Git is one of the many version control programs that has been developed to tackle these challenges, and is currently one of the most popular. In part, this is because it does a very good job at tackling each of those issues we just discussed. Of course, it can only do this if you are using it as it was intended to be used… so it’s a good idea to spend a bit of time learning those details (though, as the authors of xkcd suggest, many people don’t):

xkcd’s take on Git

First, to use Git you need to install a program known as a Git client on your computer. Most people use the open-source command-line git client available from, but there are other clients that provide GUI experiences and the like. Here we’ll focus on the command-line version.

You can also learn more from the official Git Documentation or the free online Pro Git Book. These are great resources for expanding your Git knowledge, as this appendix is only going to hit the conceptual high points of Git and focus on the workflows you’ll be using for this class.