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Getting started with Git and GitHub - The complete beginner’s guide

Getting started with Git and GitHub: the complete beginner’s guide

Looking to get started with Git and GitHub? Do you need to collaborate with a team? Are you working on a project? Have you recently discovered that you pretty much need to be on GitHub if you want anyone to take you seriously in tech?

…do you really just want to contribute to your first open source project?

If you say YES, then you are at right place.

First of all, GitHub is not git. Many people used to get confused with these two. So, the question will arise in your mind i.e. What is Git and GitHub? What is the difference between Git and GitHub?

To answer these questions, in this article we will ​cover the fundamentals of Git and GitHub. Therefore, this article aims at providing a way for beginners as well as those looking for a refresher to become confident with Git and GitHub as fast as possible without missing many relevant details.

What is Git?

Git is an open source distributed version control system for tracking changes in computer files and co-ordinating work on those files among multiple people.

What is version control system (VCS)?

Essentially, it’s a system that allows you to record changes to files over time, thus, you can view specific versions of those files later on.

Git was developed by the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds for Linux kernel development. It is distributed under the terms of the General Public License (GNU) and available with almost every Linux distributions.

It is primarily used for source-code management but it can also be used to keep track of changes in any set of files. For example, when you edit a file, Git can help you determine exactly what changed, who changed it, and what’s the purpose of changing.

Let us take one more example for better understanding, when you design a prototype website, you take the help of Photoshop. You also create different versions of your prototype before you finalize a version.

Different prototype versions from Photoshop file

This problem what web designer face it everyday, luckily as a web developer you have a better solution. Instead of creating multiple files to signify different changes, a version control system (VCS) provides a centralized repository where each change in files is tracked in a controlled manner.

It makes it possible to go at any instance where you made a significant change in your file and continue working from there on. This is what Git is capable of doing and we are just scratching the surface.

What is GitHub?

GitHub is a code hosting platform for version control and collaboration. It lets you and others work together on projects from anywhere.

GitHub is built on top of Git to give your teams another level of project organization, which includes issue tracking, code reviewing, and much more.

In short, the difference between Git and GitHub:

Git is the tool, and GitHub is a website for hosting projects that use Git.

So let’s dig into the basics first. The first thing you need to do is install Git on your computer.

Note: Everything in this tutorial is based on the command line. Please make sure you have prior command line experience. Here’s a tutorial to get you started: Learn Basic Linux Commands.

How to install Git on your system

There are a lot of different ways you can use Git. But here we will be using Git on the command line. Command line is the place where you can run all Git commands.

Sunil Pradhan

Developer, Explorer, Learner. My hunger and curiosity drive me forward in directions I want to go.

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