22.2. Repositories and Commits

22.2.1. Create a Repository

To get started with a git repository, the programmer must first create one. To create a git repository, the programmer navigates to their project directory and uses the command git init, like so:

Students-Computer:~ student$ mkdir homework
Students-Computer:~ student$ cd homework
Students-Computer:homework student$ git init
   Initialized empty Git repository in /Users/student/homework/.git/

Now the programmer is ready to code away!

22.2.2. Making Commits

After a while, the programmer has made a lot of changes and saved their code files many times over. So when do they make a commit to their repository?

The general rule of thumb is that any time a significant change in functionality is made, a commit should be made.

If the programmer has created the Git repository and is ready to commit, they can do so by following the commit process.


Git does have a simple commit command, however, making a proper commit requires that the programmers follow a longer procedure than just one command.

The procedure for making a commit to a Git repository includes 4 stages.

  1. git status gives the programmer information about files that have been changed.
  2. git add allows the programmers to add specific or all changed files to a commit.
  3. git commit creates the new commit with the files that the programmer added.
  4. git log displays a log of every commit in the repository.

If the steps above are followed correctly, the programmer will find their latest commit at the top of the log.

Here is how the process will look in the terminal:

Students-Computer:homework student$ git status
On branch master

Initial commit

Untracked files:
  (use "git add <file>..." to include in what will be committed)


nothing added to commit but untracked files present (use "git add" to track)
Students-Computer:homework student$ git add .
Students-Computer:homework student$ git commit -m "My first commit"
 [master (root-commit) 2c1e0af] My first commit
  1 file changed, 1 insertion(+)
  create mode 100644 learning-git.js
Students-Computer:homework student$ git log
commit 2c1e0af9467217d76c7e3c48bcf9389ceaa4714b
Author: Student <[email protected]>
Date:  Wed Apr 24 14:44:59 2019 -0500

    My first commit

To break down what happens in a commit even further:

When using git status, the output shows two categories: modified tracked files and modified untracked files. Modified tracked means that Git the file exists in the repository already, but is different than the version in the repository. Modified untracked means that it is a new file that is not currently in the repository.

git add adds files to the commit, but it does not commit those files. By using git add ., all the modified files were added to the commit. If a programmer only wants add one modified file, they can do so.

git commit actually commits the files that were added to the repository. By adding -m "My first commit", a comment was added to the commit. This is helpful for looking through the log and seeing detailed comments of the changes made in each commit.

git log shows the author of the commit, the date made, the comment, and a 40-character hash. This hash or value that is a key for Git to refer to the version. Programmers rarely use these hashes unless they want to roll back to that version.

22.2.3. Check Your Understanding


What git command is NOT a part of the commit process?

  1. git add
  2. git log
  3. git status
  4. git push