git on windows

Created by: Lester Caine, Last modification: 15 Jun 2010 (22:06 UTC)
One of the problems with using a software system that has been developed solely on Linux is that windows support can be a little lacking. This is the case with git, since the best way of supporting it is by installing one of the Linux compatibility layers. cygwin is the preferred course but is a major overhead if all one wanting to run is git. Fortunately there is a slightly lighter installation option based on mingw32, from msysGit. The current download is Git- which provides a bash type command line interface along with a basic GUI browser.

Installation worked out of the box, and gave a working system, but in order to work directly with github, we also need ssh security keys. The tutorial at actually takes you through the process quite nicely, but at present I have not confirmed it works as my own setup uses PuTTY.


An alternative on windows is PuTTY PuTTY which while getting a little long in the tooth, does at least work well. I have this installed on my windows boxes to use with WinSCP for SSH access to my Linux boxes. The current version can be {|downloaded from PuTTY].

One of the problems I have come across is that git and PuTTY do not play well together, so one has to set up the links to github via PuTTY prior to using git to clone the source code.

Using Git

Once the security keys have been set up, access to git is either via the bash command line, or via a simple GUI. The notes provided on the main git page can be loaded directly into the command line window, but care needs to be taken as to the home directory being used. Links to the two git tools are available via a right click in 'file manager' and using the bash link ensures that the working directory is the location selected in file manager. The new file structure will be created below that folder.

If anybody finds a user manual for the GUI interface it would be welcome.


While using the Tortoise name, this expanded GUI interface is not from the same design team that makes some of the other TortoiseXX family. For one is is only targeted at windows. As yet I have not had any luck actually getting it to work as 'file manager' crashes when ever I try to access right click. So it has been shelved at present.

See also git on eclipse