Installing and Using git

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Installing git

  1.  In order to locally edit the ontology and push changes back to the GitHub repository, you will need to have git installed on your machine.
  2. To check if you already have git installed, or to see what version of git you have, type either of these commands in your terminal: which git or git --version.
  3. To install git, follow instructions here:

Note for MacOSX users: it is advised to install Command Line Tools for Xcode.

Cloning the go-ontology repository from GitHub

  1. Create a directory called repos on your local machine using this command: mkdir repos.
  2. Then paste this command into your terminal: git clone
    • Example result:
   Cloning into 'go-ontology'...
   remote: Counting objects: 2541, done.
   remote: Compressing objects: 100% (100/100), done.
   remote: Total 2541 (delta 52), reused 0 (delta 0), pack-reused 2440
   Receiving objects: 100% (2541/2541), 21.19 MiB | 5.22 MiB/s, done.
   Resolving deltas: 100% (1532/1532), done.

Editing the .profile (or .bashrc) file to indicate the branch you are working on

It can be very helpful to know what branch you are working in on your terminal window. You can set this up to display by adding the following information to your .profile file (found by typing ls -a):

  export GO_REPO=~/repos/go-ontology
  . $GO_REPO/src/util/git-completion.bash
  parse_git_branch() {
      git branch 2> /dev/null | sed -e '/^[^*]/d' -e 's/* \(.*\)/(\1)/'
  PS1="\w\$(parse_git_branch) $ "
  export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/bin/

Note the last line is not relevant to git, but we do this now for later on when we want to run tools like robot.

Identifying the user for commits

Git needs to know who is committing changes to the repository, so the first time you commit, you may see the following message:

  Committer: Kimberly Van Auken <>
  Your name and email address were configured automatically based on your username and hostname. Please check that they are accurate.

You can suppress this message by setting your name and email explicitly:

  1. Type git config --global "Your Name"
  2. Type git config --global
  3. You can then fix the identity used for this commit by typing: git commit --amend --reset-author.

Resetting password on command line (mac)

  • In the terminal, type git config --global --unset user.password
  • When you push a branch, you will be asked for your user name and password.
  • Enter your new password. It should be saved in your keychain for future uses.

Resetting password in Keychain

It may be that your old password is getting cached in your keychain. Please see:

Updating GitHub token


Review Status

Last reviewed: September 9, 2021

Back to: Ontology_Development