Oregon State University Introduction to Git Workshop

Dates and times of future workshops are on bit.ly/graduate-workshops

Instructors: Clara Llebot


This workshop is an introduction to version control systems with Git. Version control systems are tools that keep track of the changes made on a document, and help version and merge files. They allow the user to decide which changes make up the next version, and keep useful data about them. Version control systems are usually used by developers and people who write code, but are very useful also for people working with documents in general. It is especially helpful for collaborative work with more than one person working on the same file. This workshop is designed for people who have never used Git or a version control system before, and want to learn more about what version control systems can do for them and their research. It will be a hands-on workshop where we will create a GitHub account, and code together to learn the basic flow of Git from the command line. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own computer.

General Information

This workshop is part of the Oregon State University Library Workshops for Grad Students and Faculty.

This workshop template and the lessons have been developed using Software Carpentry materials. However, this is not a Software Carpentry workshop. The git lesson that we will teach here is a shortened version of the original Version control with git lesson from Software Carpentry.

Who: The course is aimed at graduate students and other researchers. If you are an undergraduate student or a community member you are also welcome to assist. This workshop is for beginners. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop. If you are familiar with the tools and want to make sure that the level of the workshop is right for you, contact us and we will be happy to help.

Where: Autzen classroom, 121 The Valley Library Corvallis OR 97331–4501. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

When: Dates and times of future workshops are on bit.ly/graduate-workshops. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants are highly encouraged to bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below). Classroom computers will be available for participants without laptops. If you are planning on using the classroom computers please come 10 minutes early, so that we can install the software that we need for the workshop.

Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody. The workshop organisers have checked that:

Accomodations for disabilities may be made by contacting 541-737-1192 or clara.llebot@oregonstate.edu.

Contact: Please email clara.llebot@oregonstate.edu for more information.



To register for a workshop please visit bit.ly/graduate-workshops. Registration is encouraged but not mandatory.

Please be sure to complete this survey after the workshop.

Post-workshop Survey.


Version Control with Git

  • Creating a repository
  • Recording changes to files: add, commit, ...
  • Viewing changes: status, diff, ...
  • Working on the web: clone, pull, push, ...
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Reference...


To participate in a OSU Library workshop, you will need access to the software described below. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser.

Software Carpentry maintains a list of common issues that occur during installation as a reference for instructors that may be useful on the Configuration Problems and Solutions wiki page.

The Bash Shell

Bash is a commonly-used shell that gives you the power to do simple tasks more quickly.


Video Tutorial
  1. Download the Git for Windows installer.
  2. Run the installer and follow the steps bellow:
    1. Click on "Next".
    2. Click on "Next".
    3. Keep "Use Git from the Windows Command Prompt" selected and click on "Next". If you forgot to do this programs that you need for the workshop will not work properly. If this happens rerun the installer and select the appropriate option.
    4. Click on "Next".
    5. Keep "Checkout Windows-style, commit Unix-style line endings" selected and click on "Next".
    6. Keep "Use Windows' default console window" selected and click on "Next".
    7. Click on "Install".
    8. Click on "Finish".
  3. If your "HOME" environment variable is not set (or you don't know what this is):
    1. Open command prompt (Open Start Menu then type cmd and press [Enter])
    2. Type the following line into the command prompt window exactly as shown:

      setx HOME "%USERPROFILE%"

    3. Press [Enter], you should see SUCCESS: Specified value was saved.
    4. Quit command prompt by typing exit then pressing [Enter]

This will provide you with both Git and Bash in the Git Bash program.

Mac OS X

The default shell in all versions of Mac OS X is Bash, so no need to install anything. You access Bash from the Terminal (found in /Applications/Utilities). See the Git installation video tutorial for an example on how to open the Terminal. You may want to keep Terminal in your dock for this workshop.


The default shell is usually Bash, but if your machine is set up differently you can run it by opening a terminal and typing bash. There is no need to install anything.


Git is a version control system that lets you track who made changes to what when and has options for easily updating a shared or public version of your code on github.com. You will need a supported web browser (current versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari, or Internet Explorer version 9 or above).

You will need an account at github.com for parts of the Git lesson. Basic GitHub accounts are free. We encourage you to create a GitHub account if you don't have one already. Please consider what personal information you'd like to reveal. For example, you may want to review these instructions for keeping your email address private provided at GitHub.


Git should be installed on your computer as part of your Bash install (described above).

Mac OS X

Video Tutorial

For OS X 10.9 and higher, install Git for Mac by downloading and running the most recent "mavericks" installer from this list. After installing Git, there will not be anything in your /Applications folder, as Git is a command line program. For older versions of OS X (10.5-10.8) use the most recent available installer labelled "snow-leopard" available here.


If Git is not already available on your machine you can try to install it via your distro's package manager. For Debian/Ubuntu run sudo apt-get install git and for Fedora run sudo yum install git.

Text Editor

When you're writing code, it's nice to have a text editor that is optimized for writing code, with features like automatic color-coding of key words. The default text editor on Mac OS X and Linux is usually set to Vim, which is not famous for being intuitive. if you accidentally find yourself stuck in it, try typing the escape key, followed by :q! (colon, lower-case 'q', exclamation mark), then hitting Return to return to the shell.


Video Tutorial

nano is a basic editor and the default that instructors use in the workshop. To install it, download the Windows installer and double click on the file to run it. This installer requires an active internet connection.

Others editors that you can use are Notepad++ or Sublime Text. Be aware that you must add its installation directory to your system path. Please ask your instructor to help you do this.

Mac OS X

nano is a basic editor and the default that instructors use in the workshop. See the Git installation video tutorial for an example on how to open nano. It should be pre-installed.

Others editors that you can use are Text Wrangler or Sublime Text.


nano is a basic editor and the default that instructors use in the workshop. It should be pre-installed.

Others editors that you can use are Gedit, Kate or Sublime Text.