Version Control using Git

Git is a version control system that allows you to save multiple versions of a file or directory. This is useful to allow you to keep a record of all changes made to a file, and to move backwards and forwards in time through different versions of your file. Think of it as the ultimate backup system, similar to Appleā€™s Time Machine, but available on any computer and operating system. On top of this, Git can allow you to share the backup with other people, allowing teams to work together, sharing and modifying the files all at the same time. Think - no more emailing different versions of files to each other. Git allows to work together on shared files in the cloud.

Git is an example of a version control system. There are many different version control systems, CVS, subversion, mercurial etc.

Git was originally developed to manage version control for the Linux kernel, but has now expanded and is, perhaps, the most widely used revision control system in science. As a former CVS and subversion user, I recommend Git as the best revision control system to now use, simply because the support tools available are the most advanced and most developed. Git has been strongly embraced by the wider community, and you will have a wide selection of tools that will help you use and build upon Git.

Git is free and open source, and there are many Git tutorials available.

This is a short course that will provide you with a quick taste of Git. Please work through this course at your own pace. Git is best learned by using it, so please copy out and play with the examples provided, and also have a go at the exercises.

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