Git is a version control system, similar to CVS (Concurrent Versioning System) or Subversion. Where Git differs from the other, more conventional version control systems is how it maintains the source as you make modifications. A version control system like CVS stores version changes as differences from a base file. Git, on the other hand, stores snapshots of the code at a specific point in time. If a file isn’t changed, Git just links to the previous snapshot.
To begin using Git, you first need to install it on your system. There are binaries for Windows and Mac OS X, as well as source code for various flavors of Unix. Installing it on my Linux (Ubuntu 10.04) server required only one command:
sudo apt-get install git
All dependencies are automatically downloaded and installed.
The commands from this point on assume you’re using a Unix-based terminal to enter them. There is a graphical interface for Git on Windows. You’ll need to follow the documentation that comes with the interface to set up your system, but the general procedures are the same in all environments.
Once Git is installed, it needs to be configured. You’ll need to provide a Git username (typically, your first and last name) and an email address. These form the two components of the commit author, used to mark your edits:
git config --global user.name "
your name" git config --global user.email "
Since you’re going to be working with GitHub, the hosting service that houses ...