2 Minutes to Set Up Git, GitHub and GitHub Desktop on Mac

How to install Git with GitHub Desktop on macOS

Joos Korstanje
The Startup
Published in
3 min readJul 22, 2020


In this article, I share short but clear instructions on how to get started with Git and GitHub behind the friendly user interface of GitHub Desktop, or via the command line.

For a background article on how git and GitHub work, check the article over here.

5 steps for setting up Git and GitHub

1. Create a GitHub account

Sign up for GitHub at github.com. It is very easy!

2 minutes to set up Git, GitHub and GitHub Desktop on Mac
Signing up for GitHub is very easy

2. Choose whether you want to use the graphical and user-friendly GitHub Desktop or the Command Line / Terminal

  • Command line / Terminal is great for developers who are already at ease with the command line, or for those who will need to learn Command Line anyway.
  • GitHub Desktop is great is you want to get started quickly and easily. You can shift to the command line later if you want. Avoid if you are regularly working in a command-line environment, like Linux servers etc.

3a Install the necessary tools [for GitHub Desktop approach]

On the following link, download and install GitHub Desktop: https://desktop.github.com/

2 minutes to set up Git, GitHub and GitHub Desktop on Mac
Download and install GitHub Desktop (macOS version)

Simply download and run it and it will explain what to do itself!

3b Install the necessary tools [for Command Line / Terminal approach]

Unlike on Windows, macOS has git preinstalled. So no steps needed for the command line approach.

4a Getting the program going [GitHub Desktop approach]

Open GitHub Desktop via the Spotight (or any way you like).



Joos Korstanje
The Startup

Data Scientist — Machine Learning — R, Python, AWS, SQL