Local git setup
  • 05 Jul 2022
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Local git setup

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Article Summary


This article covers the basics on how to install git and sync between your remote AllSpice Hub repositories and your local filesystem. If you already have git on your machine and have used it before, you can skip ahead.

Primer on Git Clients

You may be used to a centralized revision control system like CVS or SVN. Centralized systems have a single source of truth for all versions of all changes. Users can check out files and then check them back in.

Unlike centralized revision control, git is distributed, which means although you might be able to point to a specific repo hosted on a server, that server doesn’t know or need to know all the different users and what they’re working on until they’re ready to push changes to the server.

It may sound confusing, or chaotic, but it’s actually relatively straightforward. Each development node, i.e. your computer, has the necessary tools to perform all the operations necessary to manage the project.

It can be as simple as one user making updates, committing them to their local repo, and then pushing their committed changes to the server. It can be complex as well, allowing you to pull and merge changes from many different users who have commit and pushed their changes to the server.

In order to sync between your local filesystem and the server, AllSpice Hub Repositories, you will need a git client. You have a few primary options.

Git Client Options

Git GUI client Tortoise Git (recommended)

There are many git GUI tools that lower the barrier to using git to manage designs. We generally recommend using a GUI for anyone learning and even those looking for better visualization of git history than the terminal is generally able to provide.

In this tutorial we’re going to focus on setting up TortoiseGit (the same folks who brought you TortoiseSVN). TortoiseGit adds functions directly to your Windows Explorer context menu to integrate with git, providing a powerful interface that makes it easy to do simple tasks, but can scale with you to more complex functions.

Terminal / Command Line Interface (CLI)

A common method for using git is by calling functions from the command line. There are uncountable resources for learning git commands, and running “git --help” will always pull up the manual. We generally do not recommend this method unless you already work often in a terminal, but many proficient in shell scripting will gravitate to this route. If you or your organization wants to use git CLI, we recommend standardizing your process using shell scripts so that each user is making changes consistently.

Command Line Pros

  • More powerful, access to all git functionality
  • More granular control

Command Line Cons

  • Slower, requires typing out commands
  • Hardware is hard and mistakes are very costly
    • Broken prototypes
    • Lost schedule until the next prototype can be fabricated
    • Time wasted troubleshooting instead of the opportunity cost spent on designing new features or validating the existing design
    • Hardware budget drain
  • Less robust, requires CORRECTLY typing commands
  • Harder to see when you’re making a mistake
  • It is more difficult to see which files you are editing
  • No standard process:
    • Each engineer might be following a conflicting set of operations
    • Each engineer might not consistently follow their own process

Directly from your ECAD tool

Some ECAD tools, like Altium, contain limited functionality for pushing changes to and pulling changes from remote git repositories. This can be a helpful way to perform simple operations and avoid having to open up your git client at times, but you will still need to utilize a git client to perform functions like cloning/initializing repositories changing branches, or viewing tags.

The integrated ECAD git interface also lacks the ability for sophisticated Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) and requires external tools for managing revisions of outputs like BOM generation, Fabrication files, and looking at Cost of Goods Sold (COGS).

Altium Git InterfaceUntitled

Altium commit interface:

Altium Credential Interface.

Installing git

Independent of which approach you use, you will need git installed on your machine. You can verify if it is already installed by running the --version command.

// Windows CMD
C:\Users\Daniel>git --version
git version 2.36.0.windows.1

// Windows Powershell
PS C:\Users\Daniel> git --version
git version 2.36.0.windows.1

// Git Bash
$ git --version
git version 2.36.0.windows.1

You can always follow the official installation documentation if you want to learn more, or to build from source.

Installing git on Windows

You can download git for windows from one of the following locations:

https://git-scm.com/download/win and click on “Click here to download”

https://gitforwindows.org/ and click on the download button for the latest stable release

Almost all newer machines these days use the 64-bit version of Windows so you’re pretty safe if you attempt to install that one. If you’re not sure, or just curious, you can see which version of Windows you have.

Run the installer. You should see something similar.

It will take a minute or three.

The current installer’s final screen

We recommend selecting “Launch Git Bash” to see if the installation works correctly.

Run git --version in a terminal like git-bash to verify the install.

You can run git from cmd.exe, powershell, a third party terminal app, or using the provided git bash shell.

"C:\Program Files\Git\git-bash.exe" --cd-to-home

The installer also creates a shortcut in your start menu.

You can also install git using the chocolatey package manager for Windows, keeping in mind that the package is maintained by the community.

choco install git

Installing git on MacOS

There are several ways to install Git on a Mac. The easiest is probably to install the Xcode Command Line Tools. On Mavericks (10.9) or above you can do this simply by trying to run git from the Terminal the very first time.

// If git isn't installed, the shell should prompt you to install it.
$ git --version

If you want a more up to date version, you can also install it via a binary installer. A macOS Git installer is maintained and available for download at the Git website.

Installing git on Linux

The easiest way to install git on Linux is using the package manager for your Linux distro.

If you’re on Fedora (or any closely-related RPM-based distribution, such as RHEL or CentOS), you can use dnf:

$ sudo dnf install git-all

If you’re on a Debian-based distribution, such as Ubuntu, try apt:

$ sudo apt install git-all

For more options, there are instructions for installing on several different Unix distributions on the Git website, at https://git-scm.com/download/linux.

Installing TortoiseGit

Before installing TortoiseGit, make sure you have the command line git client installed (above).

To install TortoiseGit navigate to the download page and select the installer that matches your Windows version. Almost all newer machines these days use the 64-bit version of Windows so you’re pretty safe if you attempt to install that one. Click on the link and download the installer:

After the installer has been downloaded, open it up and install the software using all the default settings by clicking “Next” at each prompt until you complete the installation.

For more information on how to install TortoiseGit see their Installation Help Document for more details.

TortoiseGit Install Wizard

Click Next to start the setup wizard.

Read and accept the user license.

Click Next to accept the default features.

Click Install to continue.

Wait while the program is installed.

Wait while the program is installed.

Click Finish to start the second half of the installation.

Select your language and click Next.

Click Next after some light reading.

Enter the path to your git.exe if it isn’t already prefilled.

You can click the “Check now” button to see if you have a valid version of git.

In our example we have confirmed we are using git version 2.36.1.windows.1. Your mileage may vary.

Enter your name and your email address used to sign into hub.allspice.io and then click Next.

You can either use OpenSSH or TortoiseGitPlink for SSH. We recommend using OpenSSH, but we have instructions for both below.

You can also use HTTPs authentication with the instructions below.

Click Finish after selecting your SSH method.

Testing TortoiseGit Install on a Public Repo

You can verify that TortoiseGit is installed correctly by trying to clone a public repo. We’ve created a public HelloWorld repo for you to test.

Copy the repo URL

Copy the URL for the repo that you wish to clone. Every repo has a Copy URL button that copies the https address to the repo.

For this example, you can use the Hello World Repo URL “https://hub.allspice.io/johnny-5/HelloWorld.git”.

Run the Git Clone command

Open a file explorer to the location where you want to download your test repo.

Right click and select “Git Clone…”.

Git Clone Dialog

Paste the URL into to the URL field.

Click on the Directory field or browse button to ensure the folder is in the desired location. The directory doesn’t always update from the previous time you used the clone dialog, so always double check the directory.

Click OK.

You should see results similar to this:

If you don’t have your user credentials set up correctly, you will see something like this:

Your repo will now be cloned in the local filesystem.

Setting up Https access in TortoiseGit

Https access is the easiest to set up, but you will have to enter your password for each operation such as clone, commit, or push.

Open a file explorer window. Right click and select TortoiseGit→Settings.

Select Git

Verify that your User Info name and email are correct.

If you need to change them, click on the Global radio button, change the values and then click Apply. If not, you’re ready for the next step.

Click on Git→Credential

Type hub.allspice.io into the URL field.

Change the Helper pulldown to wincred.

Change the username to the email that you use to sign into hub.allspice.io.

Click on “Add New/Save”. You should see a new Helper “G:hub.allspice.io”.

Click OK to close the dialog.

Test https authentication

Copy the https link to a private repo.

If you don’t have any repos, you can follow this tutorial to create a new repo.

Clone the private repo

Open a file explorer to the location where you want to download your test repo.

Right click and select “Git Clone…”.

Paste your private repo into the URL, making sure it is an https link.

Make sure the Directory is the location where you want the repo cloned.

Click OK.

You may be asked to enter your allspice credentials. Your dialog might look different depending on your Operating System.

Your setup is correct if you get a success message and the files are downloaded.


You have installed a git client and have basic read/write access to the repos via Https. Future tutorials will explain how to authenticate via SSH.