Git is an open-source and free distributed version control (VCS) that can be used for software development. Git’s primary features have made it one of the most popular VCSs.
It is difficult to emphasize enough how important it is to use Git as a version control system. This allows developers to experiment with code changes and test them without worrying about losing any of their work. A VCS logs every change made or planned to be made. This allows any developer on the team to retrieve code or a version from any location. A VCS is like a wallet or car keys for developers: You can never leave home without it.
We’ll be covering the basics and providing a brief Git tutorial to beginners who want to get started with secure version control. You don’t want to read? This video tutorial will help you understand Git and Github in just 7 minutes.
Terms and Conditions
Before we get into the details of Git, let’s first define some terms commonly associated with software version control.
Version Control System (VCS: Software application that records changes to files over time. This allows specific historical versions to be recalled, and then restored as needed.
Revision: An amendment to a file or set of files, historically recalled by the VCS using a unique identifier or assigned number.
Repository: A shared database that contains a complete revision history for all files under version control.
Committing or commit: A modified file is placed back in the repository to indicate a revision has taken place. This is a commit of that file.
These four terms should be sufficient to get us through the introduction of Git. However, you are encouraged and encouraged to explore other terms.
Git’s Core Features
Git has a few advantages that make it superior to other VCSs.
Speed: Git is often faster than Apache Subversion, another popular type of version control.
Branching: One of the most powerful and unique features of Git, branching allows development to take place simultaneously in completely different branches. Revisions made in distinct branches will not have an effect on each other until they are merged (joined together later).
Staging: The staging area is an intermediate file area that works in a similar way to limbo. It allows files to be moved between the standard repository database and before they are committed or saved as a new version. Files can be edited multiple time before they are committed, which reduces the number of duplicates in the system.
Distribution: Git is distributed VCS. This means that it doesn’t need a central repository where all team members can commit changes. Git is well-suited for open source projects, workflows that span large distances or networks.
Git is easy to get started. These examples assume that you have basic knowledge of how to open a terminal window on your development computer.
Initializing the Repository
From the terminal, navigate to the root directory of your project and enter git init to generate a new Git repository:[email protected]:~ $ cd ~/[email protected]:~/project $ git initInitialized empty Git repository in /home/root/project/.git/As indicated, the entire repository of Git will be stored in the .git subdirectory, which you will never need to interact with directly.
Add a File
Now that the repository is created, we need to add files to make it version-controlled. This can be accomplished by adding specific files by name using the git add command:[email protected]:~/project $ git add data.xmlTo save time and effort, you can also add all new or modified files in the working directory at once:[email protected]:~/project $ git add .
Many commands such as git add will not produce any output, so often it is useful to check the status of the Git repository to determine what Git is preparing to do next, such as which files are waiting to be committed:[email protected]:~/project $ git statusOn branch masterInitial commitChanges to be committed:(use “git rm -cached …” to unstage)new file: data.xmlThis tells us that git is waiting to commit the new file ‘data.xml’ that was added to the repository earlier.
It is a good practice to commit any changes to the repository once they have been made. All commitments in Git require a commit message, which is a simple description of the change(s) made by the developer within the commit.To accomplish this, use: git commit -m “message”:[email protected]:~/project (master) $ git commit -m “Added data.