GitLab Git Workshop


  1. Brief history of Git.
  2. GitLab walkthrough.
  3. Configure your environment.
  4. Workshop.

Git introduction

  • Distributed version control.
    • Does not rely on connection to a central server.
    • Many copies of the complete history.
  • Powerful branching and merging.
  • Adapts to nearly any workflow.
  • Fast, reliable and stable file format.


Use the tools at your disposal when you get stuck.

GitLab Walkthrough


Configure your environment

  • Windows: Install 'Git for Windows'

  • Mac: Type 'git' in the Terminal application.

If it's not installed, it prompts you to install it.

  • Debian: 'sudo apt-get install git-all' or Red Hat 'sudo yum install git-all'

Git Workshop


  1. Configure Git.
  2. Configure SSH Key.
  3. Create a project.
  4. Committing.
  5. Feature branching.
  6. Merge requests.
  7. Feedback and Collaboration.

Configure Git

One-time configuration of the Git client:

git config --global "Your Name"
git config --global

Configure SSH Key

ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "you@computer-name"
# You will be prompted for the following information. Press enter to accept the defaults. Defaults appear in parentheses.
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/Users/you/.ssh/id_rsa):
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
Enter same passphrase again:
Your identification has been saved in /Users/you/.ssh/id_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in /Users/you/.ssh/
The key fingerprint is:
39:fc:ce:94:f4:09:13:95:64:9a:65:c1:de:05:4d:01 you@computer-name

Copy your public key and add it to your GitLab profile:

cat ~/.ssh/
ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAADAQEL17Ufacg8cDhlQMS5NhV8z3GHZdhCrZbl4gz

Create a project

Commands (project)

mkdir ~/development
cd ~/development


mkdir ~/workspace
cd ~/workspace

git clone<username>/training-examples.git
cd training-examples

Git concepts

Untracked files

New files that Git has not been told to track previously.

Working area

Files that have been modified but are not committed.

Staging area

Modified files that have been marked to go in the next commit.


  1. Edit 'edit_this_file.rb' in 'training-examples'.
  2. See it listed as a changed file (working area).
  3. View the differences.
  4. Stage the file.
  5. Commit.
  6. Push the commit to the remote.
  7. View the Git log.

Commands (committing)

# Edit `edit_this_file.rb`
git status
git diff
git add <file>
git commit -m 'My change'
git push origin master
git log

Feature branching

  • Efficient parallel workflow for teams.
  • Develop each feature in a branch.
  • Keeps changes isolated.
  • Consider a 1-to-1 link to issues.
  • Push branches to the server frequently.
    • Hint: This is a cheap backup for your work-in-progress code.

Feature branching steps

  1. Create a new feature branch called 'squash_some_bugs'.
  2. Edit 'bugs.rb' and remove all the bugs.
  3. Commit.
  4. Push.

Commands (feature branching)

git checkout -b squash_some_bugs
# Edit `bugs.rb`
git status
git add bugs.rb
git commit -m 'Fix some buggy code'
git push origin squash_some_bugs

Merge requests

  • When you want feedback create a merge request.
  • Target is the ‘default’ branch (usually master).
  • Assign or mention the person you would like to review.
  • Add [Draft] to the title if it's a work in progress.
  • When accepting, always delete the branch.
  • Anyone can comment, not just the assignee.
  • Push corrections to the same branch.

Merge requests steps

Create your first merge request:

  1. Use the blue button in the activity feed.
  2. View the diff (changes) and leave a comment.
  3. Push a new commit to the same branch.
  4. Review the changes again and notice the update.

Feedback and Collaboration

  • Merge requests are a time for feedback and collaboration.
  • Giving feedback is hard.
  • Be as kind as possible.
  • Receiving feedback is hard.
  • Be as receptive as possible.
  • Feedback is about the best code, not the person. You are not your code.

Feedback and Collaboration resources

Review the Thoughtbot code-review guide for suggestions to follow when reviewing merge requests:

See GitLab merge requests for examples:

Explore GitLab projects


  • Dashboard
  • User Preferences
  • README, Changelog, License shortcuts
  • Issues
  • Milestones and Labels
  • Manage project members
  • Project settings


  • Useful for marking deployments and releases.
  • Annotated tags are an unchangeable part of Git history.
  • Soft/lightweight tags can be set and removed at any time.
  • Many projects combine an annotated release tag with a stable branch.
  • Consider setting deployment/release tags automatically.

Tags steps

  1. Create a lightweight tag.
  2. Create an annotated tag.
  3. Push the tags to the remote repository.

Additional resources:

Commands (tags)

git checkout master

# Lightweight tag
git tag my_lightweight_tag

# Annotated tag
git tag -a v1.0 -m ‘Version 1.0’
git tag

git push origin --tags

Merge conflicts

  • Happen often.
  • Learning to fix conflicts is hard.
  • Practice makes perfect.
  • Force push after fixing conflicts. Be careful!

Merge conflicts steps

  1. Checkout a new branch and edit conflicts.rb. Add 'Line4' and 'Line5'.
  2. Commit and push.
  3. Checkout master and edit conflicts.rb. Add 'Line6' and 'Line7' below 'Line3'.
  4. Commit and push to master.
  5. Create a merge request.

Merge conflicts commands

After creating a merge request you should notice that conflicts exist. Resolve the conflicts locally by rebasing.

git rebase master

# Fix conflicts by editing the files.

git add conflicts.rb
git commit -m 'Fix conflicts'
git rebase --continue
git push origin <branch> -f

Rebase with squash

You may end up with a commit log that looks like this:

Fix issue #13
Fix again
Test again
Does this work?

Squash these in to meaningful commits using an interactive rebase.

Rebase with squash commands

Squash the commits on the same branch we used for the merge conflicts step.

git rebase -i master

In the editor, leave the first commit as pick and set others to fixup.



Thank you for your hard work!

Additional Resources

See additional resources.