git will color it's output. Staged changes are green and deleted files are red for example. I have a script running several git commands in parallel and I use sponge to get a nicer output.

But using sponge removes the colors, is there a way to change that?

2 Answers 2


Yes, you can force git to output colour codes. For many git subcommands, you can add the --color option:

git log --color | sponge

For others, you’ll need to configure the colour output using configuration directives; either per command:

git -c color.status=always status | sponge

or for good in one of the configuration files:

git config --global color.status always
git status | sponge

(By default, git disables colour output when its output is sent somewhere other than a terminal. If you want to set the color directive for --color compatible subcommands, you need to use the color.ui key: git config --global color.ui always.)

  • That doesn't work for git status
    – rinu
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 6:50
  • I’ve updated my answer; I didn’t realise you were looking for status (although the green and red references should have given me the hint). Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 7:03

Now that I knew what to look for, I found the answer on Stack Overflow:

git -c color.ui=always -c color.status=always status | sponge

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