Setting Up Git

Overview

Teaching: 5 min
Exercises: 0 min
Questions
  • How do I get set up to use Git?

Objectives
  • Configure git the first time it is used on a computer.

  • Understand the meaning of the --global configuration flag.

When we use Git on a new computer for the first time, we need to configure a few things. Below are a few examples of configurations we will set as we get started with Git:

On a command line, Git commands are written as git verb, where verb is what we actually want to do. So here is how Dracula sets up his new laptop:

$ git config --global user.name "Vlad Dracula"
$ git config --global user.email "vlad@tran.sylvan.ia"
$ git config --global color.ui "auto"

Please use your own name and email address instead of Dracula’s. This user name and email will be associated with your subsequent Git activity, which means that any changes pushed to GitHub, BitBucket, GitLab or another Git host server in a later lesson will include this information.

For these lessons, we will be interacting with GitHub and so the email address used should be the same as the one used when setting up your GitHub account. If you are concerned about privacy, please review GitHub’s instructions for keeping your email address private. If you elect to use a private email address with GitHub, then use that same email address for the user.email value, e.g. username@users.noreply.github.com replacing username with your GitHub one. You can change the email address later on by using the git config command again.

He also has to set his favorite text editor, following this table:

Editor Configuration command
Atom $ git config --global core.editor "atom --wait"
nano $ git config --global core.editor "nano -w"
Text Wrangler (Mac) $ git config --global core.editor "edit -w"
Sublime Text (Mac) $ git config --global core.editor "subl -n -w"
Sublime Text (Win, 32-bit install) $ git config --global core.editor "'c:/program files (x86)/sublime text 3/sublime_text.exe' -w"
Sublime Text (Win, 64-bit install) $ git config --global core.editor "'c:/program files/sublime text 3/sublime_text.exe' -w"
Notepad++ (Win, 32-bit install) $ git config --global core.editor "'c:/program files (x86)/Notepad++/notepad++.exe' -multiInst -notabbar -nosession -noPlugin"
Notepad++ (Win, 64-bit install) $ git config --global core.editor "'c:/program files/Notepad++/notepad++.exe' -multiInst -notabbar -nosession -noPlugin"
Kate (Linux) $ git config --global core.editor "kate"
Gedit (Linux) $ git config --global core.editor "gedit --wait --new-window"
Scratch (Linux) $ git config --global core.editor "scratch-text-editor"
emacs $ git config --global core.editor "emacs"
vim $ git config --global core.editor "vim"

It is possible to reconfigure the text editor for Git whenever you want to change it.

Exiting Vim

Note that vim is the default editor for for many programs, if you haven’t used vim before and wish to exit a session, type Esc then :q! and Enter.

The four commands we just ran above only need to be run once: the flag --global tells Git to use the settings for every project, in your user account, on this computer.

You can check your settings at any time:

$ git config --list

You can change your configuration as many times as you want: just use the same commands to choose another editor or update your email address.

Proxy

In some networks you need to use a proxy. If this is the case, you may also need to tell Git about the proxy:

$ git config --global http.proxy proxy-url
$ git config --global https.proxy proxy-url

To disable the proxy, use

$ git config --global --unset http.proxy
$ git config --global --unset https.proxy

Git Help and Manual

Always remember that if you forget a git command, you can access the list of command by using -h and access the git manual by using –help :

$ git config -h
$ git config --help

Key Points

  • Use git config to configure a user name, email address, editor, and other preferences once per machine.