GitHub and Git Class Prerequisites

This document outlines the requirements for preparing your account and laptop prior to class. It may be required that you escalate to administrative privileges for the tool installations. It is common for development tools to require administrative privileges at installation time.

1) Establish a Account

We'd like you to establish a GitHub account to facilitate hands-on practice of the network flow components of Git during class. A free account can be established at the GitHub Signup Page. We also recommend that you take a look at our supported browsers after you signup to ensure the best experience.

Please keep your username and password close at hand. You'll use it several times during class.

It is best if you use a valid email address for your signup at which you can receive email during class. Demonstrations of code comments and Pull Requests work best when you can see them functioning end to end, including email-based notifications.

2) Install the Git Command Line and Desktop Program

We'll need a command line version of Git for use during class. The following steps and our GitHub Git Installation Help Page describe how to test and accomplish that installation. You can bypass the SSH setup steps if you wish. We'll focus on using HTTPS during our class.

We request that you use version 1.8.4 or newer to correctly handle interactive authentication when using HTTPS as the repository access protocol.

Common to all Operating Systems

  1. It is absolutely best if Git is version 1.8.4 or higher to match the behavior of your instructor's machine.
  2. Git's version can be queried by running git --version at the terminal or command prompt.

For Windows Machines

Download the installer from This provides the Git Shell running latest version of Git and a Windows graphical user interface.

For Mac OS X Machines

Download the installer from This provides a Mac OS X graphical user interface and optional setup of GitHub and Git command line utilities.

Checking Git Installation

Your Mac may already have Git installed. To verify, follow these steps:

  1. The location of the installed Git can be found with the command which git.
  2. If usr/bin/git, it was likely installed by Apple or Xcode.
  3. If usr/local/bin/git it was likely installed by Homebrew.
  4. PATH order may need to be modified to get the newly installed Git in "front" of other Git installations.

Linux Machines

  1. Git will likely already be installed. It is present in most modern Linux distributions.
  2. Package managers such as Synaptic, yum and apt-get are the best way to install and update Git.
  3. The Git source code can be obtained and compiled from the Git mirror on GitHub.

3) Skim the ProGit Free eBook

Optionally, you can read several free ProGit book chapters. The more knowledge you bring to the table on class day, the more we maximize the return on investment for the time spent learning together. These selected chapters form a great introduction.

4) Jot Down Some In-class Questions

Jot down a few questions about GitHub and Git. The class flows best for everyone when we put the materials in the context of your real-world applications of GitHub and Git.