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SourceTree regularly disconnects SSH client

Since I keep getting e-mails from Atlassian Community nagging me to "jump back in", I've finally decided to post the issue that has been greatly annoying us for the last 10 months.

Version 1.7 of SourceTree, working on Windows 7, was the last good version of this software (more on that below). Once logged into the Git server via the SSH agent, the 1.7 stayed logged in for as long as we wanted. Fast forward to 2017: I had to change my failing laptop and my employer handed me Windows 10 machine with preinstalled SourceTree This version does login to Git server via SSH correctly, initially, but then either keeps forgetting SSH login credentials, or disconnects SSH for some other reason just after a few hours! When I try to pull new code it issues the following nonsense:


The only way out of it is to restart SourceTree and re-login. :(At least that's what our IT tells us; they haven't found any other remedy. Is there a trick to work around this thing?

I am reluctant to "upgrade", since in all likelihood the next version will be worse. How do I know that? Past experience. I wrote that version 1.7 was the last good version and it's true. It had a very useful bookmark sidebar and it _worked_ in every respect. Then a hotheaded co-worker "upgraded" SourceTree to version 1.8 and immediately regretted it. Certain features were broken, don't remember which, so he warned me to stay away from it. Next, he "upgraded" to 1.9 when it became available and things got even worse. The story repeated itself: with each subsequent release of SourceTree the software followed path of steady decline. I stayed with version 1.7 as long as I could and after forced switch to 2.5 I see mine was a correct strategy. The 2.5 has an absolutely horrible interface and is broken in several respects; I've just outlined one most irritating bug above.

Why is that? Why Atlassian programmers make each subsequent release of SourceTree worse instead of better? I observed this phenomenon with another (unrelated) software: F-Secure SSH client. In that case the small Finnish business that made this great program was acquired by a larger company which started to make "improvements" to the point where it became unusable. We had to cancel purchase subscriptions and move to something else. What's the excuse for Atlassian, then? Has it been acquired by some bozos who don't know what they are doing, as well?


1 answer

0 votes
Mike Corsaro
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Jan 03, 2019 • edited

Sourcetree is free -- we don't make any money off of it. It's not perfect and we're a very very small team. We try our best to handle the number of users we have. It's not easy.


We don't intentionally make Sourcetree worse every version -- we (the developers) read every comment that's made on this forum and try our best to deal with the most odd software setups and mashups of git versions. In fact we have made significant performance improvements that users have been asking about for years.


We can't handle supporting older versions so I can't help you with issues that happen in 2.5.5. I can suggest you try a newer version that probably fixes openssh issues, or you can switch to using putty which typically doesn't have as many problems with openssh (Tools > Options > SSH Client).

Hi Mike,

Thank you very much for prompt answer. (The bug reported by me on JIRA forum remains unanswered for months.) I understand the "free" and "small team" arguments all too well. However, please understand my point of view: I am stuck with SourceTree because my employer demands it, so "free" does not mean "freedom of choice" for me.

If I managed a small team of developers dedicated to a piece of software that does not make money, then I would follow these principles:

1) If it works, don't touch it. In particular don't remove useful functionality!

2) Fix bugs.

3) Monitor changes to git closely and adapt the software accordingly.

4) Monitor changes to operating systems and adapt the software accordingly.

In the link you enclosed you describe the desire of the team to improve performance. It was done, though, at the high cost of removing very useful bookmark sidebar. Not to mention an awful interface in general. In other words, you threw away the baby with the bath water. One thing I learned in software development: once you gave it (functionality), never, ever take it away! You should've found another way of improving performance without cutting functionality. Maybe WPF is the source of all the problems? I won't dwell on that, though.

OpenSSH functioned perfectly fine in v1.7, in v2.5 it doesn't. Which means you violated 1) - you touched something you were not supposed to. Why? It would be more cost effective to just leave it alone, don't you think? In our development cycle we make sure that new changes don't break existing functionality, at least try to, and it seems your testing department neglected to consider working SSH communications...

Nope, the latest version 3.0.12 has the same problem. Can we formalize it as an existing issue, then?

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