Introduction to a Version Control System: Git and GitHub
Version Control System (VCS) is a software that allows users to work together and maintain a complete history of their work. It records changes to a file or set of files over time so that users can recall specific versions later.
Git is a version control system (VCS) for tracking changes in computer files and coordinating work on those files among multiple people. As a distributed version control system it is aimed at speed, data integrity, and support for distributed, non-linear workflows. GitHub is a web-based Git or version control repository and Internet hosting service. It offers all of the distributed version control and source code management functionality of Git as well as adding its own features.
To understand more, lets install Git and create a GitHub account first.
Install Git & Create a GitHub account
The first two things you’ll want to do are install git and create a free GitHub account.
- Follow the instructions Installing Git to install git (if it’s not already installed)
- Once you’ve done that, create a GitHub account here Github. Accounts are free for public repositories, but there’s a charge for private repositories.
Try Git Commands
If you would like to try out a few git commands and learn to use it online in a safe place before you try it on your own computer, follow the tutorial at this link.
Git Cheat Sheet
For learning and to have a reference to commonly used Git and Github commands, please visit and store the pdf at the site here.
For a nice introduction to frequently used command line usage and a detailed tutorial on the git work flow and how we usually interact with github, the notes put together here are a good reference. It would be a good idea to replicate the workflow on your local machine.
Git History and Integration with R
The presentation made available here can help you get a good understanding of:
- Why is Version Control necessary
- What are Repositories
- What is Git and why it is so useful
- What is Github and how it works with Git
- How R and RStudio integrates with Git and Github
Git Workflow & Collaboration
To get an understanding of the git workflow and the various ways in which you can collaborate with others via git, I continue to find this online tutorial very useful.
If you are interested in a presentation about the typical workflow, you can find it here.
If you prefer a video tutorial to understand Git the following two tutorials maybe of interest to you: