Git QuickStart

This is going to be a short and sweet tutorial to get you up and running with git. Git is a version control system. A version control system keeps track of file changes. If the current version is not working, we can go back to a specific version which worked.

If you have ever tried to write a program, you will right away recognize that having such a system will immensly ease the development process. A version control system such as git also saves the day when you are working as part of a team. But right now, let us concentrate on getting our feet wet :)


If you are on a Debian or Ubuntu derivative

$ sudo apt-get install git

If you are on Fedora/CentOS

$ sudo dnf install git

Creating GitHub account

Now lets create a Github account. Github is a web service which uses the git protocol to allow upload, download and sharing of our projects. It is perfectly possible to use Git without Github. But with Github, all of our code will be safely backed up and also makes it easy to share our code with others.

Enough lecturing. Go to and create an account. Once that is done, create a new repostory (project). A repository is like a directory which contains all the source files of a particular project. From now on, we are going to call it a repo. Why? because it sounds cool.

To start working on the repo, we will have to clone it. Cloning means we are creating a local copy of the repo on our computer. This can be done by clicking on the “Clone or Download” (green) button on the repo page and copying the URL to clipboard.

Now open the terminal, navigate to a directory where you want to store the repo and execute

$ cd /home/user
$ git clone the-copied-url

Once thats done, you will see that we now have a new directory with the name of the repo. Lets navigate into the directory and create a README file

$ cd new-repo-dir
$ touch

We just created a README file, which is used to give a brief introduction of the project to anybody who visits our project page on Github. The README is in markdown format, follow the link to learn more.

Now that we created the README, lets commit the file. Commiting is the process of registering the changes we have made with git. It consists of two steps. Adding the file, which causes git to start tracking our file and then the actual commit process.

$ git add .

See that . (dot)? It asks git to add all the files in our directory, sparing you from the task of manually adding each file. Next is the commit command.

$ git commit -m "the commit message"

At this point, git would have probably interrupted you asking for your name and email address. Type it in

$ git config --global "You full name"
$ git config --global yourmail@domain.tld

Now lets get back to commiting. Execute the commit command again. See the commit message? it gives a very short info on what actually comprises of the commit.

Once you start a serious project, commits will start piling up and the commit message will be your only way to know what comprises of a commit other than ofcourse manually reading the whole source file :D

Once this is done, we can upload the commit to Github. This is called pushing. Enter your Github credentials when Git asks for it and… it should do the trick.

$ git push

Git can do lots of awesome stuff. But right now, this will suffice. Just remember to do small, frequent commits as this will allow you to easily trace your code changes.