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This page has three sections:

  • How to configure your CSIL account for git
  • Why you need to configure your CSIL account for git
  • What about GUI options for git?


This section describes how to configure your CSIL account for git.

Note: If you have already used git on CSIL in a previous course (e.g. CS32 with Prof. Conrad), you may be able to skip this step. Read through it entirely before just jumping right in—and in particular, check out the contents of your .gitconfig and see if they already have your name, email, and default push method set.

To set up your CSIL account for using command line git, type the following commands, substituting your real name (e.g. Chris Gaucho) in place of “Your Name” and your email address (e.g. in place of “”.

git config --global "Your Name"
git config --global
git config --global push.default simple

You should only have to ever do these steps once for any given computer system. The values of these global configuration options are stored in a file called .gitconfig in your home directory. Take a look by cd’ing into your home directory, and using the more command to list the contents of .gitconfig:

$ cd
$ more .gitconfig
    default = simple
    name = Chris Gaucho
    email =

The ~/.gitconfig file is a plain text file, and the options in it can also be set by just editing this file. Using the git config command is an alternative to hand editing this file, and is really just a way to be sure that the syntax ends up being right.


Why do you need to configure your CSIL account for git?

In this course, you’ll have the option of completing many parts of many assignments on your own laptop or home computer. That will require that you install the Java JDK (Java Development Kit) and the “git” program on your own computer. If you want to do that, you are welcome to give it a try.

However, this is an OPTION, not a requirement. And, we do NOT make any commitment to providing tech support for Java, Git, or other software issues on your own laptop or desktop systems.

On the other hand, It is REQUIRED that you be able to perform all course functions using your CSIL account, so that we can use our weekly discussion sections in the new Phelps CS Lab to their full advantage.

What about a GUI for git

Even if you normally use a GUI interface for git, or a git plug in for an IDE such as Eclipse or Netbeans, it is important to learn the git commad line interface.

The official trainers from themselves, emphasize strongly:

  • git is fundamentally a command line tool
  • We recommend that you learn the git command line so that if/when the GUI does something weird, you can get under the hood and fix things.
  • Again to emphasize: “To learn git, you need to learn the command line interface.”