Setting Up Git Environment

Git logo with the word git next to it.

Objective: Installing and setting up git.

Git is a version control system that keeps track of changes to your projects and files. To start, you need to head to the official git website and download the git installer.

A screenshot of the git homepage with a download button.
Git home page

Once downloaded, open the installer and follow the default prompts to get you started. The optional change would be to choose the name of your default branch as “main” as opposed to “master”. This was meant to be more inclusive.

Git version control installer
Git installer

After git is installed, create a folder (New Project in my case here) and open it up.

In this folder, right click and select Git Bash Here. This will open a terminal for you. From your initial setup, your terminal is probably mintty.

Visual instructions on right clicking in a project folder to select git bash here.
Project folder

Once the terminal has open, you can now initialize git into this folder to track any changes. You can also create a .gitignore file to ignore certain files or folders. But for today, lets just get it started. To initialize git, type

$ git init

This will create the .git folder. If you can’t see this folder it may be because your hidden folders are not set to being visible. To set your hidden folders as visible, go to your folder and select the view or property tabs and find show hidden items.

Screenshot of the git folder being initialized with git init
git folder after git init command execution

Git will now track changes to the items in the folder.

Conclusion:

Git is a version control system that tracks the changes in files and folders. You can track and host any project on a cloud platform like Github. A .gitignore file can be created to exclude the items you don’t want tracked or sent to Github.

In the next article we will create files, connect to Github and store our project online with a .gitignore file preventing certain files from being tracked. We will also practice creating feature branches.

Thanks for reading!

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