Introduction to Git

Git is a free and open source, distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency. Every Git clone is a full-fledged repository with complete history and full revision tracking capabilities, not dependent on network access or a central server. Branching and merging are fast and easy to do. Git is used for version control of files, much like tools such as Mercurial-6.2.2, Bazaar, Subversion-1.14.2, CVS, Perforce, and Team Foundation Server.



Development versions of BLFS may not build or run some packages properly if dependencies have been updated since the most recent stable versions of the book.

Package Information

  • Download (HTTP):

  • Download MD5 sum: dfefd2363f2d4f9cefd6e609e0c605fe

  • Download size: 6.7 MB

  • Estimated disk space required: 231 MB (with downloaded documentation, add 17 MB to build documentation)

  • Estimated build time: 0.3 SBU (with parallelism=4; add 0.4 SBU for building documentation and 6 SBU (disk speed dependent) for tests, both with parallelism=4)

Additional Downloads

Git Dependencies



GnuPG-2.3.7 (runtime, may be used to sign Git commits or tags, or verify the signatures of them), OpenSSH-9.0p1 (runtime, needed to use Git over ssh), pcre2-10.40 (or the deprecated PCRE-8.45), in either case configured with --enable-jit, Subversion-1.14.2 with Perl bindings (runtime, for git svn), Tk-8.6.12 (gitk, a simple Git repository viewer, uses Tk at runtime), Valgrind-3.19.0, Authen::SASL and MIME::Base64 (both runtime, for git send-email), and IO-Socket-SSL-2.075 (runtime, for git send-email to connect to a SMTP server with SSL encryption)

Optional (to create the man pages, html docs and other docs)

xmlto-0.0.28 and asciidoc-10.2.0 , and also dblatex (for the PDF version of the user manual), and docbook2x to create info pages

User Notes:

Installation of Git

Install Git by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr \
            --with-gitconfig=/etc/gitconfig \
            --with-python=python3 &&

You can build the man pages and/or html docs, or use downloaded ones. If you choose to build them, use the next two instructions.

If you have installed asciidoc-10.2.0 you can create the html version of the man pages and other docs:

make html

If you have installed asciidoc-10.2.0 and xmlto-0.0.28 you can create the man pages:

make man

The test suite can be run in parallel mode. To run the test suite, issue: make test. If run as a normal user, 0 tests should be reported as failed in the final summary.

Now, as the root user:

make perllibdir=/usr/lib/perl5/5.36/site_perl install

If you created the man pages and/or html docs

Install the man pages as the root user:

make install-man

Install the html docs as the root user:

make htmldir=/usr/share/doc/git-2.37.3 install-html

If you downloaded the man pages and/or html docs

If you downloaded the man pages untar them as the root user:

tar -xf ../git-manpages-2.37.3.tar.xz \
    -C /usr/share/man --no-same-owner --no-overwrite-dir

If you downloaded the html docs untar them as the root user:

mkdir -vp   /usr/share/doc/git-2.37.3 &&
tar   -xf   ../git-htmldocs-2.37.3.tar.xz \
      -C    /usr/share/doc/git-2.37.3 --no-same-owner --no-overwrite-dir &&

find        /usr/share/doc/git-2.37.3 -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \; &&
find        /usr/share/doc/git-2.37.3 -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \;

Reorganize text and html in the html-docs (both methods)

For both methods, the html-docs include a lot of plain text files. Reorganize the files as the root user:

mkdir -vp /usr/share/doc/git-2.37.3/man-pages/{html,text}         &&
mv        /usr/share/doc/git-2.37.3/{git*.txt,man-pages/text}     &&
mv        /usr/share/doc/git-2.37.3/{git*.,index.,man-pages/}html &&

mkdir -vp /usr/share/doc/git-2.37.3/technical/{html,text}         &&
mv        /usr/share/doc/git-2.37.3/technical/{*.txt,text}        &&
mv        /usr/share/doc/git-2.37.3/technical/{*.,}html           &&

mkdir -vp /usr/share/doc/git-2.37.3/howto/{html,text}             &&
mv        /usr/share/doc/git-2.37.3/howto/{*.txt,text}            &&
mv        /usr/share/doc/git-2.37.3/howto/{*.,}html               &&

sed -i '/^<a href=/s|howto/|&html/|' /usr/share/doc/git-2.37.3/howto-index.html &&
sed -i '/^\* link:/s|howto/|&html/|' /usr/share/doc/git-2.37.3/howto-index.txt

Command Explanations

--with-gitconfig=/etc/gitconfig: This sets /etc/gitconfig as the file that stores the default, system wide, Git settings.

--with-python=python3: Use this switch to use Python 3, instead of the EOL'ed Python 2. Python is used for the git p4 interface to Perforce repositories, and also used in some tests.

--with-libpcre2: Use this switch if PCRE2 is installed and has been built with the non-default JIT enabled.

--with-libpcre1: As an alternative to PCRE2, use this switch if the deprecated PCRE is installed and has been built with the non-default JIT enabled.

tar -xf ../git-manpages-2.37.3.tar.gz -C /usr/share/man --no-same-owner: This untars git-manpages-2.37.3.tar.gz. The -C option makes tar change directory to /usr/share/man before it starts to decompress the docs. The --no-same-owner option stops tar from preserving the user and group details of the files. This is useful as that user or group may not exist on your system; this could (potentially) be a security risk.

mv /usr/share/doc/git-2.37.3 ...: These commands move some of the files into subfolders to make it easier to sort through the docs and find what you're looking for.

find ... chmod ...: These commands correct the permissions in the shipped documentation tar file.

Configuring Git

Config Files

~/.gitconfig and /etc/gitconfig


Installed Programs: git, git-receive-pack, git-upload-archive, and git-upload-pack (hardlinked to each other), git-cvsserver, git-shell, and gitk
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: /usr/libexec/git-core, and /usr/share/{doc/git-2.37.3,git-core,git-gui,gitk,gitweb}

Short Descriptions


is the stupid content tracker


is a CVS server emulator for Git


is a graphical Git repository browser (needs Tk-8.6.12)


is invoked by git send-pack and updates the repository with the information fed from the remote end


is a login shell for SSH accounts to provide restricted Git access


is invoked by git archive --remote and sends a generated archive to the other end over the git protocol


is invoked by git fetch-pack, it discovers what objects the other side is missing, and sends them after packing