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Mercurial GUI Client on Ubuntu

April 15th, 2010

There are a lot of options for a Mercurial GUI client on Ubuntu but I preferred to use TortoiseHg so that I could use it with Nautilus – Ubuntu’s file manager.

TortoiseHg however is not in the Ubuntu Karmic Koala repositories.  Another challenge is that TortoiseHg 1.0.1 requires Mercurial 1.5 but Ubuntu Karmic only has Mercurial 1.3 on the repositories.  Of course I want the newer versions. :)

Here are the steps I did to install TortoiseHg, my preferred Mercurial GUI client on Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10:

  1. Add the following PPAs to your Software Sources
    1. Goto System -> Administration -> Software Sourcesubuntu-software-sources-before-mercurial-and-tortoisehg
    2. Click the Add button then paste the following on the APT line
    3. Click the Add Source button
    4. Click the Add button then paste the following on the APT line
    5. Click the Add Source button
    6. Your Software Sources should now reflect the newly added PPAs.ubuntu-software-sources
    7. Click the Close button.
    8. You will be asked to reload the information about available software, click on the Reload button.ubuntu-confirm-update-software-sources
    9. Wait until the software sources update is finished.
    10. Finally, to install TortoiseHg on Ubuntu, type this in the shell:
      $ sudo apt-get install tortoisehg

      After that is done, Nautilus needs to be reloaded to reflect the context menu. You may logout then log back in or just type this in the shell to quit all Nautilus instances:

      $ nautilus -q

      Thanks to Jesumer for pointing this out.

    11. You may then launch Nautilus and right-click on a folder/file. Your context menu should now show TortoiseHG as a menu item:

      Context Menu on a directory not yet on Mercurial repository.

      Context Menu on a directory already on Mercurial repository.

      Context Menu on a directory already on Mercurial repository.

Congratulations! You have just installed TortoiseHg on your Ubuntu Karmic box.


Here are my references on myListBoard.com.

  1. jesumer
    April 19th, 2010 at 13:00 | #1

    -I already install TortoiseHg on ubuntu but when i tried to take the 11th steps there is no TortoiseHg on the menu item,so i go on the system>adminastration>synaptic package manager then search Tortoise on the quick search then mark and apply the TortoiseHg-nautilus.
    - Open terminal and type nautilus -q to quit nautilus and proceed to step 11.

  2. May 6th, 2010 at 00:36 | #2

    Hello there. Have successfully followed your examples up to step 11. I’ve double checked that all dependencies are installed. Unfortunately I’m just not seeing the ‘TortoiseHG’ menu item when I launch nautilus and right click. I wonder what I’ve neglected to do. Thanks! Jasmine

  3. May 6th, 2010 at 00:42 | #3

    Just saw comment above. ‘nautilus -q’ in terminal and then back to step 11 – works. Might be worth making a note for people new to Ubuntu. Thanks for your help.

  4. May 6th, 2010 at 09:46 | #4

    Thanks for pointing that out. I have updated Step 10 accordingly.

  5. May 6th, 2010 at 09:47 | #5

    @Jasmine Myer
    I have updated step 10 to reflect Jesumer’s suggestion. Am glad my post helped you.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

  6. May 14th, 2010 at 15:28 | #6

    I followed exactly you said but I cant see anything in my context menu. I dont think things are different in Lucid. And by the way how did you add open terminal here in your context menu.

  7. May 16th, 2010 at 16:25 | #7

    @Kumar Chetan Sharma
    I’m sorry but I haven’t tried setting up tortoisehg-nautilus in Ubuntu Lucid which was just released ;) maybe it’s on Synaptic? Remember to either logout then log-back-in after installation.

    I installed nautilus-open-terminal thru Synaptic to have an “Open in Terminal” on my Nautilus context menu. :)

  8. November 13th, 2010 at 19:54 | #8

    Thanks !

    However I was able to work with the debian packages (http://packages.debian.org/search?keywords=tortoisehg) than the launchpad builds ! ….

    Hg is pretty very fast, so a tortoise is a bit of a misnomer ….. though it works nice !

  9. November 16th, 2010 at 02:52 | #9


    Thanks for visiting!

    Yeah, typing hg on your CLI is much faster. :)

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