How to open GitHub repository from the command line: gremote

One day I noticed myself opening Github repo for my project manually using type-in at browser. It happened often, sometimes I need to check the list of issues at GitHub or review fresh PRs. And it may happens several times a day because I’m a fan of closing non required in the moment browser tabs to reduce cognitive load.

There should be a way to open it right from console opened at the directory of your project.

The goal of the article to show how create bash script that runs from the git project directory and opens browser with URL pointing to the project remote repository. We’ll call it gremote

Let’s say you do you git remote -v and see

git remote -vorigin	<https://github.com/laravel/laravel.git> (fetch)
origin <https://github.com/laravel/laravel.git> (push)

Or you open another project with Git and see

git remote -vorigin	git@github.com:laravel/jetstream.git (fetch)
origin git@github.com:laravel/jetstream.git (push)

As you see the URL of your remote may starts with https:// or git@. It's time to extract and open remote repository for both cases and make bash functions to open it with one command. We'll name it gremote.

Running gremote from the first project folder will open https://github.com/laravel/laravel and from the second one will open https://github.com/laravel/jetstream

Case 1. Remote repository URL starts with https://

First let’s take a look how to open the remote repository at browser with remote starting with https. Our goal from the list of remote URLs like origin <https://github.com/laravel/laravel.git> (fetch) get the URL https://github.com/laravel/laravel that may be opened with browser.

Here is bash one-liner for that, run it into your project with remote https:// and you'll see your browser opening project URL. Don't worry we'll dive into it in a bit

How it works

  1. We get list of remote origin using git remote -v
git remote -vorigin	<https://github.com/laravel/laravel.git> (fetch)
origin <https://github.com/laravel/laravel.git> (push)

2. Leave only the first one using head -n 1

git remote -v \
| head -n 1
origin <https://github.com/laravel/laravel.git> (fetch)

3. Split it into substrings by space and get second one using awk -F " " '{print $2}'

git remote -v \
| head -n 1 \
| awk -F " " '{print $2}'
<https://github.com/laravel/laravel.git>

4. Remove .git part using sed 's/\\.git//g'

git remote -v \
| head -n 1 \
| awk -F " " '{print $2}' \
| sed 's/\.git//g'
<https://github.com/laravel/laravel>

5. And finally open it at browser using xargs open

git remote -v \
| head -n 1 \
| awk -F " " '{print $2}' \
| sed 's/\.git//g' \
| xargs open

Yep!🕺

Case 2. Remote repository URL starts with git@

Let’s move to more interesting remote URLs starting with git@. Our goal from the list of remote URLs like origin git@github.com:laravel/jetstream.git (fetch) get the URL https://github.com/laravel/jetstream that may be opened with browser.

One-liner here is

How it works

  1. We get list of remote origin using git remote -v
git remote -vorigin	git@github.com:laravel/jetstream.git (fetch)
origin git@github.com:laravel/jetstream.git (push)

2. Leave only the first one using head -n 1

git remote -v \
| head -n 1
origin git@github.com:laravel/jetstream.git (fetch)

3. Split it into substrings by @ and get second one using awk -F "@" '{print $2}'

git remote -v \
| head -n 1 \
| awk -F "@" '{print $2}'
github.com:laravel/jetstream.git (fetch)

4. Now we need only github.com:laravel/jetstream.git without (fetch) part. We'll split github.com:laravel/jetstream.git (fetch) into substrings by space and get first one using awk -F " " '{print $2}'

git remote -v \
| head -n 1 \
| awk -F "@" '{print $2}' \
| awk -F " " '{print $1}'
github.com:laravel/jetstream.git

5. Let’s replace : with / to get github.com/laravel/jetstream.git

git remote -v \
| head -n 1 \
| awk -F "@" '{print $2}' \
| awk -F " " '{print $1}' \
| sed 's/:/\//g'
github.com/laravel/jetstream.git

6. Remove .git part with sed 's/\.git//g'

git remote -v \
| head -n 1 \
| awk -F "@" '{print $2}' \
| awk -F " " '{print $1}' \
| sed 's/:/\//g' \
| sed 's/\.git//g'
github.com/laravel/jetstream

7. Add https: to the start of string using awk '{print "https://"$1}'

git remote -v \
| head -n 1 \
| awk -F "@" '{print $2}' \
| awk -F " " '{print $1}' \
| sed 's/:/\//g' \
| sed 's/\.git//g' \
| awk '{print "https://"$1}'
https://github.com/laravel/jetstream

8. And open it at browser using xargs open

git remote -v \
| head -n 1 \
| awk -F "@" '{print $2}' \
| awk -F " " '{print $1}' \
| sed 's/:/\//g' \
| sed 's/\.git//g' \
| awk '{print "https://"$1}' \
| xargs open

We did it!👋

It’s time to get all pieces together

To make it work as gremote command let's write shell function and put it into bash startup file. I'll add it to ~/.bashrc

  • At the script first I extract remote origins using git remote -v | head -n 1
  • Then I check if it has https with [[ $remote =~ 'https' ]]
  • And choose correct script to build repo URL
  • See how I use echo $remote to reuse results of git remote -v | head -n 1 through the variable
  • The last step is to print prompt for the user and open browser

Now you can open new shell or just do . ~/bashrc at current shell and run gremote at any project with git introduced.

bash-3.2$ pwd
/Users/mihan007/Projects/sandbox/laravel
bash-3.2$ gremote
Opening <https://github.com/laravel/laravel>

I’ve checked gremote against GitHub, Bitbucket and GitLab - all works well. Hope you find it useful for your daily development needs. Also I hope that you found something new for you bash knowledge, it’s really powerful but a bit confusing swiss knife for true command line lovers like me.

Appendix 1. Adjust gremote to your needs

This is generic script to open main page of the repository. You may adjust it to open specific pages like issues or pull requests. To do that change the way how script build the url by modifying awk '{print "https://"$1}' For example to open pull requests at GitHub use awk '{print "https://"$1"/pulls'}' Doing that keep in mind that urls to specific part of repo are different for all services so modification for GitHub won’t work for Bitbucket or GitLab repos.

Appendix 2. For the fish shell users

Put this into ~/.config/fish/functions/gremote.fish

Expert on support and development legacy web projects

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store