An icon for GitOps, free to use

Oct 25, 2022

Infrastructure as Code and GitOps are becoming more and more important for Giant Swarm and for our users. And our user experience evolves to incorporate the concept.

Recently, we were looking for a solution for our web UI to indicate visually that a resource is managed through GitOps. This is significant, as it means that users cannot modify or delete these resources via the web UI (as these changes would otherwise simply get reverted based on what's in the git repository). We noticed that there was no icon that made us happy.

Based on what Google image search yields for the term, we are not the only ones who would like a graphical mark for the concept. A relatively common habit in presentations and websites appears to be the use of the official Git logo but changing the wordmark from "git" to "gitops".

We didn't want to jump on that bandwagon for several reasons.

  • The Git logo should be understood as representing Git as a tool, which means it cannot represent a second concept (GitOps) at the same time without a conflict.
  • The Git logo is licensed under a CC-BY license. This means that, even if modified, we would have to attribute the designer somehow. This is not practical for an icon.
  • Instead, we want the GitOps icon to spread freely, with as few restrictions as possible.

So, we designed an icon that incorporates an element known from the Git icon, likely something representing a source code tree, and a cog wheel to visualize the automation aspect. It's a visual symbiosis of "git" and "ops". It's neither original nor clever — it's straightforward.

If you like, you can use the icon to represent GitOps in your applications and publications. We publish several versions in a dedicated GitHub repository. It's licensed as CC0, which means there are no restrictions.

By using it and spreading it, you are actually doing us a favor. You are helping us increase the likelihood that our users understand the icon without further explanation. So thanks for that!

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