If you ask the average Git user, what program they use to interface with Git, chances are pretty high that they'll say "the command line". And once you understand what happens when you type each Git command, chances are you'll be just as happy to do the same. However, when you're just getting started, it can be useful to use a GUI (or Graphical User Interface) to visualize what's happening each time you enter a command.

So, in this video we'll install SourceTree which will do just that. Then, as we progress in the series, we'll come back to SourceTree to see what our commands have done.

Install SourceTree

  • Download SourceTree from their website
  • Click "Run" to start the installer
  • Click "Next"
  • Click "Next"
  • Click "Install"
  • When asked if you'd like to allow SourceTree to make changes to your computer, click "Yes"
  • Click "Finish"
  • Agree to the license agreement
  • Choose whether or not you want to "Help improve SourceTree"
  • Allow SourceTree to "Configure automatic line ending handling"
  • Click "Continue"
  • Click "Next"
  • Click "Yes" when asked about a global ignore file. (This is a good practice, and will help keep your git repositories clean.)

I'm not going to add any accounts at this time. When we create accounts on BitBucket and GitHub, we'll come back and add them at that time. But for now, I'll click "Skip Setup".

  • When asked to load an SSH key, click "No". We'll do that later.

Now, I'll click "File => Open", navigate to a git repo, and click "Select Folder", then click "OK". When I do that, you'll see it in the list.

When I select that list item, SourceTree shows information about the repo with buttons that I can use to perform actions like Commit, Checkout, Push and Pull. If I click the "Log/History" tab at the bottom, I'll see a visual representation of the repo history.

Since we're justing getting started with Git, a lot of this might not make sense to you. Don't worry, though, as we go through the series, we'll come back to SourceTree to help visualize what's going on in Git.

I'll be working in the Mac version of SourceTree, but the interfaces are similar enough that you should be able to follow along without any issues.