Git Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Setting up a GitHub account


Git Essential Training

with Kevin Skoglund

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Video: Setting up a GitHub account

We're going to start out by setting up a remote repository, and the way we're going to do that is by signing up for an account at GitHub, that's GitHub is the most popular Git host. There are other ones out there, but they're a great one, and I think you should start with them first before you started exploring other options. They offer free and inexpensive hosting plans. Free is going to be great for our purposes when we're just getting started, but then we can also upgrade to very inexpensive plans later on as our needs grow.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 46s
    1. Introduction
      1m 7s
    2. How to use the exercise files
      1m 39s
  2. 19m 44s
    1. Understanding version control
      4m 8s
    2. The history of Git
      7m 58s
    3. About distributed version control
      5m 4s
    4. Who should use Git?
      2m 34s
  3. 26m 12s
    1. Installing Git on a Mac
      3m 44s
    2. Installing Git on Windows
      5m 37s
    3. Installing Git on Linux
      1m 30s
    4. Configuring Git
      7m 29s
    5. Exploring Git auto-completion
      5m 35s
    6. Using Git help
      2m 17s
  4. 15m 49s
    1. Initializing a repository
      1m 58s
    2. Understanding where Git files are stored
      2m 34s
    3. Performing your first commit
      2m 4s
    4. Writing commit messages
      5m 22s
    5. Viewing the commit log
      3m 51s
  5. 17m 44s
    1. Exploring the three-trees architecture
      3m 57s
    2. The Git workflow
      3m 15s
    3. Using hash values (SHA-1)
      4m 7s
    4. Working with the HEAD pointer
      6m 25s
  6. 25m 52s
    1. Adding files
      5m 59s
    2. Editing files
      3m 56s
    3. Viewing changes with diff
      3m 35s
    4. Viewing only staged changes
      2m 28s
    5. Deleting files
      5m 29s
    6. Moving and renaming files
      4m 25s
  7. 19m 18s
    1. Introducing the Explore California web site
      2m 2s
    2. Initializing Git
      3m 48s
    3. Editing the support phone number
      6m 20s
    4. Editing the backpack file name and links
      7m 8s
  8. 38m 45s
    1. Undoing working directory changes
      3m 49s
    2. Unstaging files
      2m 37s
    3. Amending commits
      4m 50s
    4. Retrieving old versions
      4m 7s
    5. Reverting a commit
      3m 12s
    6. Using reset to undo commits
      3m 44s
    7. Demonstrating a soft reset
      4m 8s
    8. Demonstrating a mixed reset
      4m 7s
    9. Demonstrating a hard reset
      5m 8s
    10. Removing untracked files
      3m 3s
  9. 27m 22s
    1. Using .gitignore files
      8m 23s
    2. Understanding what to ignore
      4m 47s
    3. Ignoring files globally
      4m 49s
    4. Ignoring tracked files
      5m 26s
    5. Tracking empty directories
      3m 57s
  10. 26m 51s
    1. Referencing commits
      4m 52s
    2. Exploring tree listings
      3m 46s
    3. Getting more from the commit log
      7m 38s
    4. Viewing commits
      4m 4s
    5. Comparing commits
      6m 31s
  11. 39m 35s
    1. Branching overview
      4m 56s
    2. Viewing and creating branches
      2m 57s
    3. Switching branches
      2m 58s
    4. Creating and switching branches
      4m 53s
    5. Switching branches with uncommitted changes
      3m 26s
    6. Comparing branches
      4m 28s
    7. Renaming branches
      2m 28s
    8. Deleting branches
      4m 18s
    9. Configuring the command prompt to show the branch
      9m 11s
  12. 28m 32s
    1. Merging code
      3m 11s
    2. Using fast-forward merge vs. true merge
      6m 49s
    3. Merging conflicts
      7m 26s
    4. Resolving merge conflicts
      7m 5s
    5. Exploring strategies to reduce merge conflicts
      4m 1s
  13. 14m 34s
    1. Saving changes in the stash
      4m 5s
    2. Viewing stashed changes
      2m 39s
    3. Retrieving stashed changes
      4m 24s
    4. Deleting stashed changes
      3m 26s
  14. 1h 5m
    1. Using local and remote repositories
      6m 38s
    2. Setting up a GitHub account
      5m 39s
    3. Adding a remote repository
      4m 0s
    4. Creating a remote branch
      4m 3s
    5. Cloning a remote repository
      4m 26s
    6. Tracking remote branches
      4m 5s
    7. Pushing changes to a remote repository
      5m 8s
    8. Fetching changes from a remote repository
      5m 47s
    9. Merging in fetched changes
      4m 50s
    10. Checking out remote branches
      3m 22s
    11. Pushing to an updated remote branch
      2m 6s
    12. Deleting a remote branch
      3m 8s
    13. Enabling collaboration
      3m 40s
    14. A collaboration workflow
      8m 43s
  15. 16m 23s
    1. Setting up aliases for common commands
      5m 14s
    2. Using SSH keys for remote login
      2m 56s
    3. Exploring integrated development environments
      1m 4s
    4. Exploring graphical user interfaces
      4m 32s
    5. Understanding Git hosting
      2m 37s
  16. 55s
    1. Goodbye

please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Git Essential Training
6h 26m Beginner Aug 24, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

The course shows how to use Git, the popular open-source version control software, to manage changes to source code and text files. Using a step-by-step approach, author Kevin Skoglund presents the commands that enable efficient code management and reveals the fundamental concepts behind version control systems and the Git architecture. Discover how to track changes to files in a repository, review previous edits, and compare versions of a file; create branches to test new ideas without altering the main project; and merge those changes into the project if they work out. The course begins by demonstrating version control in a single-user, standalone context, before exploring how remote repositories allow users to collaborate on projects effectively.

Topics include:
  • Exploring the history of version control
  • Installing Git on Mac, Windows, and Linux
  • Initializing a repository
  • Writing useful commit messages
  • Understanding the Git three-tree architecture
  • Tracking when files are added, edited, deleted, or moved
  • Viewing change sets and comparing versions
  • Undoing changes and rolling back to previous versions
  • Ignoring changes to select files
  • Creating and working with code branches
  • Merging branches and resolving merge conflicts
  • Stashing changes for later
  • Working with hosted repositories and remote branches
  • Developing an effective collaboration workflow
Git GitHub
Kevin Skoglund

Setting up a GitHub account

We're going to start out by setting up a remote repository, and the way we're going to do that is by signing up for an account at GitHub, that's GitHub is the most popular Git host. There are other ones out there, but they're a great one, and I think you should start with them first before you started exploring other options. They offer free and inexpensive hosting plans. Free is going to be great for our purposes when we're just getting started, but then we can also upgrade to very inexpensive plans later on as our needs grow.

And one of the things that I love about GitHub is that not only do they provide reliable hosting for our Git repository, but they also offer many other great features. For example, charts and graphs that show the state of all the different branches and the commits that have been made, or graphs showing the activity on a project over time. Those kinds of bells and whistles make it a really nice choice. Now here I'm on the GitHub site. The design of the page may change over time, they certainly may update their web site after I record this. The thing I want to look for is the Signup and Pricing button, there's one there, and there is a big one down here.

They have a lot of different plans. The one we're going to be picking is the Free for open source plan, which is $0 a month. It's unlimited public repositories and unlimited public collaborators. That means that once we push our code up there to the repository, everyone can see it. People may not be looking at our repository, but if they wanted to, they can. It is browsable. For open source projects that's ideal, but if you want to have a private repository where you can put code that people can't see, let's say you're building a project for a client, it might not be something that you want everyone to be able to see the commits that you're making on behalf of that client.

In that case you would need a private repository, and that's what these other plans offer is different levels of private repositories for you to use. For now we can start with a free account unless you already know that you want to go with one of those others. So create a free account, and then we just have to enter some basic information. Username that we want to use, the Email Address, our Password, and then our Password a second time, and then Create an account. That's really all there is to it. Now it may send you an email and want you to confirm that you are who you say you are and things like that. Go ahead and follow all of those steps, and then sign in when you're finally all set up.

Now do give some thought to your username, because this username is the name the collaborators on projects are going to see as well. Once you've gotten your account created, and you've signed into it, the next thing we want to do is we want to create a new repository. In order to connect to the repository we have to create it first. So on the GitHub site, create the new remote repository. Create a New Repo is right here. If I click that, it will come up and say, what do you want to call this repository? Now you can call it anything you like, it should probably match your project name.

I'm going to call it explore_california. A description here, so we can provide a description, it's completely optional. Let's say Website for Explore California. And then we have a choice, do we want to make it Public so that anyone can see what's in it? We can still choose who can commit to it. They can't necessarily have access to it but they can see it. Or we can choose Private, which means that only we can do it. If I choose Private, then I have to upgrade my account, because I have to go from a free account to a Micro account, if I don't already have that.

If I choose Public, then you don't have to so that's what I'm going to pick. Now the next option we have to decide is do we want to initialize this repository with a README. If you remember back to when we first created our very first repository, the very first step we did was we initialized the repository, and then we made our first commit. So then at that first point we have our first commit in the repository, it's sort of the very basic first step, and it's very common to create that first step by putting a README file in there just to get things started.

So they're offering to do this for you automatically, so you can check that if you want. I'm going to leave it unchecked. It will also add a gitignore file for us if we want. So we can add a gitignore file to the repository, and we can pick, and you can pick based on what kind of project you're going to be doing. It will pull from the repository of gitignore files that we looked at earlier and put those in there for you. So those are two examples of the kinds of nice features that GitHub gives you. I'm not going to do either one of those though, I'm just going to click Create repository. So GitHub created the remote repository on their servers, and then they provide us with some helpful setup instructions.

So we've got Quick setup here, if you've done this kind of thing before, or the steps that we want are down here, they give us two choices. Either create a new repository on the command line or push an existing repository from the command line. Since we have an existing repository, that's the step that we want to follow. Now you'll notice here these steps are basically the steps that we followed early on in order to create the basic first commit of our repository, and the last two steps are basically the same thing once we have an existing repository.

It's also the same thing here, creating the init step that they offered to do for us on the last step. So we've already done it, we could do it ourselves from the command line again, or we can have GitHub do it. But the end result is that we have a repository and what we need to do then is git remote add origin and then this address right here. This address is also up here. If you click HTTP, you'll see the exact one, HTTP, https, that's the one that you want to make sure that you get, not the git@ github one, make sure that you get the HTTP one.

The other one would be if you were logging in via SSH instead of via HTTP. Now don't worry about the exact syntax of this git remote add and git push, because we're going to be talking about those in the next movies.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Git Essential Training .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: In the Chapter 10 movie "Configuring the command prompt to show the branch," when I type the function "__git_ps1," I do not get the expected result.
A: The function "__git_ps1" was recently moved to a new file,, as described here:

We will update the video. In the meantime, you may do the same steps you do for .git-completion.bash, but a second time using "" as shown here:
Q: When I use the code the instructor advises in the above video ("git config
--global "Nelda Street"), I still get an "Illegal Instruction"
error. I have OS 10.6.8. Am I doing something wrong?
A: The current installer version of git isn't compatible with older Mac OS versions.
The workaround solutions people offer are:
1. To add "-mmacosx-version-min=10.6" as described here:
2. Or to use the version of git that comes with Xcode, or to use homebrew to install git instead.
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Git Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.