Getting started with git and GitHub

Table of Contents

Some background information

  1. The importance of version control.
  2. What is git?
  3. How to install git?
  4. What is GitHub?

Basic git commands

Summarized from this page.

Create a repository from the current working directory

In the current folder, type $ git init. This creates .git folder which contains all necessary files for this repository.

Clone a existing repository from GitHub

$ git clone where is the URL of the existing repository in GitHub.

Commit changes and push to GitHub repositiory

After making some changes (edit files, create and remove files), you can check the status of the current repository by typing $ git status.

A list of untracked files will be listed. In order to start version-controlling those files, use $ git add * (or add only files / file types that you would like to track).

Then you can commit the changes you have made with $ git commit -m "type some message here" and update the corresponding GitHub repository by typing $ git push.

Git branching

Git branching is a “killer feature” in git. You can create another branch of the repository to work without affecting to the main branch (master branch), e.g. make some new features, change some function for your own purpose, etc.

To create a new branch called new_function:

git checkout new_function

You have made a new pointer at the current commit you are currently on. Now you are working on the “new_branch” branch. Making any changes here will not effect to the main “master” branch. To commit and push changes to this branch follow the instruction above.

To change back to the master branch (or go to any other branches), use the command:

git checkout "branch_name" (e.g. git checkout master)

The command git checkout without any branch’s name will tell which branch you are currently on.

After successfully created new functions for your tool, you can merge the changes in branch “new_function” to “master” by doing:

git checkout master
git merge new_function

After everything have been done, “new_function” branch will be no longer needed, we can now delete it:

git branch -d new_function

<to be continued>