How to use git pull

Linh Nguyen My
Jul 27, 2016 · 2 min read
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How to use git pull function? Let me tell you how I would usually push my first initial commit onto GitHub IF I already had some files on my local directory i.e. laptop.

1. I’d create a new repository on GitHub and initialize it with a README file.

2. I would then proceed to clone this onto my local directory (most of the time my desktop — make sure to cd into that folder):

$ cd Desktop
$ git clone FOLDER_NAME
  • The link above is the remote URL which you can find in your GitHub repository by clicking the green button that says ‘Clone or Download’.
  • FOLDER_NAME is the name I want to give to my local folder; if I left this blank, it will automatically give the folder name the actual repository name I gave it on GitHub
  • This command also automatically sets your remote URL as the origin

3. This will create a local copy of the repository on my local machine and will contain the README file.

4. Then I would copy/cut all the files that I want to push to GitHub and paste them into the new folder containing the README file.

There is nothing wrong with doing it this way but I knew there was a way to do this without copying and pasting files and just using the command line.

How to do it with just the command line

1. Create a new repository on GitHub and initialize it with a README file

2. Create a folder on your local machine

3. Open terminal and move to that folder


4. Add the remote URL as origin

$ git remote add origin

5. Now using the pull command, you can ‘pull’ down the README file onto the local folder

a. $ git pull origin master

6. Add your current files in the local folder to the staging area

a. $ git add –-all

7. Commit your changes

$ git commit -m "your commit message e.g. First commit"

8. Push your changes to the master branch

$ git push origin master

So happy I can finally do it with the command line as oppose to faffing around with copying and pasting my files onto a cloned repository.

Hopefully this will also help those who are new to using Git and GitHub!

If you have found this helpful please hit that 💚 button and share it on social media :)

Linh Nguyen My

Written by

A Self-taught Software Engineer @LEGO, prev @ASOS. Also interested in UI. You can find me @