Mark Brown

Application Developer, Javascript, Python


Hey There Mark Brown!

Published Mar 12, 2019

Hey Mark Brown!!!

I just wanted to see how your day was going ...

Git logo GitHub logo </a>

Git & GitHub Learning Lab Resources

Sample repository to be used alongside the GitHub Learning Lab &xrarr; tutorial(s), as well as some additional 3rd-party learning resources to help get you up-to-speed with Git.

Usage Examples —

This is an ongoing W.I.P. so be sure to check back later for updated documentation …

Install Homebrew

Install the Required Xcode Command Line Tools:

$ xcode-select --install

Install Homebrew using their installation script:

$ /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

Update Homebrew so you’ve got the latest & greatest index:

$ brew update
$ brew upgrade

# To diagnose any errors that may have occured, you can debug with the following;
$ brew doctor

Install Git

# You should ALWAYS run the following prior to installing any packages from Homebrew.
$ brew update

$ brew install git

Verify your new Git installation:

$ which git
# Expected Output

$ git --version
# Expected Output
git version 2.21.0

Configure Git

After you install Git, configure it for first time use using git config, a built-in tool that obtains and sets configuration variables. These configuration variables are located in three different places on a GNU/Linux system:

  • /etc/gitconfig - Stores the configuration information for all system users and their respective repositories.
  • ~/.gitconfig - Stores user-specific configuration files on the system.
  • .git/config - This is the configuration file of your current working repository.

For a Windows system, the .gitconfig file is located in the $HOME directory of the user’s profile. The full path is C:\Document and Settings\$USER or C:\Users\$USER.

After installing Git make sure your username and email address are set correctly. To verify, use the command:

git config --list

If your name and email are not listed in the output, use the following commands to set them manually, replacing examplename and [email protected]:

git config --global examplename
git config --global [email protected]

Set your default text editor, replacing editor-name with your desired editor:

git config --global core.editor editor-name

The output of git config –list should show echo the information you inputted:

$ git config --list[email protected]

Use Git with a Local Repository

A repository, or repo, is a collection of files and folders and the history of their changes. Changes are tracked through commits, which are like snapshots of a file at various points in the file’s history. These commits are not automatic, you need to manually stage a commit after each of series of file changes. Commits allow you to refer or revert back to a place in the file’s timeline if there are bugs or errors in your code.

If you have an new or existing project and you want to start using Git to keep track of its changes, run git init from the existing project’s directory:

git init

git init creates a new .git subdirectory in the current directory. This is where Git stores your configurations. The git add command tells Git to add a file to the repository and track that file’s changes:

git add filename

After you have added the file, stage a commit and leave a commit message. Commit messages serve as a reminder of the changes that were made to a file:

git commit -m "Initialized a Git repository for this project. Tracking changes to a file."

Please Note:
It’s good practice to provide clear and descriptive commit messages for every commit you stage, as this helps collaborators to understand what a commit encompasses.

There may be files or folders in your project directory that you do not wish to include in your Git repository. You can include these files in a .gitignore file, and Git will ignore them. A sample .gitignore file might look like the following:

A sample .gitignore file might look something like the following:


Basic Git Commands

Command Description Example
git add Add a file to a repository. git add filename
git rm Remove a file from a repository. git rm filename
git mv Move or rename a tracked file, directory, or symlink. git mv file_from file_to
git branch List all the local and remote branches. git branch branchname
git commit Commit all staged objects. Optionally, you can append a message with the -m flag. git commit -m "updates"
git pull Download all changes from the remote repo and merge them in a specified repo file. git pull repo refspec
git push Publish the changes to the remote repo. git push repo


Branches are used for editing files without disturbing the working portions of a project. The main branch is normally named master and is usually reserved for clean, working code. When making changes to your code, it’s customary to create a new branch and name it after the issue being fixed or the feature being implemented. Because Git keep tracks of file changes, you can jump from branch to branch without overwriting or interfering with other branches in the repo.

The basic options used with the git branch command are:

Option Description
-r List the remote branches.
-a Show both local and remote branches.
-m Rename an old branch.
-d Delete a branch.
-r -d Delete a remote branch.

Example Usage

Consider an application with a single master branch. The author of the application wants to develop a new search feature. They would add a new feature branch:

git branch new-search-feature

Then, they would switch to that branch using the checkout command:

git checkout new-search-feature

Now they can safely develop and commit their changes to this feature branch without altering the working code of the master branch. At any time they could switch back to the master branch:

git checkout master

A shortcut for creating a branch and switching to that branch is to use the -b flag with the checkout command:

git checkout -b new-search-feature

Once the new search feature is finalized, the author of the application can merge the new-search-feature branch into the master branch:

git checkout master
git merge new-search-feature

Now the master branch has the new search feature.

Use Git with a Remote Repository

GitHub, GitLab, and BitBucket all provide ways to store Git repositories remotely and facilitate collaboration. Many of these services also include a number of other features that are vital to content development, including pull requests, continuous integration / continuous delivery pipelines (CI/CD), wikis, and webhooks. If you’d rather use a self-hosted solution, GitLab and Gogs offer free locally hosted versions of their software that can easily be managed on a Linode. Check out our guides on installing GitLab and installing Gogs for more information on hosting your own remote repository software. GitHub and Bitbucket also offer paid enterprise versions of their software for local hosting. When discussing remote repositories, usually one of the aforementioned services is being referenced.

This section provides some basic information on navigating remote Git repositories.

To copy every file from a remote repository to your local system, use git clone followed by the remote repo’s URL:

git clone

You can typically find a remote repository’s URL by clicking on the Clone or Download buttons of a remote repository’s user interface.

To check the status of the files within the current branch of your repository, use status:

git status

The output of the status command will tell you if any tracked files have been modified.

Use remote to view which remote servers are configured:

git remote

The remote command will display the short names of your remote repositories. If your repository was cloned, you will see a repository called origin. The default name origin comes from the cloned repository. To view more information about the remote repositories, use the command:

git remote -v

Git Remote Repository Commands

Below are some basic commands for working with remote repositories:

Command Description
git remote add [remote-name] [url] Add a new remote repository.
git fetch [repository [refspec]] Gather all the data from a remote project that you do not have yet.
git pull Obtain and merge a remote branch into your current branch.
git push [remote-name] [branch-name] Move your data from your branch to your server.
git remote show [remote-name] Display information about the remote you specified.
git remote rename [old-name] [new-name] Rename a remote.
git remote rm [name] Remove the remote you specified.

External Resources & Tutorials

These are just some of the articles, resources & tutorials that I’ve “Saved For Later” throughout the years, all of which are geared towards helping you started with Git & GitHub …

Description URL
GitHub Learning Lab
Learning resources to help you master Git & GitHub by
Set Up Git
The absolute starting point when you're ready to get started with Git by
Resources To Learn Git
List of useful resources to help you learn how to use Git more effectively by
Hello World
learning something new, (such as GitHub) by
Getting Started With Git And GitHub: The Complete Beginner’s Guide
Git and GitHub basics for the curious and completely confused by Anne Bonner.
Getting Started with Git
An opinionated tutorial of the various aspects of Git & GitHub by
Git Guide
Just a simple guide for getting started with Git. no deep shit 😉 by Roger Dudler.
Getting Started with Git
Things that you should know before getting started with Git by Atisaya Jain.
How You Can Learn Git And Github While You’re Learning To Code
An opinionated tutorial of the various aspects of Git & GitHub by Iago Rodrigues.
A Full Tutorial On How To Use Github
An opinionated tutorial of the various aspects of Git & GitHub by George Seif.
Results From A Quick Search
An UNLIMITED list of resources available on Google, which is constantly being updated.
Results From A Quick Google Search
An UNLIMITED list of resources available on Google, which is constantly being updated.