Essential Github

Install git locally

You’ll more than likely want access to git on your local machine, so will need to install git or a git client. On Debian based systems you’ll run sudo apt-get install git, on RHEL you’ll run sudo yum install git, and for other systems we recommend following the most up-to-date instructions here.

Create account

Before doing anything else, you’ll also want to create an account at Github is where others can see, comment on, improve, and collaborate on your code.

Add ssh key

In order to securely send code between Github and your computer, you also want to create and add an SSH key which will let github know that it’s actually your computer sending the code and not a sneaky imposter. You can find instructions on how to do both of those things at

Fork a repo

Using other people’s code is a big part of using github, but sometimes you may not have permission to push directly to those repositories. The solution is to “fork” or copy the repository into your own account so that you do have access to it, then you can safely make a pull request to the main repository from there. Documentation on how to do that is at

Clone a repo

Cloning a repository basically downloads that repository to your local machine so that you can make changes to it. The specific steps to cloning a repo will depend on your set up, but you can find how to do it at

Make changes on a branch

This may look different depending on which system you are on, but if you’re using a terminal you can cd to the directory where the repo was cloned to (generally, that will be the repo name in the directory where you cloned it. Run ls to see if it’s there). Then you want to run git checkout -b {{ BRANCHNAME }}, where {{ BRANCHNAME }} is the name of the branch you want to create. Then you make your changes to the code, and when you’re ready to push to github you git add {{ FILES }}, git commit -m "{{ COMMIT MESSAGE }}", and git push origin {{ BRANCHNAME }}. More information can be found at

Submit pull request

Once you’ve made changes on a branch, you can make a pull request to the master or development branch to have your changes merged into the main code. Organizations and individual repos will usually have a document titled that details how to submit a PR to that repo, and which branches are appropriate to merge your code into. You should definitely read the guidelines before submitting your PR! Github will remind you to do that though. You can see more about making a pull request at or learn more about how pull requests are used at

File issue against osulug-website

If you find an issue or area that could be improved on the LUG website, make an issue! You can do that by going to the lug repo and finding the “Issues” tab underneath the repo title. More detailed instructions can be found at

Now, young grasshopper, you have begun the path to becoming a Git Guru. Merge wisely, friend, and never lose respect for the Git.

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