GitKraken recent changes blocked opening of private repositories with message:

This appears to be a private repository
The free version of GitKraken does not support opening private repositories

Latest pricing updates from the company:

However, we also recognize that there are a lot of GitKraken users that want to use our product for their own side projects—many of whom have private repos. For these individual users, who may cash strapped, we wanted to lower the pricing barrier so that it’s a non-issue.

Many users complaint about GitKraken unable to open with private repositories which worked in the past. Personally I'm using GitKraken from once per week or so and I didn't saw any notification.

I'm working on two computers both have GitKraken:

  • GitKraken 4.2 - is working with private repositories
  • GitKraken 6.3.0 - is not working with private repositories

So If you are using Linux Mint or Ubuntu you have several options to make GitKraken workable again or holding to working version.

Bonus: For this article you can learn two important Linux techniques:

  • prevent application from update
  • move application from one computer to another

Step #1: Prevent GitKraken updates

This will only work for you if you installed GitKraken from the Software Center or by terminal like:

sudo apt-get install gitkraken

Note: This option is not available anymore.

If you want to stop GitKraken updates in order to keep the working version on your system than you can execute:

sudo apt-mark hold gitkraken


gitkraken set on hold.

Later if you like to get last updates for this application you can simply revert the hold by:

sudo apt-mark unhold gitkraken

Note: the application in this case was installed by(which is not working anymore):


Step #2: Move older GitKraken version

If you installed the latest version from the website than you will face the message above. Luckily if you have older version working on one of your computers you ca transfer it to another by following these steps:

  1. Run command like to check:
  • do you have installed package gitkraken
  • information about the package
dpkg -l
dpkg -L gitkraken
  1. Now you will find the installation folder - something like:

  2. You can copy and paste the folder to new computer

  3. Then you need to make the gitkraken file executable

  4. Open the application

  5. Create Desktop and panel icons

Note: This is only informative article. The best option is to used the latest available version and respect the software producers. If the package is expensive for then you can consider next options.

If you want to remove the new version:

  • Menu
  • Find the GitKraken in the Menu
  • Right click and select Uninstall

Step #3: Use GitKraken Pro for students

The tools is free if you are:

  • student
  • teaching and academic use
  • courses, coding clubs, and nonprofit research

You can apply for this option and get more information here:

Education Benefits

Step #4: Make your repository public

Another possible solution to the previous problem is to change your repository from private to public. This is not the best option for many but it's still one to consider.

These are the steps to change private to public for BitBucket:

Set repository privacy status

A private repository is visible only to users who have permission to see it. A public repository is visible to everyone.

  • click Settings in the sidebar(in the repository)
  • Locate Access level on the Repository details page. Add or remove the checkmark from This is a private repository based on your preferred privacy status.
  • Click Save repository details.

Step #5: Use GitKraken alternatives

The last resort is to check for GitKraken alternatives. There are many free options like:

  • Sublime Merge - A snappy UI, three-way merge tool, side-by-side diffs, syntax highlighting, and more.
  • SmartGit - SmartGit is a graphical Git client with support for SVN and Pull Requests for GitHub and Bitbucket. SmartGit runs on Windows, macOS and Linux.
  • Gitg - gitg is the GNOME GUI client to view git repositories.
  • IntelliJ or PyCharm
  • VSCode

One interesting new tool which is getting more attention recently. Currently is available only for Mac and Windows but looks pretty close to GitKraken. Another possible problem for this one is the message:

Free, $49.99 soon

Anyway if you like you can check it here:

  • Fork - Fork is getting better and better day after day and we are happy to share our results with you.