If, when you run "git --version" you see a message like the following

xcode-select: note: no developer tools were found at '/Applications/Xcode.app', requesting install. Choose an option in the dialog to download the command line developer tools.

and a pop up comes up asking you to install either Xcode or Developer tools... DON'T INSTALL THEM!

While it is an easy way to get Git installed on your system, it comes with an outdated version. So, if your only reason to install the command line developer tools is to utilize Git, I'd recommend not installing them at this time. Instead, install Git using the official installer from the Git website because it's a more recent version. So, I'll click "Not now".

Before we begin the installation process, I'll open up the README.txt file that comes with the disk image. I'll walk you through these steps now, but it's a good idea for you to open this up and read through it yourself in case there's an update in the future.

  • Double click the ".pkg" installer file
  • If you're presented with a pop up saying that the application cannot be installed because it is from an unidentified developer, you can override this security feature for this application only.
    * Click OK
    * Right-click (or hold the control key and click) on the ".pkg" file and select "Open"
    * Now, select Open
  • Click "Continue" to begin the installation process
  • Then, click install
  • You may be asked for your administrator password. Type it in and click "Install Software".
  • Once the installation is complete, click "Close".
  • The next step in the README.txt file is to restart bash sessions. I'll simply quit iTerm, and re-open it. If you have any terminal windows, GNU Screens or TMUX sessions open, you'll need to restart those, or run "source /etc/profile" in each of them.

The final step is optional, and allows non-terminal applications to see Git. There's no harm in running it, and you may find it useful in the future, so I'm going to go ahead and run the script.

  • Switch back to Finder, and drag the "setup git PATH for non-terminal programs.sh" file into your terminal window. (This loads the path to the script in the terminal.)
  • Press Enter
  • Finally, you need to logout of your Mac OSX user account and log back in. (A restart would also work.)

At this point, we have installed Git on our system. We can verify that fact by typing "ls /usr/local" in the command line, and in that list, we see "git". However, when I try to run "git --version" again, I'm prompted to install the command line developer tools again. This is simply because we haven't added "/usr/local/git/bin" to our PATH variable.

We can see what our PATH includes by typing "echo $PATH" and pressing Enter. When I do that, you'll notice that "/usr/local/git/bin" is at the end of the line. This means that my Mac is trying to load the "Apple version" of Git before the one we just installed, and since it's not there, we're prompted to install it. I'll change that using VI. (If you're not familiar with VI, I'd encourage you to checkout the "Command Line Basics" series on this site to get familiar with it.)

Before I proceed, I want to mention that what we're going to do could be harmful to your machine if done improperly. We'll be using "sudo", (which stands for super user do) which allows you to perform actions that standard users are not allowed to, in order to protect them from accidentally messing up their systems. If you follow these steps precisely, you won't be at risk, but please do not start using "sudo", or editing system files if you're not exactly sure what you are doing.

Okay, with that disclaimer out of the way, let's continue.

  • I'll type "sudo vi /etc/paths"

When you do this for the first time, you'll get this message:

WARNING: Improper use of the sudo command could lead to data loss
or the deletion of important system files. Please double-check your
typing when using sudo. Type "man sudo" for more information.

To proceed, enter your password, or type Ctrl-C to abort.

  • I do want to proceed, so I'll enter my password, and press Enter
  • Press "i" to enter "Insert" mode
  • Type "/usr/local/git/bin" and press Enter to move the original first line to the second line
  • Press esc (The escape key)
  • Type ":wq"
  • Press Enter

At this point, if you have any terminal sessions open, you'll need to close them and reopen them in order to pickup the new PATH. I'll go ahead and just quit iTerm and re-open it to get a fresh start. Now, we can check our PATH variable by typing "echo $PATH" and pressing Enter. When we do that, we'll see "/usr/local/git/bin" at the beginning of the list.

Now, when we type "git --version", we see the message "git version 2.2.1". So, we're ready to go!