Github: Step by step management of Github with Git Cola GUI

Github and Git Cola GUI combination make VCS easy to manage, fun and productive. As stated in a previous post, Github doesn’t have an official UI app for Linux.

That is not a problem as many Linux users are very familiar with the terminal, so using a GUI app for managing the code on Github would not be their first choice. Nevertheless, there are many GUI apps on Linux for managing Git repositories but usually, they are ugly 🙂

The following tutorial (gallery) is a Step by step guide for management of Github with Git Cola GUI. It will help you understand how you can manage to migrate from terminal to a GUI app. So if you are already familiar with git in terminal then this tutorial is for you! If you are not yet familiar wit Git and Github and you want to jump start, you should definitely read this: git – the simple guide: No deep shit ;)!

Github Git Cola GUI

If you have ever worked with git you may have been working with the same workflow. Every step that is presented in this tutorial has an equivalent terminal based git command:

1) Install Git Cola GUI through Software Center or through terminal:

 sudo apt-get install git-cola 
Github Git Cola GUI: Install
Install Git Cola from Ubuntu Software Center

2) Copy the repository link from the website

Github Git Cola GUI: Copy git link
Copy the .git link of repository

2) Launch Git Cola and paste the link. In terminal, it’s equivalent of

 git clone /github/repo/link.git
Github Git Cola GUI: Paste link
Once you launch the Git Cola click “Clone” and paste the link you have copied from Github


Github Git Cola GUI: Select a folder to Clone to
Once you provided the link, select where to download the repository and click “Open”
Github Git Cola GUI: Main Window
This is the main window. It’s empty because we haven’t changed any code

3) You can edit your preferences by clicking Edit menu were you can customize your settings like email, username, prepared editor etc.

In terminal it’s equivalent of:

git config --global "John Doe"

git config --global ""
Github Git Cola GUI: Preferences Window
To edit your preferences, click on “Edit –> Preferences”

4) Now edit some files inside your local repository clone and the hit the refresh Rescan button on Git Cola.

In terminal, it’s equivalent of

git status


git diff
Github Git Cola GUI: Preferences Window
Open the file that you need to edit and start editing. Save and close the file

5) Now once you can hit Stage, Comment to add a message for the changes and the Commit these changes:

In terminal, it’s equivalent of

git add filename

and then

git commit -m "Commit message"
Github Git Cola GUI: Stage, Comment and Commit changes
Click Stage, add some comment and then commit

6) You can also Tag your changes to create versions of your repo by clicking Actions menu –> Create Tag

In terminal, it’s equivalent of

git tag -a v4.5.6 -m 'my version 4.5.6'
Github Git Cola GUI: Create tag
Create tag by clicking “Actions –> Add Tag”

7) Now you can upload (push) your changes and versions (tags) to your GitHub account.

In terminal, it’s equivalent of

git push origin master

and your tag with

git push origin v1.0.4
Github Git Cola GUI: Push your code to repository
Click on “Push” on the main window, check that “Include tags” is activated and then click Push
Github Git Cola GUI: Provide Username and Password of your Github account
Provide your Username and Password of your Github account
Github Git Cola GUI: Check the messages of your Push
Check the commands tab to see the background messages

8) Now you can go to your Github page to see your changes and your tags

Github Git Cola GUI: Commit
Refresh the GitHub page to see your comment and the commit history


Hopefully, this tutorial will be useful for you. Please leave a comment if you have any feedback. Do you use other Linux based Git GUI apps?



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