Getting Started: Install and Setup with GitHub and SmartGit for Windows 7
- by Seth Carstens
- July 9, 2012
We are going to walk you through how to setup a GIT repository. First things first. Lets make sure you understand the basics of what your about to do.
What is GIT?
GIT is a source code management system. In short, its one of several tools that development teams use to manage software development, usually within a team, which gives you access to a history of changes to the software, and an ability to revert back to a previous versions of code in the case that something goes terribly wrong in the development process (kind of like an advanced, long term undo button). Visit the official website at http://git-scm.com/ for more information.
Using this guide:
Please note that this is a somewhat comprehensive guide of setting up your GIT software and repository. There are lots of details which makes the guide and process look very long. There are many portions of the guide you can skip if you already know how to accomplish the task. A good example is “making a SSH key pair”. Many developers already know how to do this or have there own keys already. Feel free to skip any sections that appear to have information you don’t need.
Before getting started:
Instead of just jumping in head first, its probably good to learn about how the process of managing code using GIT works. Thankfully, there is a great new way to do that. We highly suggest that if you are new to GIT that you take this tutorial here: http://www.codeschool.com/courses/try-git/
- Before installing a GUI (graphical user inteface) we first need to just install GIT for windows: http://git-scm.com/download/win. You can just click next on all the prompts and leave the default settings for all parts of this install.
- We highly suggest downloading and installing SmartGIT ($79). Some of you will prefer a command line interface. If that’s the case, you may consider downloading the tools that github.com offers for free.
- When you open SmartGIT for the first time, it will ask you to find the location of the GIT install. If it does not find the GIT install for you, click on choose and browse your C:/program files(x86)/ directory for the GIT folder which you created in step 1.
- In the next step leave the option “Use SmartGit as SSH client and click next. (If for some reason the SSH keys don’t work correctly, it will ask you to choose a private key. You may need to create a new keypair in order to connect to GitHub properly. If you experience this issue, please leave us a comment and we will write a tutorial on how to create new keypairs and use them with the SmartGIT install.)
- On the “Hosting Providers” step choose a hosting provider. We suggest using GitHub, where you can setup a free account and a free public GIT Repository. You can click create account or login directly from this step.
- After you login successfully you can click to finish the install and SmartGit is now up and running!
Setup your local repository and SmartGIT:
Before we can connect the GitHub, we need to generate an SSH Key Pair. You don’t need to know exactly what they are or how they work, but just understand that its a way to secure a connection to your GIT repository.
Create your SSH Key Pair using GIT.exe
- Open Git Bash that you just installed (Start->All Programs->Git->Git Bash). Or in windows 7 you can just open the start menu and type “GIT Bash” and the autosearch will find the application for you.
- You will get a black command line screen. Type in the following: ssh-keygen -t rsa (when prompted, leave the key name empty and hit enter, then enter password)
- Open file your_home_directory/.ssh/id_rsa.pub with notepad (*note that windows will try to open the file with Microsoft Publisher if you are not careful)
- Copy the text contents of the file to your Git repository’s keys field (GitHub, beanstalk, or any other repository provider), under your account.
- Be sure that you don’t copy any whitespace while copying public key’s content (id_rsa.pub)
Note: your_home_directory is either C:\Users\your_username (on Windows Vista / 7), or C:\Documents and Settings\your_username (on Windows XP)
Clone (download) a repository to your local system
*Note that if you don’t have a repository yet, you may have to create one at https://github.com/new.
From the Project menu choose “Clone…”. You will now select a repository from your GitHub account to manage from your PC. Click the select button and pick one of your repositories. You will likely be prompted to select a “private key”. You should have created this file already in the steps above, simply select the private key (the one without the .pub extension) you created at C:\Users\your_username\.ssh\id_rsa.
Learning about how to commit your files, which is a way of updating the software. This part of the GIT series has not yet been writtin. If your interested, please comment below. After we get 10 requests, we will write a tutorial on the GIT Software Development Process.
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