Installing Git is relatively straightforward, but putting a little care in your initial setup and configuration will go a long way to ensuring that your work with Git is as hassle-free as possible.
Installing on Windows
To remain as platform-agnostic as possible, you’ll install Git using one of the official standalone installers. While you can use the Chocolatey Package Manager for Windows, or even download and install GitHub Desktop (which installs Git on its own), you’ll install and configure the plain-vanilla version of Git for Windows.
These instructions were tested on Windows 10, but the concepts should be similar across Windows versions.
- Download the official release of Git for Windows at the following link:
This book uses the 2.27.0 release, available here:
Execute the self-contained EXE file once it downloads fully.
If prompted to allow changes to your system, click OK.
Click through the installer, accepting all defaults along the way. One thing you might want to change, depending on your system, is the install location of Git, which by default is C:\Program Files\Git. If you usually install everything into C:\Program Files, then you can leave this option alone.
Note: To best follow along with this book, leave the default editor option as Vim.
Although you can select from a list of arguably excellent and more user-friendly editors as part of the setup process, you’ll likely get lost when you try to use another text editor to create your commit messages or do other tasks. But if you feel compelled to choose another option, do so now. Dulce periculum. :]
The app will install Git and a host of helper libraries. This will only take a Microsoft minute.
When the installer finishes, you’ll be presented with the completion dialog. Unselect View Release Notes (you have this book, so who needs release notes anyway?) and select Launch Git Bash so you can start the configuration process once the installer closes. Then click Next.
- You’ll see a console that looks similar to the following:
This is Git Bash. It’s similar to the familiar Windows Command shell, but it’s a version of the Bourne Again Shell (bash) that’s a common way for people to interact with Linux, macOS and other platforms.
If you use the Git Bash shell to interact with your directories and projects, you’ll be able to follow along with this book pretty much verbatim. This includes using the command line tools in this book, such as
However, if you choose to use Git CMD (which lets you use the familiar Windows path structure, among other things), you’ll have to adapt some of the commands and/or tools that you’ll use in this book to their Windows equivalents.
Installing on macOS
There are a few ways to install Git on macOS. There is a standalone installer for Git, but it’s unfortunately quite out of date and isn’t recommended anymore. Installing GitHub Desktop will set up Git for you. However, the two recommended methods for maximum control are to either install with Xcode’s command-line tools or use the Homebrew package manager to install Git on your system.
Installing Xcode’s command-line tools
Chances are you’re using Xcode if you’re developing on a Mac. Since Xcode has some really good Git integration, you might as well just let Xcode do what it wants and manage the Git installation itself.
Installing with Homebrew
Homebrew is a useful package manager for macOS. With Homebrew, you can install and update hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces of software right from your command line.
/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install.sh)"
brew install git
brew link --overwrite git
There are a few things you can do once you’ve installed Git to make your life a tiny bit easier; they’re optional but highly recommended. One of those things is to set up your GitHub credentials in Git so they stick, saving you from having to re-enter them frequently.
Setting your username and email
- To persist your GitHub username so you don’t have to type it in every time you push your changes to a remote repository, execute the following command, enclosing your name in quotes:
git config --global user.name "your-username-here"
git config --global user.email "firstname.lastname@example.org"
Persisting your password
If you’re on macOS, authenticating against GitHub or other repositories from the command line will store your password on the macOS Keychain, so you won’t have to enter your credentials each time you want to interact with a remote repository.