Ubuntu Git: Installation and Advantages

ubuntu gitDevelopers of all sizes rely on version control systems for their source code management needs, and Git is a leading option in the software development industry. Learn more about the uses of Git and what you can do with it at this Udemy blog on designing apps for iOS7 and OS X. While Windows and Macintosh users can also download and work with Git, it was originally created for Linux kernel development and is primarily designed for Linux-based operating systems such as Ubuntu. Ubuntu, a freely available to the public, has received growing support since its release in 2004 and is one of the most common operating systems to utilize Git on. If you’re an Ubuntu user but would like to become more proficient with the operating system, consider taking an Udemy course on how to get started with Ubuntu.

The Basics

Git, like any version control system, was designed to help a team of developers to easily keep track of the history of a group of files (often source code for a programming language). A key feature of version control systems is the ability to revert the source code back to previous versions if needed, as a snapshot is taken of the altered files at every point in the editing process. The group of files placed under version control will have a complete history of changes stored in what is known as a repository. Developers may then easily test out different versions of source code for purposes of experimenting with various features. Learn more about version control management systems in this Udemy course.

Git was initially programmed in language C but has since been released with more complex programming languages such as Python, Ruby, and Java. Because the core language was C, however, Git runs faster than source code management systems that utilize higher level programming languages. It is used as the primary source control system by more than one-third of professional software developers according to a community survey provided by the Eclipse Foundation, and the number of users has been steadily rising over the last few years.

Installation

Before attempting to install Git in Ubuntu, make sure your version is 9.04 or something newer. You will also want to verify that you already have a public ssh key on your local machine, which is needed to initialise the repository. Lastly, you will want to customise an editor of your choice; this is done by setting the environment variable editor to whichever one you prefer to use. From there, you can begin to create your first Git project by starting a new project, add the desired source code files to it, commit it, and push it to your repository.

Benefits of Git

Git specifically stands out from other source code management programs in many ways. Firstly, it fully supports branching, a method of separating your files into different versions and being able to work with them independently. Should the developer later want to merge one of these branches in with the master group of files, the branch can be merged into it easily. This process allows development teams to specialise their projects based on individual features, or to set up specific themes, such as a branch dedicated solely to testing purposes or one containing just the material that will be going into production.

Since was written with Linux-based operating systems in mind, it’s a great fit for Ubuntu, and is extremely lightweight and fast. Because most of the processes used in Git are done locally, it operates much quicker than a centralized system would; the need of interacting with a server in a different location is all but eliminated with Git. Each Git directory functions as a full repository with full history of version changes, and there is no need for network access of a central server.

Git is also distributed, which allows a development team to make multiple backups of the files in question. In fact, every user has what amounts to a complete backup of every file on the main server at all times. In the event anything goes wrong the main server files, any of the backups can immediately be designated for use as a replacement. Unless a repository does not have any copies, it is impossible for developers to lose their work even if the files become corrupted or a crash takes place. The ability to make multiple backups always allows a company to create a virtually endless number of workflows to be divided however they see fit.

Git also stands out when it comes to data integrity control. No user can access any information in a project aside from whatever they personally added to it themselves. Furthermore, very specific information regarding the last time a project was saved is always present, and it cannot be altered, so developers will be able to rest easy when it comes to knowing their work is in the exact same state it was when they left it, provided they check the commit ID. This ensures that nothing in the history was altered in any way.

If you’re interested in the software development field and you’ve never worked with Git, give it a try. If it sounds like a version control system you’re interested in, but you’re hesitant to get started due a lack of familiarity, start with a Udemy course in Git Basics and then work your way up to mastering the advanced aspects of Git as well.

Remember, Git is a free program and is available to anyone whether for personal or commercial use. As it is licensed under the GPLv2 open source license, anyone is welcome and encouraged to take a look at the source code and even make personal contributions to the project. All users of Git have the option to use the program freely forever.