Speed up git bash on Windows

Recently, I've been struggling with performance in Git Bash on Windows. Just doing a 'git status' takes several seconds. Directory browsing was also crazy slow, just TAB completing possible filenames was taking a few seconds. After doing a bit of Googling, I found a few tips that made a huge difference to my experience.

Make the following changes to you git config:

git config --global core.preloadindex true  
git config --global core.fscache true  
git config --global gc.auto 256  

Another speedup came when I redefined my shell prompt. By default, the bash shows you which branch you're currently on, and for some reason the method it uses to get the branch is quite slow.

I found the following change on a StackOverflow post that seems to work way faster:

  1. Go to your git install directory (Mine is c:\Program Files (x86)\Git
  2. In the etc folder, open the file 'profile' in a text editor
    • This file is executed when the bash shell is initialized, you can do a lot of customization in here
  3. Near the bottom, you will find some commands related to setting a variable called PS1 (PS1 = ...)
  4. Either replace it or just append the following lines after it
fast\_git\_ps1 ()  
    printf -- "$(git branch 2>/dev/null | grep -e '\* ' | sed 's/^..\(.*\)/ \1} /')"    
\033[32m\]\[email protected]\h \[\033[33m\w$(fast\_git\_ps1)\033[0m\]                                         

Make sure the PS1 variable is not changed again later in the script.

These tips all came from a StackOverflow post, there may be more there to help, but just the above changes made a massive change for me.

Note: This post was originally shared on Entelect's internal knowledge sharing site and then published to the Entelect blog here. Be sure to check out the blog for lots of good advice from amazing developers.