the Power to change anything.

Git commands to live by

Git is an essential tool for programmming. If you want to get deeper involved in coding, better be prepared to get familiar with some of the most vital commands. Here is a short summary broken down to scenarios.

Help to improve this post on GitHub. Thank you for your contribution.

Create a new repository from a local folder

For the first case, we assume that you have some content in a folder on your local machine and you want to push to a GitHub repository. For that purpose you have already created an empty repository on GitHub. E.g. I have called mine ‘machinemind’.

Well, the local folder is not even a git repo yet. So we first need to intitialize the folder as an empty repository.Below examplary code is working with the machinemind repo as a case study.

cd projects/machinemind
git init

Now the ‘machinemind’ folder carries a .git folder. As we said, it is empty for now. So let’s give some signal to Git that we want to add our content to the repository.

git add .
git commit -m "first commit"

Now, Git knows what changes we want to commit, we need to push them to the system. Before we call ‘push’, we need to specify whehre to push it to. That requires us to first set a branch on which our workstream is supposed to sit. And secondly, the definition of origin as an address for our remote machine.

git branch -M main
git remote add origin
git push -u origin main

That’s it. The content of your folder is up there in the GitHub hosted repository.

Clone a repository to a local folder

Second case: You want to work on some repository that is hosted on GitHub. Therefore, you want to bring it on your local machine. The process is called cloning. And here is how you do it.

The terminal commands we will use here are very brief and simple. First, we navigate to folder to which the repository is to be added to. And then we call the ‘git clone’ command on the url of the repository.

Again, I will work with the ‘machinemind’ repository that I have created above.

cd projects
git clone


Do you want to know how we change everything?

Schedule a call and we can show you how to boost your business.

For the third scenario, we want to assume that you have a repo on your local machine and you are co-working on it together with your team mates.

To make sure that you are having the latest version of the repository on your machine, you should pull all new changes before you start working on the code yourself.

Here are the commands that you could use for the machinemind repo.

cd projects/machinemind
git pull

First, we navigated to the directory. Then, we just called the ‘git pull’ command.

Note that there may be scenarios where you want to work on a different branch then the original branch, for instance because you want to develop and test a new feature. In that case, you can tweak the pull commands. Here is a link in which such scenarios are well explained:

Push the changes

Alright! Say, you’ve synced your repository and added a new feature. Now, you want to play it back to the original repository.

We’re already familiar with parts of the commands, namely the ‘add’ and ‘commit’. The only addition we need to make on our terminal is a line on push the commit.

cd projects/machinemind
git add .
git commit -m 'adding a new feature'
git push


Sometimes we run into scenarios where we don’t want to upload all files in your local folder to the GitHub repository. That may for instance be because these are huge data files, or sensitive identity data, etc.

But how do you tell Git not to upload these files – how to make Git ignore these files?

Navigate to the folder and create a .gitignore file.

cd projects/machinemind
touch .gitignore

Open the .ignore file and edit it as per liking. You can put folder names, file names, or glob patterns.

For inspiration and guidance, find these two links:

Let’s get to know each other.

Schedule a call and we can show you how we can boost your business.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.


Many subscribers already enjoy our premium stuff. Subscribe now.