GUI Path to Git for .NET Developers

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The pain, real or imagined, of command line Git may have held commercial .NET developers back from adopting it for version control. But the path is now clear for easy adoption of Git using free or low cost tools with Graphical User Interfaces. In fact, you can be up and running with a local system in a day and never see a command line.

Here’s the recipe for your own happy Git trail ride: PluralSight + Bonobo + SourceTree.

To begin, sign up at PluralSight (www.pluralsight.com) and review the “Using Git with a GUI” course by Xavier Morera. A single Pluralsight course is often worth the cost of a yearly subscription, so invest in yourself with a subscription to Pluralsight’s excellent learning resources.

Then locate a spare Windows 2008 or 2012 Server to use as your Git server. Go to the Bonobo Git server site (https://bonobogitserver.com/) and carefully review the “Prerequisites” and “Install” sections. Bonobo is hosted in IIS and uses http protocols, so pay careful attention to site setup and folder permissions. This is an outstanding site in terms of detail and clarity, so download and installation steps should go smoothly.

Using the Bonobo web GUI interface on your server, set up some users and create a new empty repository. Then, on your workstation, download and install a copy of SourceTree Git GUI client from Atlassian (www.atlassian.com/software/sourcetree). After viewing the PluralSight course, you should be sufficiently comfortable in SourceTree to get started.

SourceTree is designed specifically to work with Atlassian’s BitBucket product, which is widely used. In our case, though, we needed to host internally, so we experienced a slight bit of trickiness in connecting SourceTree to our Bonobo repository. Use the “File | Clone/New” menu command, and select the “Clone Repository” tab. Identify your Bonobo system and repository in the “Source Path/URL” field. Here’s an example of a successful url: https://www.linkedin.com/redir/invalid-link-page?url=http%3A%2F%2F10%2e254%2e1%2e140%2Fbonobo%2egit%2eserver%2FTest%2egit. Note that you’ll need to use http (unless you’ve configured IIS server with a certificate). Also note that you must append “.git” to the repository name, and that repository names are case sensitive.

Review the PluralSight course again, this time with a working system, and begin having fun with Git without a command line in sight.

(Original post on January 21, 2016)

Here’s a helpful review of self-hosted Git systems (including Bonobo):

Review of Self-Hosted Git Servers

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