release percentage for this local install; this defines which part of the release schedule the instance falls into. SourceTree will check at start up for any new updates, or the check can be manually triggered via the Tools/Options/Update tab. After each update, SourceTree will regenerate a new release percentage, ensuring a random distribution of updates.

Important information for Windows users
The switch from AdvancedInstaller to Squirrel will involve a number of changes you should be aware of:

  • 1.9.x.x will be the last AdvancedInstaller update and will install as normal
  • 1.9.x.x+1 will be the first progressive rollout release AND the first Squirrel release
  • 1.9.x.x will detect 1.9.x.x+1 using the new Squirrel progressive rollout process
  • 1.9.x.x+1 will be installed as a pure Squirrel install, i.e.
    • installation location will move from ‘c:\program files x(86)\Atlassian\SourceTree’ to ‘c:\users\USERNAME\Appdata\Local\SourceTree’
    • the new location means installation will no longer require Admin rights
    • the new installation will for now still use the same configuration files held under ‘c:\users\USERNAME\Appdata\Local\Atlassia\SourceTree’ so all existing settings will be respected
  • The Squirrel Update process does NOT include visible Release Notes before running.
  • To uninstall you simply delete the folder
  • It is possible to downgrade without uninstalling first, but data integrity of configuration and settings is not guaranteed.



For macOS we weren’t able to find any existing options that met our needs. But Sparkle, the update framework we’re already using, does include a number of hooks for customizing the experience, so we decided to build our own from that. In order to utilize staged updates we only need to take advantage of a single method:


Inside this method we use some randomization to choose groups; that logic is encapsulated in a thoroughly unit tested class (which we’re considering open sourcing if there’s interest). On launch, a user’s group is assigned and cached, clearing when it’s a new app version (2.3.2 → 2.4, not 75 → 76).

On the Server

What happens on the server end is largely unchanged from what we have today. We’ve added new copies of feeds and tweaked release notes so they work in concert with randomization to make staged updates possible.

Build release process

Unsurprisingly, we continue automating via Fastlane:

fastlane update percentage:50

This former “early access” lane runs a relatively similar process as before: it takes the current version + build info and makes sure the appcast and release notes have been updated properly. If it’s already present no build is produced but the appcasts and release notes are prepared.

Iterating On Our Process

It’s been great revisiting the initial CI and deployment processes we put in place for the beta program and expanding upon them. Figuring out the path of least resistance and what options might work presented a fun challenge and our Fastlane suite is better than ever. Now that we’ve landed this important bit of infrastructure we look forward to the many successful deployments and exciting changes in SourceTree’s future!

SourceTree blog update

By on October 26, 2016

Dear Readers,

SourceTree team here with a quick update on how we are managing the SourceTree blog. Starting Friday, October 28th, we will be turning off commenting on the blog.

It’s not that we don’t want to talk to you – we do! We noticed that sometimes blog comments go unanswered for weeks because a comment gets posted on a really old blog post. We want to make sure that you are able to get answers to the comments and questions you have on the right channels and by the right people. Here are the places for you to chat with us on anything from product questions, support requests, reporting bugs, and requesting features:

Customer support

For any technical issues, please visit our support center.

Feature requests and bug reporting

If you would like to request a new feature or file a bug, please visit our public issue tracker for Mac, or our public issue tracker for Windows. Here you can see what other SourceTree customers have requested, follow requests and issues, and even create a new one yourself.

Atlassian Answers

Have any open questions about how to use SourceTree, Git, or integrate with another product like Bitbucket? Visit Atlassian Answers where you will find questions submitted and answered by the user community, ecosystem developers, and SourceTree staff.

Finally, get social with us! Join us in our enthusiasm for SourceTree, spooning, or software development best practices on Twitter.

Thank you for reading our blog, and for all the feedback you’ve given us over the years. Talk to you soon!

SourceTree Early Access

By on May 4, 2016

A couple weeks ago we shared our beta development process. And If you’ve joined our beta program, you must be thinking, “when is SourceTree going to get to step 4: Early Access?” To elaborate a bit, an Early Access build is a production-ready build which has been tested by you, our Trusted Testers. We want to give you a heads up that SourceTree 2.2.5 for OS X and for Windows will be available for download at in the coming days. Here are a few things to look out for in the update. The following will be available in OS X first, with Windows soon to follow later.

If you notice any issues or bugs in the Early Access build, please feel free to file them at And if you haven’t already, please join our beta program to get access to a ton of features before they are made generally available.


SourceTree Beta 1 is here

By on April 15, 2016


SourceTree Beta 1 is here! Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve announced a beta program and given you a look behind the curtains. The wait is over. Today, those of you who’ve signed up to be a trusted tester will get access to SourceTree Beta 1. In our first beta we’ve addressed:

Haven’t signed up to be a tester yet? There’s still time! Register today and get access to new features before they’re made generally available. Thanks for being part of the SourceTree team.



SourceTree Beta Program – A look behind the curtains

By on March 31, 2016

Last week we announced a new beta program for SourceTree, and I want to thank everyone who signed up to be a trusted tester. We received a lot of interest and are in the process of building a few new features and improvements for you to try out. For those who haven’t signed up yet, don’t wait too long. We’re still accepting trusted testers, get in now by signing up here.

In the coming weeks, we’ll release our first SourceTree Beta and want to give you a look behind the curtains at the testing process, both internal and external, so you can see how the beta program will work.



Step 1: Alpha



SourceTree Alpha is where we turn your feedback in to features that we test internally. SourceTree Alpha will not be available for public download. However, in one off cases, we will reach out to a few trusted testers for early feedback.

Step 2: Blitz!

1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, …, BLITZ!!! 

Once we determine a set of improvements that are ready for a public release, we will build a beta candidate. The beta candidate will go through intensive acceptance testing with our QA team- essentially making the beta candidate feel like a college quarterback on their first day against the top-ranked NFL defense.

Step 3: Beta



All systems go! When the beta candidate passes internal acceptance testing, it’s ready for our beta community to give it a spin. Initially, the SourceTree Beta will be available for download from our public repository and will not replace your production copy. Your version of SourceTree and the SourceTree Beta will be able to run side by side, and each instance will offer updates independent of each other. Beta releases will have features in early preview that may have stability or performance issues so they will be kept separate from production.

The best part of the beta program is the feedback loop. To make feedback reporting seamless for the trusted testers, we’ve implemented Fabric and BugSplat (tools that make crash reporting easy) in SourceTree for OS X and Windows respectively. Another option is to report any issues with the label “trusted_tester” via our Trusted Tester Issue Tracker.

Step 4: Early Access

Once we’ve confirmed there aren’t any show stoppers reported by our trusted testers, the most current version of the SourceTree Beta (Early Access build) will be made available for public download via or, rather than prompting users with an in-app update. To get notified about Early Access builds, follow us on Twitter. Please note that Early Access versions of SourceTree are considered production ready and will replace your existing copy of SourceTree.

Step 5: General Availability



The final stretch! We will take this last week to make sure nothing falls through the cracks before we prompt you with in-app updates. Assuming all systems are pointing to ‘go’, roughly one week after being made available for early access, the last Early Access version of SourceTree will be made the official production version.

Sign up to become a trusted tester in the SourceTree Beta

Now that you know the process, we would love you to be a part of it. Our never-ending goal is to make SourceTree the best Git and Mercurial client out there, and we’re only at our best with your contributions and your feedback. So, if you haven’t already, sign up to become a trusted tester today and keep an eye out for the newest updates from SourceTree.