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GitHub Desktop for Ubuntu


Application development is all about specifying code and integrating solutions following processes and requirements. Handling code becomes not easy with time and more than one contributor. In the actual scenario, more than one developer operates on a similar project and specifies code on a regular basis. Tracking modifications and merging those codes are time-consuming and hassle without any proper platform or tool.

Another problem is rollback which isn't possible without applying any version control tool. Source code management is another essential factor to examine when it comes to specifying code. Source code management is not just only storing the code but tracking the modifications, merging from more than one contributor, and solving the conflicts as well.

There are many platforms and tools present for source code management along with executive aspects. We will elaborate on GitHub in this article which is one of the most utilized and open-source cloud-based communities for managing our source code with extensive aspects with Git repositories.

Introduction to Git

Git is a system of version control to manage the source code which records the track of it along with several options. It is basically software for tracking the modifications of files mostly utilized for coders to collaboratively work and source code management at the time of the software development.

According to Git-SCM, "Git is an open-source and free distributed version control system developed to manage everything from a small project to a very large project with efficiency and speed".

Git can be learned easily and contains a tiny footprint along with lightning-fast work. It beats SCM tools such as ClearCase, Perforce, CVS, and Subversion with features such as multiple workflows, convenient staging areas, and cheap local branching.

Introduction to GitHub

In general terms, GitHub is an individual biggest cloud-based hosting service to manage git repositories which provides a huge variety of functionality for version control, source code management, and its features. One of the great things about GitHub is that it's completely free. We can make public and private repositories using GitHub at no cost with a few conditions. It's widely used for hosting open-source projects.

The free plan of GitHub permits the establishment of unlimited private repositories along with unlimited collaborators as of now. However, there is a limitation of Git Actions of up to 2000 minutes for private repositories per month.

With Git, GitHub offers features such as continuous deployment/continuous integration, code review, task management bug tracking, likewise several other features which enable this platform more interactive and useful professionally.Introduction to GitHub Desktop

  • It is an application that makes GUI-based cooperation with GitHub.
  • Git offers a huge variety of commands for Git activities such as pull requests, commits, creating repositories, and so on.
  • Although, GitHub Desktop offers GUI-based activities with GitHub and Git using best practices.
  • We can utilize GitHub Desktop for doing most of the commands of Git with some clicks and UI which makes working and collaborating with Git more elastic.
  • We can connect to our account, do the modifications, add projects, make Git repositories, and easily commit using the interface.
  • GitHub Desktop enables us to cooperate with GitHub with a GUI rather than a web browser or command line.
  • We can utilize GitHub Desktop for completing most commands of Git from our desktop with visual confirmation of modifications.
  • We can pull from, push to, and clone the repositories of remote using GitHub Desktop, and apply collaborative tools like establishing pull requests and attributing commits.

What's the difference between GitHub and Git?

GitHub: It is a web-based repository of Git hosting service which provides all of the distributed revision control and SCM (source code management) functionality of Git and adds its features as well.

Git: It is a distributed version control system to track modifications in source code at the time of the software development. It's developed to coordinate work among several programmers but it could be used for tracking modifications in any group of files. The goals of Git include support, data integrity, and speed for non-linear distributed workflows.

The following is the difference table between GitHub and Git:

S.No. GitHub Git
1. GitHub can be described as a service. Git can be described as software.
2. GitHub is a GUI (graphical user interface). Git is a tool of the command line.
3. GitHub is hosted over the web. Git is locally installed on the system.
4. GitHub is organized by Microsoft. Git is organized by Linux.
5. GitHub is concentrated on the hosting of centralized source code. Git is concentrated on code sharing and version control.
6. GitHub is a hosting service for Git repositories. Git is a system of version control for managing source code history.
7. GitHub was released in 2008. Git was first published in 2005.
8. GitHub contains a built-in feature, i.e., user management. Git does not contain any user management feature.
9. GitHub contains a pay-for-user tier and a free tier. Git is licensed as an open-source application.
10. GitHub contains an active marketplace for resource integration. Git contains minimum external resource configuration.
11. GitHub offers a Desktop interface called GitHub Desktop. Git offers a Desktop interface called Git GUI.
12. GitHub competes with AWS Code Commit, Git Bucket, GitLab, etc. Git competes with Mercurial, Subversion, Azure DevOps Server, CVS, etc.

About GitHub Desktop

Just some of the several things we can do using GitHub Desktop or as follows:

  • Compare modified images
  • Checkout branches with view CI statuses and pull requests
  • Add co-authors to our commit quickly
  • Interactively add modifications to our commit

Step 1: Install GitHub Desktop and verify our account

We can install GitHub Desktop on the supported operating systems. We will require to sign in and verify our account on GitHub Enterprise or GitHub before we can make and clone any tutorial repository after we install the application.

Step 2: Create a new repository

If we don't have any repositories related to GitHub Desktop, we will find a "Let's get started" option, where we can select to make and clone the tutorial repositories, include the existing repositories using our hard drive, make a new repository, or clone a previous repository using the internet.

Important: When we create a new repository, we need to fill up some fields and choose our preferred options. These fields are listed and mentioned below:

GitHub Desktop for Ubuntu
  • Name- It specifies our repository name both on GitHub and locally.
  • Description- It is an optional field that we can use to give more details about the goal of our repository.
  • Local Path- It fixes the location of our repository on our computer. GitHub Desktop by default establishes a GitHub folder in our Documents folder to save our repositories but we can select any location on our computer. Our new repository would be a folder in the selected location.
    For instance, if we name our repository repository1, a folder named repository1 is established in the folder we have chosen for our local path. GitHub Desktop remembers our selected location the next time we make or clone any new repository.
  • Git ignore- This drop-down menu enables us to include a custom file to avoid particular files in our local repository that we do not wish to save in the version control. If there is a particular framework or language that we will be using, we can choose an option from the list. If we are just getting begun, we can feel free to ignore this selection.
  • License- This drop-down menu enables us to include an open-source license to the LICENSE file in our repository. We do not need to worry about including a license immediately.

Installing and Using GitHub Desktop in Ubuntu

A GitHub Desktop is a Git software that is freely available. It's implemented with typescript. GitHub implements as the source code repository and it could be installed and used in distinct kinds of operating systems. The GitHub Desktop was developed by Brendan Forster for the users of Linux. This software can be used by executing AppImage and downloading it on the Linux OS. In this article, we will explain how to install GitHub Desktop in the Ubuntu system.

Downloading the GitHub Desktop

First of all, we need to open our terminal window and execute the below command for downloading the GitHub Desktop using the below URL address:

GitHub Desktop for Ubuntu

Launching the GitHub Desktop

We need to press the icon, i.e., "Show Applications" from the left-hand side of the desktop and find "GitHub". The below dialog box will occur if the user presses the "github-desktop" downloaded option. Press the install button and give the root password for starting the installation procedure.

GitHub Desktop for Ubuntu

The dialog box will include the below button and the details after finishing the installation process. The 2.6.3 version of GitHub Desktop has been installed here. We need to press the Remove button if we wish to remove the software.

GitHub Desktop for Ubuntu

Next, press the "Show Applications" icon and find "GitHub" again. We will have the icon, i.e., GitHub Desktop if the application is properly installed. We need to press the icon to start the application.

GitHub Desktop for Ubuntu

The below dialog box will occur when the software is opened for the very first time. If we have already an account on, press the "Sign in to" option and if we have already an account on GitHub Enterprise, press the "Sign in to GitHub Enterprise" option. If we are new users and wish to create a new account, press the "Create your free account" option. If we do not wish to access or make a new account, press the "Skip the step" option.

GitHub Desktop for Ubuntu

If we press the "Create your free account" option, the below page will occur within the browser. Press the "Create account" option after giving the valid details in the below form.

GitHub Desktop for Ubuntu

The below page will occur after establishing the account. The aspects of four applications are represented here for authorization.

  • The first aspect is the "GitHub Desktop Development App by Desktop" for accessing the GitHub account using the Ubuntu Desktop with the application, i.e., GitHub Desktop.
  • The second aspect is "Repositories". The users of GitHub use repositories for storing their integrated work in GitHub. The repositories could be private or public. If the users of GitHub wish to share her/his work with anyone, the user will save the integrated work as a public repository. If the users of GitHub wish to establish a repository for their personal use, she/he will save the integrated work only as a private repository that's not usable to others.
  • The third aspect is "Personal user data" that could be used by GitHub Desktop completely.
  • The fourth aspect is "Workflow" which will update the file of GitHub that is locally updated inside the workflow. If we press the "Authorize Desktop" option, these four aspects will be activated for our GitHub account and we can access these aspects with the help of the GitHub Desktop.
    GitHub Desktop for Ubuntu

The below pop-up screen will occur if we press the "Authorize Desktop" option. It is promoting permission to allow for opening the link, i.e., x-github-desktop-dev-auth. Press the "Choose Application" option to choose the GitHub Desktop application.

GitHub Desktop for Ubuntu

Choose the application, i.e., GitHub Desktop, and press the "Open Link" option.

GitHub Desktop for Ubuntu

Now, if we open the installed application, i.e., GitHub Desktop, the below form will occur for configuring Git. The email address and the username of the GitHub account that was fixed during the creation of the GitHub account will occur here. Press the "Continue" option for configuring Git to identify the commits implemented by the GitHub user.

GitHub Desktop for Ubuntu

The below information will occur if everything is properly set up for the GitHub Desktop. Press the "Finish" option to finish the setup.

GitHub Desktop for Ubuntu

The below option will occur if the GitHub Desktop is properly installed and configured on the Ubuntu system. The ways of establishing four kinds of repositories have been explained here.

  • The option, i.e., "Create a tutorial repository..." is used for creating a tutorial repository within the local machine that could be released in the GitHub account.
  • The option, i.e., "Clone a repository from the internet..." is used for cloning a repository using the GitHub account, URL, or the GitHub Enterprise account.
  • The option, i.e., "Create a new repository on your hard drive..." is used for locally creating a new repository.
  • The option, i.e., "Add an existing repository from your hard drive..." is used for adding a previously made repository through the local drive.

From the GitHub account, the repository can be found with the search box, i.e., "Filter your repositories" to clone the repository. The repository list would be empty if no repository is released in the GitHub account. After releasing any repository within the GitHub account, we need to press the refresh link for getting the recently released repository list. At the application window's top, a menu bar is there for doing the different kinds of repository-related functions.

GitHub Desktop for Ubuntu

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