Summary and Setup

What We Will Try to Do

Begin to understand and use Git/GitHub. You will not be an expert by the end of the class. You will probably not even feel very comfortable using Git. This is okay. We want to make a start but, as with any skill, using Git takes practice. In this lesson we use Git from the Unix Shell. Some previous experience with the shell is expected, but is not mandatory.

Be Excellent to Each Other

  • If you spot someone in the class who is struggling with something and you think you know how to help, please give them a hand. Try not to do the task for them: instead explain the steps they need to take and what these steps will achieve.

Be Patient With The Instructor and Yourself

  • This is a big group, with different levels of knowledge, different computer systems.
  • This isn’t your instructor’s full-time job (though if someone wants to pay them to play with computers all day they’d probably accept). They will do their best to make this session useful.
  • This is your session. If you feel we are going too fast, then please put up a pink sticky. We can decide as a group what to cover.

Installing Git

Since several Carpentries lessons rely on Git, please see this section of the workshop template for instructions on installing Git for various operating systems.

Creating a GitHub Account

You will need an account for GitHub to follow this lesson.

  1. Go to and follow the “Sign up” link at the top-right of the window.
  2. Follow the instructions to create an account.
  3. Verify your email address with GitHub.
  4. Configure multifactor authentication (see below).

Multi-factor Authentication

In 2023, GitHub introduced a requirement for all accounts to have multi-factor authentication (2FA) configured for extra security. Several options exist for setting up 2FA, which are summarised here:

  1. If you already use an authenticator app, like Google Authenticator or Duo Mobile on your smartphone for example, add GitHub to that app.
  2. If you have access to a smartphone but do not already use an authenticator app, install one and add GitHub to the app.
  3. If you do not have access to a smartphone or do not want to install an authenticator app, you have two options:
    1. set up 2FA via text message (list of countries where authentication by SMS is supported), or
    2. use a hardware security key like Youbikey or the Google Titan key.

The GitHub documentation provides more details about configuring 2FA.