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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is Git?
3.
Characteristics of Git
4.
What is GitHub?
5.
Characteristics of GitHub
6.
Differences Between Git and GitHub
7.
Which is Better Git or GitHub?
8.
How to Integrate Git and GitHub in Five Steps?
9.
Both Git and GitHub Handle Commands Differently
10.
Frequently Asked Questions
10.1.
Can you use Git without GitHub?
10.2.
What are Git and GitHub used for?
10.3.
Should I start with Git or GitHub?
10.4.
What is the best tool for Git?
10.5.
What does GitHub stand for?
11.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
Easy

Git vs GitHub

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Introduction

Most often Git is mistaken for GitHub by developers and server designers, and vice-versa, the two terms are distinct and have an extensively broad meaning. Although the purpose of both Git vs GitHub is collaboration, there is a wide chain of differences between the two.

Git vs GitHub: Difference Between Git and GitHub

First, let’s understand the meaning of Git vs GitHub and their implications individually, then, we shall discuss their difference on various bases to get more clarity on Java Git and GitHub.

What is Git?

Git is an essential part of programming, especially if you are working as a team, and is one of the most widespread collaborative tools. Every developer needs a version control system for getting his work aligned in chronological order. 

It is a very essential tool for Source Code Management, Git enables numerous people to work concurrently and track the individual contribution made by them. The UI is so user-friendly and elementary that people other than programmers also use it for tracking down their files.

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Characteristics of Git

Here are the key characteristics of Git:

  • Distributed: Each user has a full copy of the repository, allowing for decentralized collaboration and offline work
  • Version Control: Tracks changes at the file level and makes branching, merging, and rollbacks simple
  • Commit-Based: Modifications are kept in commits, which produce a timeline of changes
  • Branching and Merging: Encourages the creation of solitary development branches for distinct projects that may subsequently be merged back into the main branch
  • Lightweight and Fast: Git's design stresses lightweight and quick operations like branching, merging, and committing
  • Data Integrity: Prevents corruption by ensuring data integrity using cryptographic hashes

What is GitHub?

GitHub is a Microsoft-developed programme that provides a platform for collaborative work or group projects. Generally in the software development community around five to ten people work on the same project.

An application that has got ten screens, has around thirty to fifty files of codes, which is impossible to share through e-mail or other sharing resources.

With the help of GitHub, developers can easily upload their code to their GitHub account and share the link with their peers, so that the peers may review their code or append some modules to their code.

GitHub comes with one-lined Git commands to move (push) your code from a local repository to a remote repository or to grab (pull) someone’s collective code from a remote repository. Git has a “remote” command to deal with remote repositories.

All the operations such as checking out into a new branch, creating a new branch, adding codes, and making commits. Everything is carried out with the help of these Git commands.

Being a Software developer or collaborator, you must distinctly understand the difference between the two widely used terminologies: “Git” and “GitHub”.

After reading the above-mentioned individual introductions, you must now go through the head-to-head comparison between the two through the difference table given below for attaining more clarity.

Characteristics of GitHub

Here are the key characteristics of GitHub:

  • Hosting of Code: GitHub acts as a cloud-based code repository. Users can upload their local Git repositories to the cloud in this way, creating a central repository for storing and collaborating on code
  • Collaboration: GitHub makes it easier for developers to work together by giving them access to tools for code review, issue tracking, and pull requests. It makes it possible for several contributors to work on the same project at once
  • Forking: Users can fork (make their own copy of) a repository. This gives individuals the freedom to alter things on their own without damaging the initial project. After making modifications, they can submit a pull request to ask for the changes to be merged back into the main project
  • Pull Requests: A pull request is a request to merge modifications from a forked repository back into the original repository
     

Differences Between Git and GitHub

Basis Of Difference

Git

GitHub

Year Introduced

First released in 2005 First released in 2008

Owned by

Maintained by the Linux Foundation It was purchased by Microsoft in 2008 

Nature

Git is a software GitHub is a service

Interface

It has a command-line interface It has a graphical user interface

Host

Hosted locally Hosted in the cloud

Objective

Version control and code sharing Centralised repository hosting and collaboration

Desktop Interface

Comes with a command-line interface Managed via its web app

User Management Features

Not available in Git In-built user management features

Tool configuration features

Only a handful of tool configuration features are available Abundant tool configuration features are available.

Language used

Written in C, Shell, Perl, Tcl and, Python Written in Python

Developer

Developed by Linux Torvalds  Developed by Jesper Noehr

Subscription

All the features are absolutely free Provides a set of paid features also

Common Competitors

IBM, Subversion, Mercurial, ClearCase and Rational Team Concert Atlassian Bitbucket and GitLab

Which is Better Git or GitHub?

Git and GitHub serve different purposes and are not directly comparable.

Git is a version control system, a tool that tracks changes in your code and allows multiple people to collaborate on a project. It provides features like branching, merging, and history tracking.

GitHub is a web-based platform that uses Git for version control. It adds a graphical interface, collaboration tools, and a centralized repository hosting service. GitHub enhances Git's capabilities with features like issue tracking, pull requests, code review, and project management tools.

How to Integrate Git and GitHub in Five Steps?

You need to follow a series of steps in order to work with Git vs GitHub parallel for collaboration and version control. You need to understand that Git can be used for working efficiently with GitHub, therefore, you need to brush up your skills with the former prior to their integration.

Please note that if you are already familiar with Git and it is pre-installed, then you can move to step two, else if you are new to this version control software you require to install it and add a few blocks of code before going forward.

Step 1: Install git and add a repository to it

First of all, download the git software for your Operating System (OS). Post this you have to run the installer. This process might vary depending on your Operating System. Finally, set up git using the command-line interface.

You need to understand a few terms before you start using Git:

  • Repository: The location of the file where your project is stored.
     
  • Commit: The command used to save new changes made to your project in the repository.
     
  • Stage: Prior to committing changes in Git, you have to stage them – this provides the opportunity to prepare your code before officially including it in your project.
     
  • Branch: The part of your project you’re currently working on.
     

For connecting git to GitHub, you have to add a repository and commit at least once. You can then host your project on GitHub and make it public.

Step 2: Creating a GitHub account

Now you require a GitHub account. You can sign up for free or you can go for a paid subscription plan. A free account provides all the base features required by a beginner for efficient code sharing. A paid plan is recommended for freelancers and highly skilled coders, or organisations that have to invest in a team plan for accessing additional project management and communication tools. Furthermore, GitHub extends a few discounts for non-profitable organisations, educators, and students.

Step 3: Adding a GitHub repository to your account

After creating and setting up your account, you are required to create a repository in GitHub for storing your project when you push it from git. 

  • You can create a repository by clicking on the relevant link in the left-hand sidebar.
     
  • Then choose a name for your repository.
     

You even have two options for modifying the access of the repository, it can be private, such that other GitHub users can refer to it and contribute to it, or it can be made private.

In both ways, as you’ll be using a pre-existing project, ensure that you leave the Initialize this repository with a README box unchecked.

Step 4: Pushing a repository to GitHub

You can add source code to your repository in multiple ways.

  • If the GitHub repository is already set then you can easily push an existing repository from the command line option.
     
  • The clipboard icon on the right allows you to copy the commands listed below, so that you may quickly paste them into your preferred command-line interface for creating a GitHub repository. After this refresh your GitHub page.
     

You can now view your repository in GitHub. From here, you can start making alterations to your project in real-time. You can even send and receive merge or pull requests, and use all the tools included with your plan.

Step 5: Pulling the changes made to your repository

You can view any change that you and others make to your project on GitHub, it doesn’t have direct access to your local storage. For keeping your project updated in your local storage, you can pull your updates via git.

For doing so, enter the git pull origin master in the command-line interface. This will update your files such that everything is synchronised across all iterations of your repository.

Both Git and GitHub Handle Commands Differently

While Git and GitHub are closely related, it's important to understand that they handle commands differently since they serve distinct purposes.

Git Commands:

Git provides a command-line interface that allows you to interact with your local Git repository. Here are some common Git commands.

  • git init: Initializes a new Git repository in your project directory.
     
  • git add: Stages changes or new files to be committed.
     
  • git commit: Creates a new snapshot of the code changes with a descriptive message.
     
  • git branch: Lists or creates branches within the repository.
     
  • git merge: Integrates changes from one branch into another.
     
  • git push: Pushes your local commits to a remote repository.
     
  • git pull: Fetches changes from a remote repository and merges them into the current branch.
     

GitHub Commands:

GitHub, on the other hand, is a web-based hosting service for Git repositories. While GitHub does not have its own set of commands, it provides a web interface and additional functionality that complements Git. 

Here are some features and actions available on GitHub.

  • Repository management: You can create a new repository, clone an existing repository, or delete a repository through the GitHub web interface.
     
  • Pull requests: You can create a pull request to propose changes from one branch or fork to another. It allows others to review, comment, and merge the changes.
     
  • Issue tracking: GitHub provides an issue tracking system where you can create, assign and track issues related to your project.
     
  • Collaboration: GitHub allows multiple developers to work on a project simultaneously. You can invite collaborators, manage access permissions, and handle conflicts when merging changes.
     

Git and GitHub handle commands differently. Git is a local command-line tool that operates on your computer, providing a wide range of commands for version control operations. On the other hand, GitHub is a web-based platform that complements Git by offering a graphical interface and additional collaboration features
 

Check out the most important Git Interview Questions here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use Git without GitHub?

Yes, Git can be used independently for local version control without relying on GitHub or any other remote repository hosting service.

What are Git and GitHub used for?

Git is a version control system for tracking code changes. GitHub is a web-based platform using Git for collaboration and code hosting.

Should I start with Git or GitHub?

Begin with Git to understand version control basics. Then, integrate GitHub for remote collaboration and hosting code repositories.

What is the best tool for Git?

Popular Git tools include GitKraken, Sourcetree, and VS Code with Git extensions. Choose based on personal preference and project needs.

What does GitHub stand for?

A contraction of the words Git and Hub. GitHub is a Microsoft-developed program that provides a platform for collaborative work or group projects.

Conclusion

Finally, after understanding both these terms we can conclude that both Git vs GitHub go hand-in-hand to ensure efficient collaboration and version control. GitHub provides a friendly user interface for networking, while Git is used for handling version control complications.

If you are thinking of building a career in Software development you can learn about the popular Git commands, this will help you in dealing with collaborations better and you can work in a team efficiently. If you want to have a live Git experience, devise a few projects of your own.

You can check out our courses on Web development and Android development with Kotlin if you wish to build a few projects on your own under the guidance of our Mentors.

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