Simple Git Tutorial

In this tutorial you will learn the very basic Git commands, allowing you run Git in just a few minutes.

What is Git?

Git is a widely used distributed revision control system. It was initially developed in year 2005 and it’s most current version since 2015-10-04 is 2.7. It is supported on all major operating systems like Linux, OSX and Microsoft Windows.

Install Git on OSX

Install Git on Windows

or install git on Linux, running following command:

$ sudo yum install git-all

or this one on Debian-based distributions like Ubuntu

$ sudo apt-get install git-all




Create new Git repository

You can create a local repository by making a folder on your hardrive, navigate to that folder and execute:

git init

Although working with local repositories is very proficient in many ways and you can experiment with it, I will highly recommend using a remote Git server and hosting like GitHub for example. GitHub has a nice interface to manage, crate and maintain your repositories as well as advanced tools to monitor contributions and users.

Git workflow

There is a 3-step approach to bring your code from your working directory to the remote repository:

Git workflow

Git workflow

Working directory – it holds the actual files

Index – is the staging area marking your code changes

HEAD – holds the last commit you have made

Remote server – is the final destination where your code goes, so your changes are available to another developers

Checkout Git repository

To make a working local copy of an existing repository execute:

git clone {path_to_repository}

This will download a copy of the repository in your current directory.

For example if you want to clone a repository, hosted in GitHub, run following command:

git clone https://github.com/JavaTutorialNetwork/Tutorials.git

In GitHub you can find the repository path here:

GitHub repository path

GitHub repository path

Update your local repository

Before you begin to make your changes on the code it is always a good practice to check first for code updates done by other developers on your team. To do this execute:

git pull

Step 1 – add changes to index

You can submit your code changes to the index using either:

git add <filename>

for a specific file or

git add *

to submit all files

Step 2 – commit changes to HEAD

In this step you actually commit your changes to HEAD. After this all your work is ready to be transferred to the remote repository

git commit -m "Message explaining your changes"

Step 3 – push changes to remote server

In this step you will populate your changes to the remote Git server making them available to other developers

git push origin master

This will push the changes to the master branch (the default one). If you like to push them to another branch just change the name

Undo local changes

In some cases, for example you did something wrong, you will want to replace and overwrite your local changes with the code found in Git’s remote repository. To do this execute:

git fetch origin
git reset --hard origin/master

This will wipe out all your local work (the one you have not pushed to the remote server yet) and sync your working directory to the current repo state.

As always comments are welcome 🙂

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