GitKraken tutorial for beginners

Learn Git and GitKraken tutorial

Git isn’t hard to learn.

And with a full-featured Git GUI tool such as GitKraken at your side, you can easily achieve Git mastery.

What is GitKraken?

GitKraken provides various product development accelerators that center around the popular version control tool Git. The vendor’s three primary software offerings are:

  • The eponymously named GitKraken Client.
  • Git Integration for Jira which integrates repositories with Atlassian’s popular tracking system.
  • GitLens for VS Code, which provides insights into Git codebases.

In common parlance, and throughout this article, the term GitKraken refers to the popular Git client tool, not the company.

What are the benefits of GitKraken?

Git is primarily a command-line tool.

Command-line capabilities are great to develop scripts or build continuous integration pipelines, but they aren’t great for casual users interested in learning Git.

GitKraken provides a full-featured GUI tool for users to interact with Git-based repositories through mouse-clicks rather than the command line.

GitKraken makes working with Git much easier, and makes learning Git more fun.

How do you get started with GitKraken?

GitKraken is freely downloadable from the company’s homepage.

For learning and personal use, the GitKraken client is free to use with both public and local repos. Organizations and users who access private repositories must research their licensing requirements.

There are no prerequisites to install GitKraken, other than a moderately modern operating system such as Windows 10 or Ubuntu 18t. You don’t even need Git preinstalled; the GitKraken installer takes care of that for you.

Creating Git repositories with GitKraken

When getting started with Git, the first task is typically to either create a local repository or clone a remote one.

  • The creation of a Git repository is normally done with the git init command.
  • To clone a remote Git repository, the git clone command is typically required.

With GitKraken, intuitive GUI-based options help a user clone or initialize a repository. The tool then takes care of issuing the low-level Git commands behind the scenes.

GitKraken tutorial for beginners

GitKraken provides point-and-click tools to create local repos or clone remote repos.

GitKraken commit history commands

Once connected to a repository, GitKraken provides a full suite of GUI tools that let a user manipulate their commit history, such as the following:

  • Menu options to amend commits.
  • Form fields to write commit messages.
  • Buttons to add files to the Git index.
  • Right-click options to perform hard or soft Git resets.

Core Git functions are intuitive and easy to perform with GitKraken.

GitKraken branching capabilities

Git offers many compelling features for programmers, but its biggest gift is branching.

With branches, developers can write code in isolated spaces where they can take chances, break things and act without fear that they will negatively impact other coders’ efforts.

GitKraken branching capabilities are exhaustive. The tool provides point-and-click functionality for every conceivable Git branch operation, including the following:

  • Create branches.
  • Merge branches.
  • Cherry-pick between branches.
  • Delete branches.
  • Visualize branches.

In fact, GitKraken’s branch visualization features are amongst the very best in the industry.

Tutorial on GitKraken branching

Branch visualization is one of GitKraken’s finest features.

Collaborative computing

One of Git’s primary use cases is to enable a distributed team of developers to share code collaboratively.

Git supports distributed version control through the use of the following commands:

  • The clone command, which copies a remote repo locally.
  • The push command, which moves local changes to a server.
  • The pull command, which updates a user’s local working tree.
  • The fetch command, which locally updates remote tracking branches.

With GitKraken, a user can invoke all of these collaborative Git functions through a set of buttons located in a highly visible position at the top of the UI.

push pull clone GitKraken tutorial

The standard push, pull and fetch commands are easily accessible through the GitKraken UI.

GitHub, Bitbucket and GitLab integration with GitKraken

One place where GitKraken really stands out is its integration with cloud-based Git tools. Out of the box, GitKraken comes with the following integration capabilities:

  • GitLab and GitKraken
  • GitHub and GitKraken
  • Bitbucket and GitKraken

Furthermore, GitKraken’s integration with tools including GitLab and GitHub is not superficial.

GitKraken GitHub integration

For example, once authorization between GitKraken and GitHub is achieved, the tool provides full integration for features such as:

  • Creating pull requests.
  • Browsing associated repos.
  • Editing GitHub actions.

Get started with GitKraken course

The video at the beginning of this article is a thorough GitKraken crash course that will quickly get you up to speed on both Git and GitKraken.

If you’re new to the world of Git, GitKraken is definitely worth giving a try. It greatly simplifies many tasks and makes learning Git much easier.

Expert Git users will enjoy many of GitKraken’s advanced features, including the ability to visualize branch histories and integrate with vendors including GitHub and GitLab.

For anyone who wants to build their Git skills, check out GitKraken.

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