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Insider Guide to GitHub


Cover image for Insider Guide to GitHub

Insider Guide to GitHub


GitHub is where the action’s at: you can host your public and private projects there, use it to collaborate on projects in a truly distributed way, and expand your social coding network. But to really get the most out of this great resource, you need an experienced guide to show you the ropes. Learn how the pros use GitHub from Scott Chacon, a long-time Git user and GitHub insider.

About this Title

Available in: DRM-free iPod/iPhone 3 Video, Quicktime Video, iPad/iPhone 4 Video, and Theora Ogg
Download and watch when and where you want

Watching these video tutorials will save you time and trouble. You’ll learn the essential features you’ll end up using every day, a collaborative workflow to make you more efficient, and the advanced tasks that give you an extra boost. You’ll come away ready to host your projects and contribute to other projects, and feeling like a GitHub insider.

If you’re new to GitHub, these screencasts are your guidebook to getting started. If you already know your way around, you’ll learn new things in Episode 2: Advanced Tasks. See the table of contents below for everything you’ll learn in these episodes.

  • Episode 1: Getting Started is a 34-minute screencast and it’s absolutely free! Download now in QuickTime (45 MB), iPhone/iPod (43 MB), or Theora Ogg (77 MB) format. Then take it to the next level and support the freebie by buying Episode 2…


Contents & Extracts

  • Episode 1: Getting Started (34 minutes)

    This episode will get you up and running with GitHub so that you’re comfortable with the general day-to-day tasks. You’ll learn how to:

    • clone a public project
    • create a new account
    • generate an SSH key
    • import an existing Subversion repository
    • create a new repository
    • fork a repository
    • push changes to a repository
    • create a private repository
    • add collaborators to a private project
    • clone a sub-module
    • collaborate with other users
    • send a pull request
    • merge changes from a pull request
    • watch projects and people
    • use project wikis
    • generate RubyGems
    • allow project donations
  • Episode 2: Advanced Tasks (40 minutes)

    This episode takes you beyond the basics so you can take advantage of time-saving tools, advanced GitHub features, and pro tips. Once you’re up and running on GitHub, you’ll want to dig deeper by watching this episode. You’ll learn how to:

    • create and delete branches and tags
    • delete and rename repositories
    • save a ton of time by using the GitHub gem to create, clone, fork, and fetch changes
    • take advantage of the GitHub API
    • query commits programmatically
    • run searches using the API
    • get user information using the API
    • configure a post-receive URL to notify an external service
    • create a Rails application to handle commit notifications
    • use the hidden API that generates the GitHub participation graph
    • deploy code from a GitHub repository to an EC2 server using Capistrano


These screencasts assume you have Git installed, know basic Git commands, and understand general version control concepts. But if you’re not familiar with Git, you can follow along to learn how to use GitHub for project collaboration. You do not need a private (paid) GitHub account to benefit from these screencasts.


Scott Chacon is a Git evangelist and Ruby developer employed at Logical Awesome working on He is the author of the Git Internals Peepcode PDF as well as the maintainer of and the Git Community Book. Scott has also presented at RailsConf, RubyConf, Google and a number of local groups, and blogs at