Make sure that:

Look at the brief introduction to git or the beginning of if you still need to do any of this.

The first chapter of and the brief introduction to git provide some background on git.

Option 1: Use Rstudio

In RStudio open a new project from the File menu, choose the Version Control option, and Git as the version control system.

Open the file for your project in RStudio, add something to it, and save the changes.

From the Tools menu choose Version Control and then Commit.

Check the box next to, write a commit message, and press the Commit button.

Close the version control window. Your changes have been committed to your local repository.

You can also use the Git panel for the preceding steps.

To push your changes to GitLab, from the Tools menu choose Version Control and then Push Branch. You may have to provide your HawkID and password at this point.

You should now be able to see your changes in your remote repository in the class group.

A video is available that walks through this process.

The video also shows some basic use of markdown syntax.

Option 2: Using the Shell

Open a shell.

Go to the parent directory where you want your local repository to live.

In the shell, give the command

git clone<hawkid>.git <dirname>

with <hawkid> replaced by your Hawk ID and <dirname> by the directory name you want.

You can omit the directory name <dirname> if you are happy with the default, the name of your repository. If you choose your own directory name, do not choose one with spaces in it.

Change your working directory to your local repository (cd <dirname> on Linux).

Edit and save.

Commit your changes with the command

git commit -m "My commit message."

Push your changes with the command

git push

If you want to manage this repository from RStudio you can turn it into an RStudio project by creating a new project and choosing the Existing Directory option.

Creating and Submitting Your First Assignment

Create a new folder HW1 in your project; you can do this

Create a new R Markdown document hw1.Rmd

Edit, preview, stage, and commit locally.

Push to GitLab.

Some Notes

It is a good idea to commit often.

If you work on several computers, or with a collaborator, be sure to pull changes from the repository before starting to work on new changes.

You do not have to push after every commit, but it’s a good idea to do so.

A video is available that walks through starting on the first assignment.


  1. Take possession of your GitLab repository.

  2. Edit your file, commit, and push your changes.

  3. Check that you can see your changes on the UI GitLab site. Find the SHA hash for your commit.

  4. Get set up to work on the first assignment.