Get started with GitHub

The GitHub site is really nice for easy commits, there are multiple tools provided to manage that on multiple platform. (GitHub Desktop, Kraken). However, I wanted to document and explore the command line way of committing.


My main source will be from gitlab plus some precision over certain steps that I’ve encountered while doing them at a beginner level. But there’s also a very good documentation made byGitHub.

Configure your environment

Windows Os: Install Git for Windows which is an emulated terminal with git.

macOS: Type git in the Terminal application. If it’s not installed, it will prompt you to install it.


  • Debian: sudo apt-get install git-all
  • Red Hat: sudo yum install git-all

Configure Git

One-time configuration of the Git client. Replace what’s in " " by your information.

git config --global "Your Name"
git config --global

This information will be store in the git config file:

cat ~/.gitconfig

# This is Git's per-user configuration file.
	name = "Your Name"
	email =

Configure SSH Key

Type on the command prompt cmd.exe (on Windows, not in the git one).

ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "you@company"

You will be prompted for the following information. Press enter to accept the defaults. Defaults appear in parentheses.

Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/Users/you/.ssh/id_rsa):
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
Enter same passphrase again:
Your identification has been saved in /Users/you/.ssh/id_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in /Users/you/.ssh/
The key fingerprint is:
39:fc:ce:94:f4:09:13:95:64:9a:65:c1:de:05:4d:01 you@computer-name

Then find your rsa key in the repository (by default, from the command prompt on Windows):

cat ~/.ssh/

Copy the public key ending with .pub in the right place on GitHub or Gitlab. It should look like that (with maybe more characters).

ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAADAQEL17Ufacg8cDhlQMS5NhV8z3GHZdhCrZbl4gz you@company

Name your SSH key properly so that you know which key correspond to what, in case of doubt revoke it and recreate a new one. You don’t want people stealing your private key and committing in your name.

You could also set up a GPG key for additional protection with a provider like keybase, but that’s for a bit more advanced when you need extra security.

Clone a project

Now that you have your ssh key you can clone a project using SSH:

git clone

You know it’s a SSH git clone because of the git@ in the repository url.