Top 10 Git Tutorials for Beginners

Jun 6 2011 by Jacob Gube | 30 Comments

As a web designer or web developer, you’ve probably heard of Git before, a version control system that has had a swift ascension to ubiquity due in part to GitHub, a social code repository site.

If you’d like to learn how to use Git, check out my top 10 favorite Git tutorials for beginners. At the end, you’ll also see a list of other educational Git resources.

1. Pro Git

Pro Git

Pro Git is a free online book by Scott Chacon, a developer working on GitHub. The book’s excellent structure and range of topics allow you to skip to the chapters that are pertinent to your level of Git knowledge. Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned pro, there’s something in this book for you.

2. Git Immersion

This Git tutorial walks you through Git basics using a step-by-step, hands-on approach. It’s a great tutorial for those who prefer to get into Git right away.

3. Git Community Book

Git Community Book

This Git resource hosted on the official Git project site is a free web-based book written by the Git community. It’s divided into 7 parts that include an introduction to Git, basic usage, working with Git, etc.

4. Git From the Bottom Up

Git From the Bottom Up

This Git tutorial in PDF format familiarizes the reader with Git through a conceptual approach. You’ll gain the most benefit from this tutorial by reading it in a linear fashion.

5. Git Magic

Git Magic

This online book on Git is well written with wonderful analogies to help beginners understand the concepts behind Git. It’s also available in several spoken languages like Chinese and French, as well as in various formats (PDF, as a printed book, etc.)

6. Git by Example

Git by Example

Editor’s note: This tutorial no longer exists and the link has been removed.

This Git tutorial for beginners assumes you already have Git installed and are ready to go. This is a great tutorial to go through if you just want to get a quick overview of how Git works functionally.

7. Easy Version Control with Git

Easy Version Control with Git

This excellent Git tutorial on Nettuts+ gives you enough information to get started. What’s great about this tutorial is that it also has a section on using GitHub.

8. Git in Action

Git in Action

This screencast will show you how Git works by example; it’s only a little less than 18 minutes long, so it’s definitely worth a watch.

9. Intro to Git for Web Designers

Intro to Git for Web Designers

This Git tutorial on Webdesigner Depot is geared towards web designers. As such, it outlines the benefits of version control in the context of creating websites and assumes the reader prefers a GUI for working with Git instead of the traditional command-line interface.

10. A Visual Git Reference

A Visual Git Reference

This Git resource is great for visual learners. It illustrates common Git commands so that you can understand what’s happening conceptually.

Other Great Git Resources

There isn’t any shortage of great tutorials and online resources for getting started with Git. Below is a list of other Git resources for beginners. If you know of a good Git tutorial that isn’t listed here, please share it with us in the comments below.

Post updated [February 21, 2014]: One of our readers emailed me saying that the "Pro Git" book (#1 in this list) has moved. He provided an updated link. We have updated the link and the screenshot.

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About the Author

Jacob Gube is the Founder and Chief Editor of Six Revisions. He’s also a web developer/designer who specializes in front-end development (JavaScript, HTML, CSS) and also a book author. If you’d like to connect with him, head on over to the contact page and follow him on Twitter: @sixrevisions.

30 Comments

Nick Yeoman

June 6th, 2011

I love git, use it everyday! But it never hurts to review the basics.

Jacob Gube

June 6th, 2011

@Nick Yeoman: That works for all the things you use regularly. With Git, every time I read a tutorial about it, I learn something new. What’s great about Git is that it can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be; so it’s easy to get started using it competently, and if you want to go further, there is that possibility because of its robustness and flexibility; it’s malleable to many different workflows and purposes.

DevLab

June 6th, 2011

Awesome list of resources, I’m just learning so this will help a bunch. Thanks!

Jacob

June 6th, 2011

Well that’s convenient. The other day I decided I’d pick up git (and GitHub) and give it a whirl. So this will come in handy.

I’m quite happy with SVN (especially with Versions.app), but it doesn’t hurt to know both.

Akash

June 6th, 2011

Nice Tutorial :)

Vladimir

June 6th, 2011

Nice and detailed list of useful things for Git.

Thanks :)

Galactu$

June 7th, 2011

You must have read my mind! I have been looking for a way to start using GIT. Thank you!!!

Terse Col

June 7th, 2011

Nice roundup. Git rocks.

Attapon S.

June 8th, 2011

Now I’m training to use Git, but not much liquidity. Will try next.

Adam Hermsdorfer

June 8th, 2011

Thanks Jacob. I haven’t used Git as much as we should’ve and this is a great start.

foo

June 8th, 2011

Minor correction: msysgit isn’t really a GUI for Windows, but just Git for Windows. Git on Linux and OS X include “git gui” and “gitk” which are the GUI tools you seen in the Windows tutorial.

foo

June 8th, 2011

I meant to say that msysgit includes Git Bash which is a modified Cygwin installation that includes the Git command-line tools.

Ram Iyer

June 8th, 2011

Brilliant. Just want I was looking for. Is there a similar for Mercurial?

Joel Spolsky

June 8th, 2011

I made resource for Mercurial that’s really comprehensive form the bottom up at http://hginit.com

Geoffrey Grosenbach

June 8th, 2011

@Ram: For a few bucks we sell a straight to the point one hour video on Mercurial that thousands of people have used to learn Mercurial: https://peepcode.com/products/meet-mercurial

Or http://hginit.com/ is a good free intro.

Parag Shah

June 10th, 2011

Thanks for sharing the list. I am planning on creating an online 4 week Git study group soon, and I am sure this list will come in handy.

cancel bubble

June 10th, 2011

Here’s an “Introduction to Git” (53 minute video) by Jenny Donnelly at the YUI Theater.

http://www.yuiblog.com/blog/2011/06/09/video-f2esummit2011-donnelly/

iki

June 12th, 2011

http://gitref.org … nice first user overview
http://cmurphycode.posterous.com/git-201-slightly-more-advanced … next one to read
http://devcheatsheet.com/tag/git/ … some visuals

Mercurial:
http://mercurial.selenic.com/ … intro, man, howto, wiki
http://hgbook.red-bean.com/ … The Definitive Guide book
http://devcheatsheet.com/tag/hg/ … some visuals

Ryan M.

June 16th, 2011

Thanks for all the addition info in the comments!

Ollie D

July 26th, 2011

These are all pretty good,there’s also a series of comprehensive videos on the basics of GIT found here: http://www.ava.co.uk/support/faq/git-version-control/video-101-getting-started-with-git.aspx

Ian P

September 16th, 2011

I also like http://www.ava.co.uk/git – 9 videos – about 40 mins in total, very clear IMHO

Moises Clemente

September 23rd, 2011

Great Tutorial !! Congratulations.

Peter Tiernan

October 27th, 2011

Thanks for posting this I am new to git, I hope it helps.

Jeff B

June 14th, 2012

The hyperlink for #6: Git by Example is dead.

Jacob Gube

June 17th, 2012

@Jeff B: Thanks for taking the time to leave this comment. The link has been removed and I’ve placed a note in the description to let other readers know.

Roger Dudler

June 21st, 2013

Hey Jacob, the git simple guide probably helps people to quickly dive into the topic in an easy way. http://rogerdudler.github.io/git-guide

Ron Segal

September 20th, 2013

Jacob, many thanks for a very helpful review, which has saved a lot of time and effort.
Best wishes
Ron
Wellington, New Zealand

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