Getting Ready for Class

While you are waiting for class to begin, please take a few minutes to set up your local work environment.

Step 1: Set Up Your Account

For this class, we will use a public account on We do this for a few reasons:

  • We don't want you to "practice" in repositories that contain real code.
  • We are going to break some things so we can teach you how to fix them. (therefore, refer to the bullet above)

If you already have a account you can skip this step. Otherwise, you can set up your free account by following these steps:

  1. Access and click Sign up.
  2. Choose the free account.
  3. You will receive a verification email at the address provided.
  4. Click the link to complete the verification process.

Step 2: Install Git

Git is an open source version control application. You will need Git installed for this class.

You may already have Git installed so let's check! Open Terminal if you are on a Mac, or PowerShell if you are on a Windows machine, and type:

$ git --version

You should see something like this:

$ git --version
git version 2.11.0

Anything over 2.0 will work for this class!

Downloading and Installing Git

If you don't already have Git installed, you can download Git at

If you need additional assistance installing Git, you can find more information in the ProGit chapter on installing Git:

Where is Your Shell?

Now is a good time to create a shortcut to the command line application you will want to use with Git:

  • If you are working on Windows, you can use Git Bash which is installed with the Git package or you can use Powershell with Posh-git.
  • If you are working on a Mac or other Unix based system, you can use the terminal application.

Go ahead and open your command line application now!

Step 3: Set Up Your Text Editor

For this class, we will use a basic text editor to interact with our code. Let's make sure you have one installed and ready to work from the command line.

Pick Your Editor

You can use almost any text editor, but we have the best success with the following:

  • Atom
  • GitPad
  • Vi or Vim
  • Sublime
  • Notepad or Notepad++

If you do not already have a text editor installed, go ahead and download and install one of the above editors now!

Your Editor on the Command Line

After you have installed an editor, confirm you can open it from the command line.

If installed properly, the following command will open the Atom text editor:

$ atom .

If you are working on a Mac, you will need to Install Shell Commands from the Atom menu, this happens as part of the installation process for Windows.


Congratulations! You should now have a working version of Git and a text editor on your system. If you still have some time before class begins, here are some interesting resources you can check out:

  • Explore is a showcase of interesting projects in the GitHub Universe. See something you want to re-visit? Star the repository to make it easier to find later.
  • Our On Demand Training courses are GitHub's open source training materials. The site contains additional resources you may find helpful when reviewing what you have learned in class! You can even make contributions to the materials or open issues if you would like us to explain something in greater detail. Find the open source repository here:

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