Skip to main content


Learning Objectives

By the end of this class, you should be able to:

  • To clone a repository using Git CLI
  • To commit to a repository
  • To push changes using Git CLI
  • To view Git's history log using Git CLI
  • To view what uncommitted changes you have with git status

Before you start

Make sure that you've got Terminal / Git Bash / Windows WSL working correctly. Open a terminal window and type


If you get a response that starts with

usage: git [--version] [--help] [-C <path>] [-c <name>=<value>]....

then everything is working!

If you see something different, make sure that git is installed correctly. You can find instructions for this here

1) Why use Git on the Command Line

This section is taken from this excellent blog

Up until now you've been using Git using Github Desktop quite happily - why are we confusing you with a different way to use Git?

Well, there a few really good reasons...

You feel comfortable everywhere

A big advantage for using Git CLI is that you work comfortably everywhere, the experience of working on your local computer, a colleague computer or even a remote machine with a different OS feels more or less the same (minus your personal configurations perhaps).

Fully utilizing Git

The big downside of using GUI for Git is that it exposes you to a relatively small interface (whatever part the GUI creator deemed important), this basically means you are not fully interacting with Git and are therefore not familiar with (at least) some of its capabilities.

Git CLI gives you the power of the command line

We often try to reuse & build on top of existing tools and this is no different since you’re already using the command line, you are able to compose your Git flow with many useful command-line tools. From looping over each commit and running tests on it, through to working out who has committed the most code to your repository — the only limit here is your creativity.

Git CLI enables easier automation & deployment

After using the Git CLI, it’s natural to start automating and scripting your workflow. You can use Git hooks to fail a commit if your tests didn’t pass and even add your name to the beginning of the commit. This added power allows you to write better deployment scripts.

2) Comparing Github Desktop and Git CLI

Github Desktop and Git CLI might look very different but they actually have more in common than it looks!

Behind the scenes, Github Desktop is doing exactly the same work that Github CLI is doing.

Lots of the common tasks that you can complete with Github Desktop are quite simple to complete using the CLI. We've made comparisons in the

Desktop to CLI Cheatsheet

3) Start the Coursework

Git CLI is best learnt by using it - in the coursework you'll find videos and interactive exercises for you to complete.


You can find this weeks coursework here.


It's really helpful if you give us feedback for this lesson. This helps us improve it for future trainees!