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Introduction to Git

Version control systems are increasingly indispensable in modern software development as versioning allows you to keep track of your software at the source level. You can track changes, revert to previous stages, and branch to create alternate versions of files and directories.

One of the most popular version control systems currently available is Git. Many projects’ files are maintained in a Git repository, and sites like GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket help to facilitate software development project sharing and collaboration.

In this guide, we will demonstrate how to install and configure Git on an Ubuntu 18.04 server. We will cover how to install the software in two different ways, each of which have their own benefits depending on your specific needs.
Prerequisites

In order to complete this tutorial, you should have a non-root user with sudo privileges on an Ubuntu 18.04 server. To learn how to achieve this setup, follow our manual initial server setup guide or run our automated script.

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With your server and user set up, you are ready to begin.

How to Install Git on Ubuntu 18.04 with Default Packages

Ubuntu’s default repositories provide you with a fast method to install Git. Note that the version you install via these repositories may be older than the newest version currently available. If you need the latest release, consider moving to the next section of this tutorial to learn how to install and compile Git from source.

 

First, use the apt package management tools to update your local package index. With the update complete, you can download and install Git:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install git

You can confirm that you have installed Git correctly by running the following command:

git –version

Output

git version 2.17.1

With Git successfully installed, you can now move on to the Setting Up Git section of this tutorial to complete your setup.

Setting Up Git

Now that you have Git installed, you should configure it so that the generated commit messages will contain your correct information.

This can be achieved by using the git config command. Specifically, we need to provide our name and email address because Git embeds this information into each commit we do. We can go ahead and add this information by typing:

git config –global user.name “Your Name”
git config –global user.email “youremail@domain.com”

We can see all of the configuration items that have been set by typing:

git config –list

Output

user.name=Your Name
user.email=youremail@domain.com

The information you enter is stored in your Git configuration file, which you can optionally edit by hand with a text editor like this:

nano ~/.gitconfig

Content of ~/.gitconfig

[user]
name = Your Name
email = youremail@domain.com

There are many other options that you can set, but these are the two essential ones needed. If you skip this step, you’ll likely see warnings when you commit to Git. This makes more work for you because you will then have to revise the commits you have done with the corrected information.