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Getting started with Git and GitHub

Date: Wed 30 Jan 2019


Our goals this week include:

  1. Setting up Git on our local machine
  2. Creating a remote repository on GitHub
  3. Initializing a local repository on your local machine
  4. Creating website architecture, i.e., base files and directories for your website, on our local repository
  5. Staging, committing, and pushing those files to our remote repository

Basic definitions:

  • Git is the open source distributed version control system
  • GitHub is a hosting service that developers use to manage projects using Git and it includes Git technologies on the website. There are other Git hosting services. A newer and increasingly popular one is called GitLab.

Setting up Git on our local machine

First, you should configure Git on your local machine (this part has nothing to do with GitHub). Following the instructions at the link below, assuming you have already downloaded Git onto your machine. This will configure Git to track your name and email address, which is an important part of version control.

Configure user name:

Configure email address:

I won't provide the instructions here in this transcript because it will vary a little bit based on your operating system. Do follow the instructions for configuring Git for every repository and not just a single repository.

Create a remote repository

  1. Sign-in to your GitHub account
  2. Click on the Plus/Drop-down icon at the top of the screen and select, New repository.
  3. Add a name for your repository. Do not click on the Initialize this repository with a README file.
  4. You will need the URL for your remote repository. GitHub offers two protocols for connecting to remote: HTTPS and SSH. Select the HTTPS protocol.

Initialize a local repository on your local machine

  1. On your local machine, pick a suitable location for your web development project, create a folder (can be the same name as the repository you created on GitHub).
  2. Now, navigate to that folder on your machine using the command line for your operating system. If you're using a Windows machine, you may want to consult GitHub documentation (YouTube videos, etc.) for how to accomplish this, or you may want to seek help from your classmates.
  3. Then, follow the instructions on the GitHub screen under the section titled ...or create a new repository on the command line. This must be done within the base folder that you created.

Congratulations, you have now initialized your first repository, staged your first files, and pushed them to the remote repository (i.e., your GitHub repo).

Create website architecture

  1. In that folder, create the following files and sub-folders (aka, directories):
    • a file named: index.html
    • a file named: .gitignore
    • a folder named: images
    • a folder named: styles
    • a folder named: scripts

Stage, commit, and push to remote repository

  1. We have now made changes to our local repository that we need to stage, commit, and push to our remote repository. To do that, we'll repeat, but modify, the commands we used to create the repository on the command line:
git status
git add *
git commit -m "set up website architecture"
git push origin master

Congratulations again! Now we are gitting. We don't have to stage, commit, and push all file modifications. We can repeat this process after each session or after reaching certain goals, but it's okay to do it often because by pushing changes to remote, we also backup those changes, which would allow us to pull them in case of loss. We also, by doing this process, create the ability to revert to different versions of our project in case we have made a mistake.

teaching/getting-started-with-git.txt · Last modified: 2019/01/25 15:37 by seanburns