8.1 Getting Started

To get started using git we’ll need to do four things:

  • Download and install git
  • Register a GitHub account
  • Download and install GitKraken
  • Connect GitKraken to your GitHub account

To download git, go to the official website and select your operating system. Following this selection, a binary will either begin downloading (if you select Windows) or you will be provided with download/installation instructions. On a Mac, for example, it is recommended that you install homebrew then run brew install git through the terminal.

Installing and configuring software can be difficult and frustrating. Unfortunately, each computer is like a snowflake, unique in its own ways. The guidelines provided here are meant to be a helpful starting point, but are bound to be incomplete for some. If you run into installation issues, please read the documentation from the corresponding software carefully. If that is unhelpful, consider searching forums like Stack Overflow for users who have had similar issues.

To register a GitHub account, go to https://github.com and click the “Sign up” button. At the time of this writing, this looks like the below. This process should be relatively straightforward and will require you to choose a username (which will be public) and link your account with an email.

Once you’ve registered your account, you will likely see a timeline of activity which, assuming this is your first time logging in, will probably be mostly empty. A screenshot of Daniel’s timeline at the time of this writing is below. Notice it has both his recent activity, along with the recent activity of people he follows, and people who have interacted with (starred) his repos. On GitHub you can choose to follow other developers and see their activity like this, which is a great way to discover new and exciting projects. In addition to following specific users, you can also “star” specific repositories (projects) that interest you, which will effectively bookmark them in your repo for easy access (click on the drop down menu from the icon in the top right and select “Your stars”).

You can also see your profile by clicking your icon in the top right (then selecting “Your profile”) or by going directly to https://github.com/[username]. On your profile page you can choose to “pin” specific repositories (the default will just have your repositories that you most recently contributed to), display a brief bio and link to a website, and display your contribution history. Your profile is a great way to communicate your skills and activity with potential employers in a quick “snapshot” format.

Finally, the final step is to download GitKraken, install like you would any standard software, and connect it with your GitHub account. This should happen essentially automatically by logging into GitKraken through your GitHub account.

Assuming this is successful, you should get the following notification