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How to install Git (and Git Bash) for windows

Git is a version control software used to manage and track changes made to files and project folders over time. We will be installing it on our local machine and live on the hard drive on your laptop. Note that Git is a separate software than GitHub. Alternatively, GitHub is a web-based software that lives on the Internet. You can create an account at github.com. These instructions are for Git, not GitHub.

For the Digital Humanities Research Institute, we use Git because it is an open-source tool that was built to support individual version control needs as well as collaborations across time and space. In our curriculum, it is one of the foundational tools we teach because through understanding how Git works, we learn a lot more about how computers and different softwares work.

Step 1: Download Git for Windows

First, go to this website: https://git-scm.com/download/win From the option, select “Click here to download manually” and save the file.

Image shows webpage with downloads and circles the desired option

Step 2: Click on the git installer:

git installation icon, looks like a tree branch inside 4 colored squares

Step 3: Accept the license and click Next:

license acceptance window

Step 4: Select the installation folder:

The default folder should be fine. Click Next.

installation folder browser with text window showing folder path

Step 5: Select the components to be installed:

Again, the default is fine here.

  • Windows Only: select start menu folder (default is fine):
list of check boxes showing install options: additional icons, on the desktop, Windows Explorer integration, Git Bash, Git GUI, Git LFS, Associate *.git configuration files with the default text editor, associate .sh files to be run with bash,  use a true type font in all console windows, check daily for git for windows, check daily for git console updates textbox with browse button listing start menu folder options

Step 6: Choose the default editor used by Git.

Select Visual Studio Code as the default editor. (Note that you must install Visual Studio Code first before you can move forward past this step of the Git install.) Click Next when you’re ready.

installation menu containing drop down of editor options: nano, vim, notepad++, visual studio code, visual studio code insiders

Step 7: Choose the "Use Git from the Windows Command Prompt" radio button.

Click Next when you’re ready.

three radio buttons: use git from git bash, use git from windows command prompt, use git and optional unix tools from the windows command prompt

Step 8: Choose the HTTPS transport backend (the default is fine).

Click Next when you’re ready.

list of radio button optionsL 1) use the OpenSSL library, 2) use the native windows secure channel library

Step 9: Configure the line ending conversions.

Again, the default is fine. Click Next when you’re ready.

list of radio button options: 1) checkout Windows-style, commit unix-style , 2) checkout is as is, commit is unix style, 3)checkout as is, commit is as is

Step 10: Configure the terminal emulator.

On the ‘configuring the terminal emulator to use with Git Bash’ window, choose the “Use Windows default console window” option.

Note: Do not choose “Use MinTTY (the default terminal of MSYS2)” as that MinTTY wil break Python.

two radio buttons: 1) Use MinTTY, 2) use Windows default console window

Step 11: Configure the extra options.

Again, the defaults are fine. Click Next when you are ready.

check boxes: 1) enable file system caching, 2) enable git credential manager, 3) enable symbolic links

Step 12: Git should now be installing.

image of progress bar

Step 13: Finish the installation.

Click through the rest of the install, leaving the defaults, and then click Finish on the last window.

final installation window that says "completing the git setup wizard"

Step 14: Test the install.

Now, let’s make sure Git has been installed successfully.

  • Open Your terminal
  • Type the following into the terminal:
$ git

The terminal should print something like (note that this is truncated):

usage: git [--version] [--help] [-C <path>] [-c name=value]
           [--exec-path[=<path>]] [--html-path] [--man-path] [--info-path]
           [-p | --paginate | --no-pager] [--no-replace-objects] [--bare]
           [--git-dir=<path>] [--work-tree=<path>] [--namespace=<name>]
           <command> [<args>]