Crash course on Git & GitLab

For beginners

Course overview

Two parts:

  1. Lecture
  2. Assignments

Lecture overview

  • Introduction
  • Git
    • Version control
    • Approaches to version control
    • Git terminology
    • Git workflow
  • GitLab
  • Assignments

Why version control?

Report progress:

  • Report.docx
  • Report_19-4.docx
  • FINAL.docx
  • FINAL_rev2.docx
  • FINAL_really.docx
  • Report_FINAL.docx


What is version control?

Store versions in an organised way:


Approaches to version control

Local version control:


Example: Revision Control System (1982)

Approaches to version control

Centralised version control:


Example: Subversion (2000)

Approaches to version control

Distributed version control:


Example: Git (2005), Mercurial (2005)

Why distributed version control?

Best of both local and centralised:

  • Everyone has local history
  • You can push code to a server to share

Big difference:

  • You can have multiple servers!

Git terminology: the repo

  • Project: the thing you are working on
  • Repository or repo: folder/database containing all files/versions
  • Remote: server hosting a repo of the same project
  • Cloning: creating a local copy of a remote repository
  • Forking: creating a remote copy of a remote repository

Git terminology: branches, tags, refs

  • Saved version is identified by a reference unique to the state of the project
    (e.g.: 82ff822eb6e8f2ac8cdfe4bb176e1e5cf1f21f62)
  • Create a reference with a commit
  • Get to this reference using a branch or tag
  • Branches and tags exist both local and remote
  • Branches can diverge and merge

Git terminology: overview


Git workflow: the goals

The goals of the Git Workflow are:

  • Work together
  • Work separately
  • Work towards a goal
  • Look at each other's work

This procedure is followed by small open-source projects and large enterprises alike.

Git workflow: the big picture


Git merges: handling conflicts


If you have questions, please
<<<<<<< HEAD
open an issue.
ask your question on Matrix.
>>>>>>> branch-a

Resolve by deleting the markers and the wrong content, e.g.:

If you have questions, please
open an issue.

Lecture overview

  • Introduction

  • Git

  • GitLab

    • What does it do?
    • What can we use it for?
    • How can we help?
  • Assignments

What does GitLab do?

Host projects!


What can we use GitLab for? (1/3)

Project management:

  • Track issues: features, bugs, tasks, etc...
  • Merge merge requests: review code.
  • Set milestones (goals).
  • Track Git branches and tags

What can we use GitLab for? (2/3)


  • Testing your project automatically.
  • Building your project and hosting these automated builds.
  • Deploying your project.

What can we use GitLab for? (3/3)

Working with Git:

  • GitLab puts most of Git in a GUI.
  • Including an editor!

Lecture overview

  • Introduction
  • Git
  • GitLab
  • Assignments


Two assignments:

  1. Contributing
  2. Resolving a merge conflict

Go to

Assignments: Git tips

  1. Commit messages should be in active voice and present tense.
    For example: Combine A and B to solve C.
  2. Git works best for text files.
    Avoid storing large binaries like .docx or .pdf as much as possible.
  3. Add the names of files you don't want in your version control in .gitignore

Git cheat sheet

Also see

git clone # Clone this course

git checkout -b some-branch-name # Create a branch

git add <file> # Stage <file> for commit.

git commit # Commit all staged changes.

git push -u origin some-branch-name # Push and set the upstream of this branch
                                    # to `some-branch-name`

git push # Regular push

git merge other-branch-name # Merge another branch into this one