Git is a version control system used in modern software development. It allows multiple developers to work on the same project while tracking changes, revisions, and contributors.
This step-by-step guide walks you through installing and configuring Git on Ubuntu 18.04 or Ubuntu 20.04.
- Access to a user account with sudo or root privileges
- A server with any Ubuntu release up and running.
- Access to a command line/terminal window (Ctrl-Alt-T)
- The apt-get tool, pre-loaded in Ubuntu and other Debian-based distros
Install Git with Apt on Ubuntu
Using the apt package management tool is the easiest way to install Git. However, the version in the default repositories may not be the latest release from the developer. If you want to install the latest release, skip down to install from source.
1. To update the packages, launch a terminal window, and enter:
sudo apt-get update
This helps to ensure you’re working with the latest software versions.
2. To install from the default repositories, enter the following:
sudo apt-get install git
Allow the process to complete.
3. Verify the installation and version by entering:
The output should appear as seen below:
Install Git From Source Code
To use the latest version of Git on Ubuntu, download and install from the original source code.
1. Start by installing the following packages:
sudo apt install make libssl-dev libghc-zlib-dev libcurl4-gnutls-dev libexpat1-dev gettext unzip
Allow the process to complete.
2. Open a browser window and navigate to the following address:
3. You can select the version of Git you download by changing the branch to a specific version. Select the Master Branch.
Also, at the top, you see a link labeled releases to browse the different release versions. It is recommended that you avoid versions labeled with “rc.” This stands for release candidate, and may not be completely stable.
4. Click the green Clone or download button on the right-hand side. Copy the URL by clicking on the file icon.
5. Switch back to your command prompt and enter the following:
6. You are now working in the temp directory. Type in the following command:
sudo wget https://github.com/git/git/archive/master.zip -O git.zip
This downloads the Git file, and renames it git.zip.
Note: If you found a package under the releases page, you can substitute the link to that version. For example:
sudo wget https://github.com/git/git/archive/v2.20.1.zip -O git.zip
7. Next, extract the zip files by entering the command:
8. Allow the process to finish. Then, move to the new directory:
9. Then, compile the package with the following command:
10. And once the process is finished, install the software with:
sudo make prefix=/usr/local install
11. Verify Git installation by entering:
The output should appear as:
Git version 2.18.0(depending on the version you selected)
Git contains a basic configuration file that holds your information. Setting your username and email address is essential.
1. In a terminal window, enter the following and replace your_name with your name, and firstname.lastname@example.org with your email address.:
git config ––global user.name “your_name”
git config ––global user.email “email@example.com”
2. Verify configuration changes with the command:
git config ––list
The system should display the name and email address you just entered.
Note: If you do not make these edits, you will receive a warning when you commit to Git which makes you go back and revise your commits.
Basic Git Commands
This is a list of useful Git commands to help you get started:
- Find changed files in the working directory:
- Change to tracked files:
- Add all changes to your next commit:
- Add selected changes into your next commit:
git add -p
- Change the last commit:
git commit -amend
- Commit all local changes in tracked files:
git commit -a
- Commit previously staged changes:
- Rename a Local branch
git branch -m new-name
- List all currently configured remotes:
git remote -v
- View information about a remote:
git remote show
- Add a new remote repository:
git remote add
- Delete a remote repository
git remote remove [remote name]
- Download all changes from a remote repository:
- Download all changes from and merge into HEAD:
git pull branch
- Create a new branch with the command:
git branch first-branch
To see more git commands use:
Now you know how to install Git on your Ubuntu system. You also learned configuration and basic Git commands, which will help you manage your projects more effectively.
For CentOS, Windows, or macOS systems, see our guide on installing Git on CentOS 7, installing git on Windows, and installing Git on MacOS. Also, don’t forget to download our Git Commands Cheat Sheet for free to have the most commonly used commands always at your hand.