Install Git and try basic commands & workflows

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Its very simple to install git on any platform -


Install git on Ubuntu, or RHEL based distros

sudo apt-get install git    # ubuntu based distro

sudo dnf install git    # fedora

sudo yum install git   # centos or rhel


If you have homebrew installed -

brew install git


For windows, we have git-scm Download and install it HERE

Configure your username and email in git config

This is used when we try to synchronize the files between local and remote. Also all the commits have information about the person who committed.

git config --global "Mridul Ganga"
git config --global ""

After this we are ready to use git to do any kind of operation.

Create a new repository locally

To make a repo, we first need to create a folder ex - project1

mkdir project1
cd project1

Now that we are inside the project folder, we can initialize a git repo here.

git init

That's all we need to do to create a local repo. One thing to note is - currently this repo is not linked to any remote. Whatever changes we do - commits, branches etc will always remain on the machine and will not be synchronized with any remote repo.

Create a new repo on github (remote repo)

Login to github and find the + button on the top right corner. Then select New repository image.png

Follow the steps on the screen - give a name, some description and continue. This will create a new repo on github (remote repo).

Clone remote repo to a local repo

Git provides a simple command to copy the remote repo to a local repo. We use the clone command for this

git clone
cd mg-bot

Now we have a local repo which is connected to a remote, let's make changes and push those changes to the remote repo.

Basic steps to make code changes

create a github repo

Use the steps above to create a github repo

clone the github repo

use the git clone command to clone the repo

git clone
cd repo-name

Make the code changes

# we are creating a readme file with Hello world in it
echo "Hello World" >

Find all the files changed & check the diff

git status

git diff

Stage the files to be commited

git add .   # or git add

git status   # see status again to see staged files in green

Commit the staged changes with a message

git commit -m "adding a readme file"

Now the changes are commit to the local repo, we need to sync there changes to the remote

Push changes to remote repo (master branch)

git push origin master

After this, goto github and you should be able to see the file in the repo page.

Get remote changes to local repo

Let's assume there are multiple people working on the code. Someone made some changes and pushed the code to remote. Now we want those changes in our local repo. For this we use the git pull command.

git pull origin master
# or
git pull

How do open source projects use git

The above workflow can be used for personal projects or projects with few contributors. In case of open source or big projects there are usually many people working on the same repository. They make use of github issues to decide who will work on what. And the respective developers make the changes in their own feature branches. When their changes are done, they create a Pull Request. The code changes in pull request are reviewed by one or more reviewers and they give their approvals or request changes. The developer can then make changes based on review comments and keep pushing to the same branch. When the PR is in a good state, it gets merged by one of the repo maintainers. This is how the code changes land in the master branch.

Lets try the above steps

Taking example of a repo, we want to add some changes in Readme file.

clone the repo locally

git clone

make a new branch for readme changes

git checkout -b readme-changes

make the code changes

# add some changes in the file

I made the following change (image below) image.png

Stage, commit and push the changes to the remote

git add
git commit -m"adding insult command info"
git push origin readme-changes

Open the repo on github

when we open it on we now see the following option to create a pull request from the new branch we pushed to -


Create the pull request

You get the following page on github to create a new pull request. Give it some name and description and create the request. image.png

Code reviews

Whenever we make a pull request, other people working on the code can come and review the code changes. They can put comments and suggestions on the code and then give their approvals. Below is how a typical code review page looks like


Merging a PR

When the code reviews are done and your PR has enough approvals (usually 2) then it can be merged by a maintainer. They see something like below -

image.png We usually get options like squash, rebase and merge commit.

  • Squash will combine all commits of PR into one commit. use this
  • Rebase will place the commits on top of master.
  • merge commit will create a new merge commit in master on top of other commits.

The above is the workflow you can take up when you are a collaborator in any project on github. In case you want to make contributions to repo which you do not own -

  • Fork the repo into your account
  • Clone the fork locally
  • make a branch
  • make code changes
  • stage, commit, push to the branch
  • create a new Pull Request from your forked repo's branch to the original repo's master branch
  • await reviews and get the PR merged
Sabarish Rajamohan's photo

Good one for beginners MG !!!

Dinys Monvoisin's photo

I don't understand why people still using command line to use git. Using a Git GUI client, isn't more easy?

Mridul Ganga's photo

A lot of people including me prefer CLI over GUI.

Dinys Monvoisin's photo

Make you feel like a hacker.