I was looking for a remote terminal-friendly version of gitk for visualizing branch and merges and as of yet the closest I’ve gotten is this awesome log command (compliments of this well-done git tutorial):

git log --pretty=format:"%h %ad | %s%d [%an]" --graph --date=short

It wasn’t as full featured as I liked but did the job and doesn’t require installing an extra package. Recently though, I stumbled on a colorful text-based git frontend call tig which is quite handy. Check out the screenshots here. It’s fast and effortless to dig around your repository, drill down wherever you need, and you can even pipe regular git commands to it to see them in interactive full color. Installing it is a breeze with (yum install tig or apt-get install tig) or you can install from source. From here, type tig in your working directory and follow these commands. Checkout tig blame too!

I’d give a longer review on it with screenshots but someone already has here.

I default tig to show the rev-graph (shown here) and use relative dates by adding the following to my global git config in ~/.gitconfig:

   show-date = relative
   author-width = 8
   show-rev-graph = yes

You can really modify the short cut commands and colors to your liking using the man file.