Creating a Repository
OverviewTeaching: 10 min
Exercises: 10 minQuestions
Where does Git store information?Objectives
Create a local Git repository.
Describe the purpose of the
Once Git is configured, we can start using it.
We will help Alfredo with his new project, create a repository with all his recipes.
First, let’s create a directory in
Desktop folder for our work and then move into that directory:
$ cd ~/Desktop
$ mkdir recipes
$ cd recipes
Then we tell Git to make
recipes a repository—a place where Git can store versions of our files:
$ git init
It is important to note that
git init will create a repository that
includes subdirectories and their files—there is no need to create
separate repositories nested within the
recipes repository, whether
subdirectories are present from the beginning or added later. Also, note
that the creation of the
recipes directory and its initialization as a
repository are completely separate processes.
If we use
ls to show the directory’s contents,
it appears that nothing has changed:
But if we add the
-a flag to show everything,
we can see that Git has created a hidden directory within
$ ls -a
. .. .git
Git uses this special subdirectory to store all the information about the project,
including all files and sub-directories located within the project’s directory.
If we ever delete the
we will lose the project’s history.
We can check that everything is set up correctly by asking Git to tell us the status of our project:
$ git status
On branch main
nothing to commit (create/copy files and use "git add" to track)
If you are using a different version of
git, the exact
wording of the output might be slightly different.
Places to Create Git Repositories
Along with tracking information about recipes (the project we have already created), Alfredo would also like to track information about cocktails. Despite Jimmy’s concerns, Alfredo creates a
cocktailsproject inside his
recipesproject with the following sequence of commands:
$ cd ~/Desktop # return to Desktop directory $ cd recipes # go into recipes directory, which is already a Git repository $ ls -a # ensure the .git subdirectory is still present in the recipes directory $ mkdir cocktails # make a sub-directory recipes/cocktails $ cd cocktails # go into cocktails subdirectory $ git init # make the cocktails subdirectory a Git repository $ ls -a # ensure the .git subdirectory is present indicating we have created a new Git repository
git initcommand, run inside the
cocktailssubdirectory, required for tracking files stored in the
No. Alfredo does not need to make the
cocktailssubdirectory a Git repository because the
recipesrepository will track all files, sub-directories, and subdirectory files under the
recipesdirectory. Thus, in order to track all information about cocktails, Alfredo only needed to add the
cocktailssubdirectory to the
Additionally, Git repositories can interfere with each other if they are “nested”: the outer repository will try to version-control the inner repository. Therefore, it’s best to create each new Git repository in a separate directory. To be sure that there is no conflicting repository in the directory, check the output of
git status. If it looks like the following, you are good to go to create a new repository as shown above:
$ git status
fatal: Not a git repository (or any of the parent directories): .git
Jimmy explains to Alfredo how a nested repository is redundant and may cause confusion down the road. Alfredo would like to remove the nested repository. How can Alfredo undo his last
git initin the
Solution – USE WITH CAUTION!
Removing files from a git repository needs to be done with caution. To remove files from the working tree and not from your working directory, use
$ rm filename
The file being removed has to be in sync with the branch head with no updates. If there are updates, the file can be removed by force by using the
-foption. Similarly a directory can be removed from git using
rm -r dirnameor
rm -rf dirname.
Git keeps all of its files in the
.gitdirectory. To recover from this little mistake, Alfredo can just remove the
.gitfolder in the cocktails subdirectory by running the following command from inside the
$ rm -rf cocktails/.git
But be careful! Running this command in the wrong directory, will remove the entire Git history of a project you might want to keep. Therefore, always check your current directory using the command
git initinitializes a repository.
Git stores all of its repository data in the