How to use git features on a local project without a Git server

Like many of you, sometimes we develop code that does not belong to a Git server.
Working as so, one would think that we would miss all the features of a Version Control System (VCS).
Fortunately, this assumption is wrong.
Using the already installed Git tools, we can create a new local repository in any system folder with no additional configuration.

To do so, and create a new repository from an existing project, we need to do the following using a terminal/shell:

  1. Navigate into the directory that contains the project e.g. cd /home/bytefreaks/Projects/Party/banana/
  2. Type git init
    This command will create an empty Git repository in that folder and it will produce a message as follows:
    Initialized empty Git repository in /home/bytefreaks/Projects/Party/banana/.git/
  3. In case you have files that should not be included in your repository, it is better that you create a .gitignore file and add them there.
    This way you will be able to indicate all of the files that you don’t want to the repository to track.
  4. Use git add . (please note that you need the dot . for this command)
    This command will stage all files that are not in .gitignore to be part of your next commit.
  5. Finally, type git commit or git commit -m "Initial Commit with status bla bla", to make your first commit to the repository
  6. Profit!

By now, you should have a fully functional local git repository without the assistance of an external server.

This post is also available in: Greek

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