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How to Setup Git for Windows and macOS

How to Setup Git for Windows and macOS

Let’s Talk Git

Using Git for version control is a game-changer for developers. It offers numerous benefits that streamline your workflow and enhance collaboration. Here’s why Git should be a fundamental part of your development toolkit.

I use Git on all my projects because of the peace of mind it provides. In my tutorials on WordPress theme development with DevWP, Git has been part of what I teach for years.

Why Use Git for Version Control?

Tracking Changes

Git meticulously tracks every change made to your codebase, recording modifications, additions, and deletions. This comprehensive history allows you to understand your project’s evolution, review past changes, and pinpoint the source of issues.

Collaboration and Teamwork

Git is designed for collaboration. Multiple developers can work on different features simultaneously, with Git handling the seamless integration of their changes. It simplifies merging code, resolving conflicts, and maintaining a unified codebase.

Branching and Merging

Branches in Git are like alternate realities for your project. They allow you to work on new features or experiments without affecting the main codebase. Once your branch is ready, merge it back into the main branch to incorporate the changes. This approach encourages experimentation and efficient concurrent work management.

Reverting and Rollbacks

Made a mistake? No problem. Git allows you to revert changes or roll back to previous versions effortlessly. Whether you need to undo specific commits or reset branches, Git provides robust mechanisms to restore your code to a known good state.

Backup and Disaster Recovery

Git automatically creates redundant copies of your code across different machines or repositories. This redundancy acts as a backup, ensuring your code is safe even if your local copy is lost or corrupted. Git hosting platforms like GitHub or GitLab offer additional security and backup options.

Code Reviews and Collaboration

Git integrates seamlessly with code review tools and workflows. Create pull requests or merge requests to allow team members to review your code, suggest improvements, and catch errors before merging into the main branch. This process fosters collaboration, knowledge sharing, and code quality improvement.

Open Source Community

Git is the de facto standard for version control in the open-source community. Using Git makes it easier to contribute to open-source projects or share your work with others. Git hosting platforms provide mechanisms for forking repositories, submitting pull requests, and collaborating with developers globally.

Overall, Git’s versatility, scalability, and extensive tooling ecosystem make it an indispensable version control system for projects of any size, promoting collaboration, flexibility, and effective change management.

What are Branches?

Branches are the Multiverse.

Branches create alternate realities for your project. This powerful feature allows you to experiment and develop new features without impacting the main codebase. Once ready, you can merge your changes back into the main branch, maintaining a clean and stable project history.

How to Install Git on macOS

Using Homebrew

Homebrew Website

Homebrew is a package manager that simplifies the installation of software on macOS. It also installs the necessary command line development tools if Xcode isn’t already installed.

  1. Install Homebrew: Open your terminal and run:
    /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"
  2. Install Git via Homebrew:
    brew install git

How to Install Git on Windows

  1. Visit the Git Official Website and download the installer.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

Basic Git Commands

Checking Git Version

git --version

Configuring Git

Set up your user name and email:

git config --global "Your Name Goes Here"
git config --global "Your Email Goes Here"

Initializing a Repository

In your project folder, run:

git init

Checking Repository Status

git status

Adding Changes

git add *

Committing Changes

git commit -m "This is where you enter a MESSAGE about your commit"

Viewing Commit History

git log

Managing Branches

git branch

Getting Help

git help --all

Cloning a Repository

git clone [repository URL]


By integrating Git into your workflow, you can efficiently manage and track changes in your code, collaborate seamlessly with other developers, and ensure your project’s integrity through robust version control practices. Whether you’re working solo or as part of a team, Git’s powerful features and widespread adoption make it an essential tool for modern development.

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