Git installation

Git: What to Download and Install?

It seems like there are several different Git applications available, but after digging deeper into this issue, I discovered that the “two best choices” – are actually the same thing. If you click “Download” on both of these web sites,

You get the exact same file (and you get it from the same web server).


MinGW, a contraction of “Minimalist GNU for Windows”, is a minimalist development environment for native Microsoft Windows applications. MinGW provides a complete open source programming tool set that is suitable for the development of native MS-Windows applications, that do not depend on any 3rd-party C-Runtime DLLs. It does depend on a number of DLLs provided by Microsoft themselves, as components of the operating system; most notable among these is MSVCRT.DLL, the Microsoft C runtime library. Additionally, threaded applications must ship with a freely distributable thread support DLL, provided as part of MinGW itself.

MinGW compilers provide access to the functionality of the Microsoft C runtime and some language-specific runtimes. MinGW, being Minimalist, does not, and never will, attempt to provide a POSIX runtime environment for POSIX application deployment on MS-Windows. If you want POSIX application deployment on this platform, please consider Cygwin instead.


MSys is an environment for Windows offering a Unix-type shell and a Perl interpreter. Because many parts of Git are still not builtins programmed in C, but instead shell and Perl scripts, Git for Windows needs such an environment.


For historical reasons, the development of Git for Windows requires a development environment that resembles Unix more than Windows, and this development environment is called msysGit.

Git for Windows

Git for Windows is the installer that most people should download to be able to use Git on Windows.

Git setup

Download and Install the latest version of git. I believe this gives you the hard-core command-line version. This version is the one that also includes the GUI apps that you’re used to – git-gui and gitk (for visualizing the branches in a repo (sort of like looking at a map of the London Tube)).


Home Page:

There is a download link on the home page – use it to download and install git on your computer. Note: the download link automatically targets your platform (i.e., it’s for Windows if you’re on Windows, Linux if your on Ubuntu, and OS/X if you’re on Yosamite).

To install Git

Install the Latest Stable Release.

Download and run

  1. Click the “Download for Windows” in the image of the monitor on the right (
  2. I chose the 64-bit version.
  3. In the Download Toast Window, click Run.

In the git setup wizard

  1. Install to: C:\Program Files\Git
  2. Select Components: I chose everything (Start Menu Folder: Git).

Adjusting your PATH environment

Choose the default option: Run Git from Git Bash

Configuring the line ending conversions

Choose Checkout Windows-style, commit UNIX line endings.

Environment variables

Source folder

Set the Environment Variable that points to the folder you want to use as the root folder (where Git will save all of your cloned enlistments). E.g.,


Default editor

Set the environment variable for your editor (mine is EditPad Pro).

$EDITOR = C:\Program Files\Just Great Software\EditPad Pro 8\EditPadPro8.exe


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