If you're a developer, you know Git. Most likely, you use Git on a regular basis. And you probably know Linux as well. In fact, you probably develop with Linux (as Linux is one of the most popular development platforms in the world). If you're a Git user on Linux, you might be using the command line to interact with the service.
However if you could have an outstanding GUI tool for that purpose, you'd probably use it to make your work a bit more efficient. One such tool is the cross platform Gitkraken. With Gitkraken you can easily interact with your Git account, without having to use the command line.
If you happen to work on the Ubuntu platform or any platform that makes use of snaps, there's an incredibly easy way to install Gitkraken. I'm going to walk you through the process of installing this legendary tool, using snap, and then show you how to connect Gitkraken to your GitHub account. I'll be demonstrating on a daily build of Bionic Beaver (Ubuntu 18.04) and will assume you already have a GitHub account.
Do note: Although there is a free Gitkraken application, you'll probably want to take advantage of the features offered in the Pro version. After the installation, you will be given a 7-day trial of Gitkraken Pro. Once the trial is over, the price to continue using the software is:
- Individual - $49 per year
- 10+ users - $39 per user per year
- 100+ users - $29 per user per year
As GitKraken is one of the finest GitHub clients available for Linux, the price of admission is well worth the cost. The free Gitkraken client misses out on features like:
- Multiple profiles
- Powerful merge conflict editor
- GitHub Enterprise integration
- GitLab Community integration
Since we're using a recent Ubuntu release, it will already be prepped to work with snap packages. If you open a terminal window, issue the command snap version and you are not presented with the installed version of snap, you'll need to install snapd. Do this with the command:
sudo apt install snapd
Once that finishes, you're ready to install Gitkraken. Back at the terminal window, issue the command:
sudo snap install gitkraken
The process will begin and will take a bit longer than your usual installation. When the installation completes, you're ready to connect Gitkraken to your GitHub account.
Connecting Gitkraken to GitHub
As you might expect, this is actually quite simple. From your desktop menu, open the Gitkraken GUI client. Once it opens, you'll be presented with a login window (Figure A).
Since we're connecting Gitkraken to GitHub, click on the Sign in with GitHub button. This will open up your default browser, wherein you are asked to login to your GitHub account. Once you've successfully logged in, you will then be required to authorize Axosoft access to your GitHub account. Click Authorize Axosoft. Once you've click the authorize button, you'll be taken back to the GitKraken client, where you must agree to the EULA. Click the checkbox and then click I Agree. With the login and the EULA taken care of, it's time to start using GitKraken.
I'm not going to get too deep into the usage of Gitkraken. However, you will want to open, clone, or initialize a repository. On the off-chance you've not setup a Git repository, let's initialize one with Gitkraken.
From the main window, click on the folder icon in the upper left corner. When the new window opens (Figure B), click the Init tab.
In the resulting window (Figure C) click the Browse button and either locate the folder to be used, or create a new folder. Next select the optional .gitignore Template (a file that specifies intentionally untracked files that Git should ignore) and a license (optional). Once you've taken care of these configurations, click the Create Repository button and your new repository will be initialized.
If you initialize a repository on your local machine, instead of cloning a repo from GitHub, you will find you cannot push that repo to GitHub. Why? You must first add a remote to the repository. To do this, you will need to first log into your Github account, navigate to the repository you want to push the local repo to, click on the Clone or download drop-down (Figure D), and copy the URL for the repository.
Back on GitKraken, open up the repository you initialized and hover your mouse over the REMOTE tab. When the + button appears, click on it. In the resulting window (Figure E), select URL, give the remote a name, and copy the GitHub repository URL into the Pull URL. The Push URL will automatically fill in. Click the Add Remote button and your ready to go. Your local repository will now sync with the configured repository on your GitHub account.
And that's all there is to it. You now have Gitkraken installed, connected to your GitHub account, and a local repository able to push and pull to a remote.
And so, what are you waiting for? Git kraken!
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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.