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Cloning a Git repository

zellwk profile image Zell Liew 🤗 Originally published at zellwk.com ・3 min read

Note: This the fifth video in the Git for beginners series. Watch the first video here.

Let's say you want to work on a project together with a friend. The two of you will be creating commits on the same project.

Let's also say your friend has created the project. They initialized a repository on Github.

What you need to do next is to copy the project from the remote to your computer.

In Git, you can do this through a Git Clone.

What is Git Clone

A git clone makes it easier to copy the project. It does three things:

  1. Initializing a local repository
  2. Add the remote URL to your local repository
  3. Pull the repository onto your computer.

Note: you can do these three steps manually if you want to.

Cloning a project

First, you need to go to the project you want to clone.

Let's say we want to clone Typi. Typi is a library I made to make Typography easy for you when you're creating websites.

To clone the project, you click on the big green button that says clone or download.

The clone button

When you click on clone or download, you'll see a URL.

Copy this URL.

Once again, make sure you clone with SSH. When you use SSH, you don't have to enter your username and password every time you push to a remote or pull from a remote.

The git URL

Then, open up Fork.

You can clone the repository by going into File. Select clone.

The clone menu in Fork


The clone menu in Fork

Fork will automatically fill up the URL you copied into the repository URL field.

The parent directory is the folder you want the repository you live in. This is Git in our case. If you want to change the directory, you can change it.

Name will be the name of the project. This name defaults to the name of the project that is stated on the remote repository. You can change it if you want too, but we don't change it usually.

When you click Clone, Fork will get to work to download the project.

Project cloned


Project cloned

Switching between projects

When you cloned the project, you will be able to see the project in your Git client of choice.

In our case, you can click on the search icon that is on the top-left corner and you'll see "Typi" and "Project".

Switching between projects


Switching between projects

Collaborator rights

You can commit to the local repository you cloned, but you will not be able to push your changes onto the remote repository.

This is because you don't have access to write onto the repository yet. It prevents unauthorized people from changing code that belongs to someone else.

If you want to push to the repository, you need collaborator rights. Your friend can give you access to the repository by adding you as a collaborator.

They can add you as a collaborator by going to the Github project. Then, click on settings, followed by collaborator. Next, they'll need to enter your username into the text field and click on add collaborator

Adding a collaborator

Wrapping up

Git clone does three things at once:

  1. Initializing a local repository
  2. Add the remote URL to your local repository
  3. Pull the repository onto your computer.

If you want to push to a remote repository, you need collaborator rights. Get your friend to give you access to the repo.


Thanks for reading. This article was originally posted on my blog. Sign up for my newsletter if you want more articles to help you become a better frontend developer.

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Zell Liew 🤗

@zellwk

Frontend consultant; teaching frontend to self-taught devs at http://zellwk.com. Currently attempting to demystify Javascript at http://learnjavascript.today.

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