As we all know the majority of the Web development community uses Git. The funny part to the whole story is the fact that most developers don’t even know what version they’re using.
Before I get up on my high horse I’ll preface everything by saying I was in the same boat as the rest of you. Sadly, making sure my version of Git is up to date is the last thing on my mind. Thankfully I’ve grown up since those troubled days and finally realize the value of keeping Git up to date and using the best techniques to keep it that way.
When we install Git for mac via Xcode >=4 command line tools or the Native OS, it points Git to your
usr/bin directory. This is a huge pita as Git never updates automatically and you’re always dependent on the version of Git you’ve installed based on the last time you’ve updated Xcode command line tools or installed Git locally on your machine. This is more of a general problem that you would encounter with a lot of other tools too. The best practice is to always have
/usr/local/bin in use before
/usr/bin in order to use newer versions of Git, Python, Ruby, etc than the host OS provides. This is especially apparent if you’re using Homebrew, which should warn and help you with this.
Wanna know what version of Git you got? Open your cli of choice and type:
This line will report back where Git is installed on your machine. For me it says the following:
Great for me, but you still might see something like this:
What version of Git am I using?
So how do we fix this? In order to stop this nonsense we have to alter a dot file and specifically the
.bash_profile (located in your “user” directory of your machine –for example mine is “GrayGhostVisuals“– with the following:
This little one liner allows us to update Git and use the Homebrew installation instead of our Native OS’. This results in
usr/bin to point at
usr/local/bin/git. Now all we need to do is install git via brew.
brew install git
Wanna keep git up to date? Easy peezy 123:
brew upgrade git
You’re now part of the wonderful esoteric world of the developers that actually know how to keep Git up to date. Cheers!
Love your site! Very inspiring and informative. I just wanted to give you a heads up on a typo for the last brew command in this article.
should actually be:
Thanks again for all your awesome help and information!
Awesome spot Brian! Thanks so much for the correction and the kind words \m/
Great – except this didn’t work for me (my old version of git was working fine, it seemed, but when I went to install the Github for Mac app, it said my git was out of date).
The error I got is one I’ve seen before with homebrew. I’d rather avoid getting it in the first place:
Might be a permission issue (https://github.com/Homebrew/homebrew/issues/11184) or possibly a dotfile configuration. What happens when you run the following?
brew doctor gave me a lot of warnings, of course so I tried this:
Thank you for this.
Thank you very much!