Read on if you are looking for resources and tutorials to learn Git. Git is the most popular distributed version control system out there in the wild. Though it can be used to track changes in any type of files, it is mostly used for source code control & management in software development.
The power of Git can be gauged from the fact that it is used by the best of companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Netflix and many more.
Introduction to Git
Acronyms used in the article: CVCS - Centralized version control system, DVCS - Distributed version control system, SCM - Source code management
Initially designed and developed by Linus Torvalds for Linux kernel development, it is free software that is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2. Furthermore, it is open source under GPL and is available free to use for individuals as well as for organizations, for both personal and commercial use.
The license allows you to make modifications in the source code to upgrade and enhance the product as per your organizations requirements.
Git is very easy to learn and outclasses many other SCM tools like Perforce, CVS, Subversion etc. when it comes to speed, local branching, complex workflows etc. In this article we will go through the basic features of Git and provide brief description and links to the best tutorials available on the internet to learn Git in a matter of hours.
Why Use Git – Key Features
Before going through in depth Git learning resources and hands on tutorials, let us look at some of the key features of Git –
Fast - When it comes to speed, Git is unmatched. Git is a distributed system, but you keep a full copy of the repository on your local machine, using the git client. Git client and the local copy of the repository allows you to perform many operations locally without any overhead of interacting with the server.
The core part of Git is written in C, which avoids runtime overheads that is usually associated with other high-level languages. Though Git client clones the entire repository on the local machine, the size of the data on the client side is usually small due to efficient compression and storage.
Implicit backup - Within multiple copies of the data, the chances of losing them are too less. Data present on any client side reflects the repository, and therefore can be used in any unsolicited crash or disk corruption.
No requirement of powerful hardware - In case of CVCS, the central server needs to be powerful enough to serve the requests of the entire team in action. The hardware limitation may not be an issue for smaller teams, but with the increase in the size of the team, the hardware limitations of the server can be a performance compromise. In case of DVCS, developers do not interact with the server unless there is a need to push or pull changes. The heavy lifting takes place on the client side, so the server hardware is usually very simple.
Security - Git uses a common cryptographic hash function called secure hash function (SHA1), to name and identify objects within its database. Every file is check-summed and retrieved by its checksum at the time of checkout. This means, it is impossible to change file, date, and commit message and any other data from the Git database without having legitimate access to the repository.
Easier branching - Branch management with Git is very simple. It only takes a couple of seconds to create, delete, and merge branches. Git shines the most when it comes to branch management and ease of code managing as compared to many other CVCS.
Where to Learn Git?
Now that you have a basic understanding on the key features of Git, the next step is to master learning the core of the subject. There is no dearth of good learning resources but finding the right git tutorial is important for fast learning. We have done the basic research and created a list of some of the best git tutorials, video, text blogs and pdfs.
For those of the book lovers, we have suggested some of the best books you can lay hands on to get started. The tutorials covered include instructions and guidance to learn beginners, intermediate and advanced level concepts.
PRO Git Book – Git eBook, Advanced Level Users
PRO Git Book is an eBook, written by Scott Chacon and Ben Straub and published by Apress. The book is available to download as PDF, Kindle version and ePub version and gives you luxury to learn (concepts) git while on the go, on your mobile phone itself.
Though the book covers everything needed by beginners, but it covers all the advanced concepts and a good fit for learning in and out of git for advanced users and for managing complex projects and multiple teams.
This book covers basics, git installation and setup, command line git operations, branching management, workflow and remote operations, server-side git and security, distributed source code management workflow, various git tools, customization of git and much more.
You can find this book here at – Pro Git Book
Tutorialspoint – Beginners Git Tutorial
Tutorialspoint.com is one stop solution for the beginners as well as the advanced learners. The site has divided the topics into different accessible sections. So, this means you can choose where you want to start from. They have adequately explained the concepts and some core coding including setting up the environment. All of these are supplemented by examples and do able demos that will help you get an idea on the overall working. To the end, you will also find a ‘glossary’ to quickly recap all that has been taught.
Here is the link to the Git Tutorial - Tutorialspoint – Beginners Git Tutorial
Git Concepts by Charles Duan
Available on the harward.edu website and written by Charles Duan, this is one of the best git tutorial to understand the concepts in depth. The site also has a download section that will link you to many other works on Git and the related concepts.
You can get this tutorial here at - Git Concepts by Charles Duan
Comprehensive Git User Manual
This is for the slightly advanced learners and is designed for someone with knowledge of basic Unix command line operations. It is a comprehensive user manual and a good place to get a solid understanding of the core objects models like blobs, trees, commits and tags etc.
You can follow the Git Manual here - Comprehensive Git User Manual
Try Git – Interactive Git Shell
Try Git is an interactive command shell created by Code School and sponsored by GitHub. It is meant for absolute beginners and lets you write and practice Git commands in an online interactive shell. You can visit the website and start practicing right away, no setup or installation required.
You can find the link here at – Try Git
GitHub official Help on Git
The official help from the GitHub community and it gets as comprehensive as it can be. Being the official version, it always covers the latest and greatest of commands and features of the Git.
The site has been segregated into different sections ranging from the cheat sheet to the glossary and covers anything and everything starting from setup of Git to customization of Git.
You can find the Git official help here - GitHub official Help on Git
Git Immersion – Hands on Git Experience
This Git tutorial aims to take you through the basics of git with some step by step guidance and hands on approach. Learn git the right way from here!
You need to have the Ruby interpreter installed for the interactive hands on experience and to get the best of Git Immersion instructions. The folks at Git Immersion also provide private training for individuals and organizations.
You can find this tutorial here at - Git Immersion – Hands on Git Experience
Git Real by Code School – Advanced Usage
Interactive Git Tutorial: This is one of the most advanced Git course available out there in the wild, but it is not free. The best part about this course is that it is interactive and lets you learn advanced Git by practicing Git version control. It also comes with many animations and graphics for easy understanding and fast learning.
You can find this tutorial here at - Git Real by Code School – Advanced Usage
Git Tower – Online, Video and eBook
Git tower offers a free online version and many video tutorials. It also offers a very popular eBook and advanced level video courses at a nominal fee. The git tutorial in the from of eBook and videos is very comprehensive, step by step and beginners friendly.
Folks at Git Tower are experts in what they do, they offer a very popular Git client named Tower for Mac and Windows which is used by expert developers form companies including, Apple, Ebay, Amazon and Twitter.
You can find the Git learning resources here at - Git Tower – Online, Video and eBook
Official Book – By Git-SCM
This book is an exhaustive one that is divided into seven parts starting from the introduction, to basics and to the advanced topics. Therefore, this book is meant both for the beginners and for those of them who are already advanced learners. The book is available free of cost in the pdf version and is downloadable.
You can find the official Git Book here at - Official Book – By Git-SCM
Git from the Bottom Up
This tutorial is in the PDF format and aims to familiarize the reader with Git in a conceptual way. Reading it in a linear fashion will make sure you get the best out of this book.
Git from Bottom up is a book that is written slightly seriously. It is meant to cover topics from the fragments of git to reaching the whole.
You can find the tutorial here at – Git Tutorial from the Bottom Up
Git Magic – Standford.edu
Swiss Army knife of version control system is what the writer says in this freely available git tutorial. Git Magic is another online book that is well written from the basic tricks and slowly takes you through bit more advanced topics.
The book is available in Chinese and French in various formats and not just PDF. The book is mainly targeted for the Git beginners.
You can find the Git learning resources here at - Git Magic – Standford.edu
Git in Action, as the name suggests is a blog that will screencast you how Git works with the help of examples. It is only 18 minutes long and is aimed for the learners to get an idea on why version control is so important.
Reference Link - Git Screencast
Stackoverflow – Git Setup, Definitive Practical Guide
It is a stack exchange answer that will cover in length on how to install git on Mac, OS X and Linux. It talks about Setup and Installation, working with code, tagging, releases, branches & baselines, details around good GUI based clients, IDE plugins, other reference material and much more.
Refer this Git guide here at - Stackoverflow.com – Git Setup, Definitive Practical Guide
GitReady - Online
Git ready will give you quick great tips on using git, categorized by the various levels of difficulty such as beginners, intermediate and advanced. A site to save and keep in handy!
The best part is you get the Git Tutorial in Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Spanish, Russian, German, Hebrew, Dutch, French and of course English.
Get Git ready here at - GitReady.com
Git is a magical tool and it promised version control and source code management at lightning speed with easy to use command line and GUI clients. There are many Git tutorials around the web, free as well as paid. Of course, you can spend time searching for tutorials, read through and ultimately learn to use core features of Git. However, as they say, time is money. This article is an attempt to save you time by providing tutorials offering node.js examples.
Better to save on time by relying on right set of Git tutorials from day one. Pro Git Book, git Tower, git Immersion, Git Real by Code School, Stack overflow, Git guide and other tutorials mentioned in this article are among the best Git tutorials. Go for these and get on-boarded with greatness of Git and GitHub.